I've never been shy in voicing my dislike of zoos. However quite a few people had told me that Singapore zoo was really very good and not like other zoos, they didn't have the animals caged up like other places. Anyway I decided I'd give it a go. It's been almost 20 years since I went to one and things might have changed a lot since then. We had a whole day booked out. Starting with bathing elephants and breakfast with the orangutans. This was very good, no cages just loads of orangutans swing through the trees or hanging around oh hammocks.
So far so good. We walked around for a while and there is also a tram you can jump on and off if you don't feel like walking.
As we made our way round the zoo there were indeed many animals that wandered freely or were not caged but kept separate by moats.
It wasn't the same for all animals though. The big cats were behinds either bars of glass and worst of all a polar bear. I cannot phathom why we would move an animal that belongs in the frozen wildernesses to the hot humid country of Singapore. It is beyond my comprehension. Yes they are magnificent animals and it's wonderful to be able to see them, but at what cost to the animal for our entertainment?
Next to the zoo is the River Safari. They have recreated the worlds major river environments and there are a couple of boat rides that take you 'down the Amazon' and cruising along the river. The environment itself was lovely.
We had a couple of hours to spare before our next booked tour so went back to the zoo to finish looking round.
We'd planned to do the night safari and booked a private tour. Our tour guide was a lovely guy called Nor. He took us around on a private buggy, we hand fed the elephants and as it got dark he took us around to see the nocturnal animals. We spent all day at the zoo (8am to 10:30pm) There were definitely some good things about the zoo, their conservation work and anti poaching campaigns, but there is still a long way to go before I could justify keeping the animals in captivity. In the 1800's people would pay to look at the insane locked up in Bedlam, it was a form of entertainment, to me that is what we are doing with animals now. If you want to see an animal go and see them in their natural habitat and if you can't afford that, rent a National Geographic dvd. As beautiful as they are there's no fun in watching a wild animal pace around a cage.