My (Failed) Giant Panda Experience at Singapore Zoo

We had known for a little while that for our first proper day in Singapore was going to be spent at the zoo and we were both really excited when that day came around, well, I was probably just a tad more excited ;). This was because I had found out the zoo had Giant Pandas, which are my all time favourite animal and I’ve always dreamed of seeing one. It is obviously a more expensive day out than the usual traveller budget, but it is without a doubt the best zoo I’ve ever been to.

I don’t usually agree with the concept of zoos, I think an animal should only be kept in captivity if it is unable to survive in the wild. Trust me when I say I have experience with bad zoos, aka animal prisons *cough* Moscow zoo *cough*, that have left me in tears due to such poor animal welfare. So when I say good zoo, I don’t use the term lightly. However, I will say I am very against the Elephant show put on at Singapore Zoo, we were told by multiple people not to miss it and how amazing it was, but after our experiences in Thailand there was no way I would be able to watch that.
(If you haven’t read my post about performing elephants click here). I also really didn’t like seeing the polar bear, Inuka, because I thought he looked lonely and a polar bear enclosure at a zoo is never going to even closely resemble that of their natural habitat, especially in a hot climate.

This was an extremely photogenic sloth

looooooook at the ears on that little baby! Like a little Prince Charles monkey

The reason I loved this zoo though is the open zoo concept and lack of cages. Yeah, no cages. Not even the tiger enclosure had a cage. The boundaries of the animal enclosures are most of the time created by water, as in streams and pools, or, for the case of a lot of the monkeys and primates, they stick to their areas and don’t bother the people. Bearing in mind how huge this zoo is, I only saw this being taken advantage of once (a stupid girl who decided to repeatedly stroke a sloth, there’s alway one that has to ruin it), this approach seemed to work really well.

As soon as we walked in there was a little space of small trees that had a plaque describing some kind of little monkey on it. We were so confused because these trees just had a single rope around them as a boundary, there was no way any monkeys could be in there. Oh were we wrong, just as we were about to move away, one of the little monkeys jumped to a branch of another little tree area. It was amazing going to a zoo without a big metal fence between you and the animals.

Where the orangutans could just hang out (although none were when we took the photo), on the tree above too

When walking along the orangutan area, you walk along a path under a canopy of towering trees, some of which have large rope hammocks filled with food for the apes. They can swing above you and just chill out up there, it’s truly amazing. All expect for the huge male Bornean orangutan, he’s so huge that he looks like King Louie from the new jungle book remake, you know the Christopher Walken one. Yeah he’s pretty scary

Ok, so you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned the pandas yet…*sigh* so basically…
We were walking around and following the map when I noticed there were no pandas on there, and although I had had a wonderful day, I was very upset by this discovery. It turns out the pandas were only on the River Safari attraction, which you had to buy separate tickets for (very sneaky Singapore Zoo, totally not cool).

I know it’s a bad quality picture but I had to document the manatees, I was so happy

So OBVIOUSLY we just had to go back the next day for a few hours before our flight back to Bangkok, much to my boyfriend’s annoyance I can tell you that. I’ll be honest with you, the River Safari is not really worth it. I mean it’s still pretty cool, but there is no reason it couldn’t just be another part of the zoo, except of course then it wouldn’t be a sneaky way to make some extra dollar. It takes you on a ‘tour’ of the world’s most famous rivers and the animals that live within them…and pandas? Yeah it doesn’t make much sense but not much is going to stop me from seeing my two favourite animals in the world for the first time (the other one is a manatee in case you were wondering).

This is all I managed to capture but I SAW ONE, I ACTUALLY SAW ONE 😀

The hilarious part was when we did get round to seeing the pandas…they were asleep…sorry again Jay. BUT I still managed to cry over the fact I was seeing a panda for the first time ever and even writing this now I have a ridiculous smile on my face.

Well, there you have it, not the experience I had in mind BUT still kinda the best thing ever

Lon x

(p.s. if you ever find yourself here, don’t touch the damn animals man. Thank you)

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