Little E woke up around 7 am this morning! Bright and early, I reckoned she would not be going back to sleep any sooner. Hence, J dropped us at the Zoo on his way to work. We were early, but to our surprise, there was already a sprightly crowd waiting at the entrance to enter the Zoo as soon as it opens its gantries!
Being this early, many animals were not ready to be seen. The popular otters near the entrance, were all snoozing away in their dreamland, all huddled together in a snug bevy in their den. As we walked past Frozen Thundra, Inuka could not be found in her large pool where she is usually seen. Instead, we discovered that she was having her breakfast upon awakening from her hay-bed, and playing by herself in her ice-cold cave! This was our first time seeing her there.
We had 2 hours to spare before J came to pick us up. So we walked to the Wild Africa zone next. To our dismay, neither the giraffes nor the lions were in sight. We walked on quickly to find the clan of meerkats. Despite being that early, two adorable meerkats were already on sentry duty, standing upright on their “guard posts” within the sandy terrains that they call home.
Usually hard to spot due to its nocturnal and secretive nature, we were exhilarated to find the beautiful leopard sitting gracefully right in front of us!
The agile cat didn’t sit there for long, in a nimble leap, it landed on the floor with a light touch of its padded paws, as if it was weightless… We were privileged to be able to observe the endangered big cat prancing around in the enclosure that is thoughtfully built and landscaped to mimic the lowland tropical rainforests, its natural habitat where it thrives.
We spent a considerable amount of time observing the interesting leopard, and had the pleasure of listening to its call. It leapt up to the top of the exhibit, a height that did not seem possible to reach, and perched itself there, fixated in one direction as it let out a series of repetitive calls that sounded like throaty coughs. We read on a pillar later that this distinctive call is a territorial call or a form of communication with the other leopards (which were probably kept away from the public eye since we knew there is more than one leopard in our Singapore Zoo).
We wandered towards the Fragile Forest where we had an immersive experience! The spectacular walk-through exhibit gave us the opportunity to experience incredibly intimate encounters with the animals and insects that were found in it. As we walked through the massive biodome, we were treated to the cacophony of insects and tranquil sounds of cascading waters. I couldn’t help but marvel at the richness and diversity of the created rainforest where mousedeers tread gingerly along our paths within the bushes, Victoria crowned pigeons walking alongside us, seemingly undaunted by our presence, and a troop of ring-tailed lemurs bask in full view, huddled together on a tree branch right above our heads!
Another animal that fascinated us was the Mandrill. What a colourful face and rump the male mandrill has! I love the exotic colours of red, pink, blue, scarlet, and purple found on the mandrill. It was fascinating to look at! The appearance of the female mandrill paled greatly in comparison. We were informed that the mandrill has one of the greatest sexual dimorphism among the primates.
It is amazing that the Singapore Zoo not only contains a large number of endangered species, the zoo has scored a number of successes in the breeding of critically endangered species and has, over time, established itself as a leading zoological facility for the captive management and breeding of endangered Asian primates. The lemurs, crowned pigeons, clouded leopards, mandrills and many other animals are all endangered or threatened species that have become so precious…
Much as they are so precious, the apple of my eye is undoubtably my little one, whom God created to be one and only. There will be no other person who will look like her, behave like her, think like her, speak like her or love like her. Just like any other person, Little E is unique. How privileged we are to have such an awesome Creator, our God Almighty, who is also our Deliverer and Redeemer, our Saviour and Comforter. God alone is to be praised and all glory is due to Him and no one else.
There was still 20 min before the first animal show began, so I brought Little E to the “Elephants of Asia” zone to catch a glimpse of the garguantan mammal. Fashioned after the Burmese rainforest, the enclosure contains about a dozen elephants, who have resided there for years. We were delighted to capture one of the playful and intelligent elephants using its trunk to grab hold of a log, knocking it against the river bank.
Do you think it was trying to break the branch? or was it just making music for its own ears? Regardless of what it was trying to do, we can’t deny the intelligence, Herculean strength and beauty of the world’s largest land animal.
Then came time for us to make our way to watch the famous California sea lion superstar at the Splash Safari Show held at the Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre. We secured a prime seat at the centre of the amphitheatre after buying a tub of chocolate ice cream to savour while enjoying the show!
The mischievous sea lion certainly deserves its superstar connotation. We were tickled by the comedian performance, but at the same time, the splashing superstar did not fail to tug at our heartstrings with its wit and personality that matches its size as it gets up to its usual antics. We love the show, no matter how many times we have seen it.
And this was how my superstar looked at the end of our morning walk at the Rainforest Zoo… with chocolate-smeared face, clothes, pram and all… That’s what happens when you unintentionally leave a tub of chocolate ice-cream unattended within her reach… Oops…