27 February 2007

Singapore Zoo! (Round Three)

I love Singapore Zoo. It's one of the few places I can visit several times and still look forward to each trip - mostly because of the fantastic photographic opportunities it presents.


Me with little sis no.2


Unlike most other zoos, the enclosures in Singapore Zoo are very photographer-friendly and allow you to get real close to the animals. Plus, it's got fantastic facilities and very helpful staff.

I like helpful staff.

I also like tigers, but I've shot a few hundred pictures of them already (see previous posts) so I'll spare you from more tiger pictures. So without further ado, I present to you the non-feline animals of Singapore Zoo


Cottontop Tamarin


Many thanks to Kit for telling me what this is (there weren't any signs at the zoo). The Cottontop Tamarin is a small (at most 20cm tall and less than 0.5kg) primate found in the jungles of South America. It's also got a rather cool haircut, which can be puffed up to make it appear bigger when threatened. It eats mostly insects, fruits, buds and small lizards.

Unfortunately, the Cottontop Tamarin is currently an endangered species, initially because they were exported for scientific experiments, though the primary cause now is deforestation (Kill the forest and kill its inhabitants).


Cotton-Eared Marmoset

Another small primate, the Cotton-Eared Marmoset is also found in South America. But unlike the Cottontop Tamarin, it seems to be doing fine, which is strange when you consider how it's the same size and shares the same habitat and diet.

The only difference is that the Cotton-Eared Marmoset is found in Brazil, which brought us wonderful stuff like coffee, Ronaldinho and Ayrton Senna. So yes, Brazil is a great country.

In contrast, the poor Cottontop Tamarind is found in Colombia, which brought us drug lords and Juan Pablo Montoya. Yes, it's doomed...


Giraffe

This is a Giraffe. It is tall (up to 18ft), does everything standing (even sleeping), has the same number of bones in its neck as a human (that's seven, if you're wondering) and has no voice. And, a single kick from a giraffe can kill a man. Yes, this is a giraffe. Yes it is.


Jackass Penguin

Whoever gave the Jackass Penguin its name obviously had a lot of fun. It's a medium-sized penguin (grows slightly over 2ft tall) found off the southern coast of Africa. They are currently a vulnerable species because of pollution, changes to their habitat and because their eggs taste damn good. Apparently. They normally live for up to 10 years, although some specimens have been known to live for up to 40 years in controlled environments (i.e. in an aquarium with optimum space, temperatures, diets and loads of stupid children making silly faces at them).


Common Green Iguana

It's an iguana! And it's bloody ugly. Well, not sure what else to say, really. I don't particularly like lizards - they give me the creeps...


Jaguar

Often confused with leopards (wait... these are jaguars, right?), jaguars are big cats with spots all over their bodies, though they sometimes have very dark fur instead. Found only in South America, jaguars are very similar to tigers in that they're solitary animals, live in dense jungles and actually like swimming (just try dipping your cat into a tub of water...). Their method of attack is damn cool, though - because they have much stronger jaws than most other animals, they are able to bite right through the skulls of its prey, stabbing their brains to death until they die.


Striped Ass

This is the backside of a zebra, normally found on its posterior (e.g. the opposite end to the one with eyes, a mouth, a pair of nostrils and long, goofy looking ears). It also isn't a very good place to stand for at least three very good reasons.


Cannibalism

Here, we see an orange-coloured bird eating another orange-coloured bird of the same species. Which is actually rather good for the bird on the left because its usual diet of fruits, seeds and insects is rubbish. Just be wary if one of these little buggers land on your shoulders - they could lop off your head in a single peck. Honest.

24 February 2007

A tiger having lunch

On my latest trip to Singapore Zoo last week, I managed to shoot the white tigers again ('shoot' as in 'click', not 'bang!'). This time, I caught them during feeding time, which is probably the best time since they're not just sitting around like housecats.

*yawn!*


At 2:45pm, some guy with a bucket came to chuck some fresh meat into the tigers' enclosure. This is a step-by-step guide on how to eat lunch (if you're a tiger):

Step 1: Wash your hands before eating. Just in case you recently stepped on shit or something.


Step 2: Patiently wait for the meat to come flying towards you and...


*CHOMP!*


*munch!* *munch!*


Erm... yes, that how a tiger eats.

I'll post some non-feline shots from the zoo soon. Yes.

Casa de Lim

Nested within the cosy HDB flats of Toa Payoh, Singapore, is Casa de Lim - a 5-star home-stay accommodation for 1 with shared bath, toilet and widescreen TV in each room.

I had a chance to stay there during a recent trip to Singapore and highly recommend it to weary travellers making a trip to the island.

But more than just having fantastic facilities, what really sets Casa de Lim apart is its friendly staff, such as:

The friendly receptionist Thomas and his bar of Kit Kat.



1st class, 5-star, internationally reknown Chef Lim who cooks all the meals...


Maximus, the security guard...


...who also guards the back door. He'll also accompany you to the toilet if he has too.


My favourite member of staff is Cleopatra the head waitress...



...who also has a bad habit of sleeping on the guests beds. Mine too, hur hur! :P~~~

And then we have Shell, who is the, erm... not sure what her job description is, but she often uses the guests' luggage as scratching posts.



And finally, there's Caeser the concierge. He sits on the TV. Often.


And that's it for the visible occupants of Casa de Lim. There is another member of staff - Seraphine - but she is apparently afraid of humans and hides above the closet in the guest room. She makes scary, scratching sounds at night.

I think I'll stay here the next time I visit... -_-