Friday, October 02, 2009

Matang with Nparks Volunteers - Day 3

Day 3 was the last day of our Matang trip, but we were not heading straight back to Singapore. Instead, Gary had arranged for a visit to Zoo Taiping & Night Safari. The zoo director, Dr Kevin Lazarus, kindly followed us during the entire trip.

I did not really take many photos since they were mostly captive animals, so here's a selection of the ones that attracted me.

The White-handed Gibbon (Hylobates lar) enclosure was the first attraction we visited. The gibbon can be differentiated from monkeys by lacking a tail. This is a diurnal animals, so don't expect to see it if you visit the zoo at night, when it became a night safari.

The Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) was another gibbon found here. It's larger than the White-handed Gibbon, but like the latter, it is mostly frugivorous, though it feeds on leaves and flowers too.

There were a few Malayan Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) in one of the enclosures, and I really hope to see them in the wild one of these days.

The Wild Boars (Sus scrofa) reminded me of Jonathan. Not that he looks like a wild boar, but he's managing the wild boar survey at Pulau Ubin :P

The zoo was right next to a primary forest, and so it's no surprise that many wild animals found there way here too. You might have noticed that the macaques above had rather short tails - they were Pigtail Macaques (Macaca nemestrina).

It appeared to be feeding time, and this Smooth Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) were rather lucky to have caught one of the live fishes thrown into the enclosure by a worker.

The Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest member of the bear family (Ursidae). It is still a very fierce animals though.

There's a colony of Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) in one of the enclosures. The white bird on top-left is a Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) though.

These African Spoonbills (Platalea alba) were not native to Malaysia actually, but I decided to take a photo since they looked rather comical.

As we walked on, we had more wild surprises! This is a White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), and we also saw several other wild birds like barbets and starlings. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to get a good shot of them.

Another wild animal we saw was this Dusky Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus obscurus). I must add that this zoo really did a good job planting more trees to allow it to blend into the surrounding forest, and thus allowing it to attract all kinds of wild animals!

In a nearby enclosure, we saw the Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) - the only species of tapir native to Asia. This animal also reminded me of a conversation I had with a taxi driver, who told me that he had seen one near Changi area, probably swam over from Malaysia!

One of our last stations was the Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) enclosure. It was feeding time too, and thus we got to see them opening their gigantic mouths as the worker threw in bananas.

After the walk around the zoo, Dr Kevin kindly arranged for a splendid lunch while we had a question-and-answer session at the same time. I was really impressed with caterer - not just because the food was really good, but they were not using disposable utensils, like what the caterers usually do back in Singapore.

We eventually left the zoo and finally reached Singapore around 9 plus in the evening.

It had certainly been a very fun and enriching trip. Here's a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who attended this trip for making it such a wonderful one! :)

See also:


Unknown said...

Ron, wish i can do blog like yours. memory deteriorates with time but a good blog with all the pics and commentaries bring back the good old times!

namnam said...

Ron, this is an excellent blog! What I failed to see and capture on my digi are all recorded here in your journal. Thanks, thanks and thanks again!

Unknown said...

Joanne said:
I can't wait to go home to read the Day 2 and Day 3 blog, so I've read them all in the late afternoon today.
Thank You Ron for sharing your blog for the trip to Matang Forest.
You did such a good job in doing up the journal with photos and words, that people like us can enjoy and share the memories with all those who went last wkend.
Keep writing, journalling as you discover more the wonders and beauty of nature. :-)

Geok Choo said...

Ron, Muihuang shared the blog with me. At first I thought walking through the parks will be boring but looking at the photos in your blog, it really surprises that there are so many beautiful living things in nature. Thanks for the photos and it really makes me interested to join such nature walks in future.

Ron Yeo said...

Thanks all for your comments :)

Anonymous said...

Have read all yr 3-days' of postings Ron. GREAT WORK!

rgds lpb

Brandon Chia said...

You got a very nice photo of the Dusky Leaf Monkey :)

Yen Kheng said...

Hey Ron,

Thanks for posting the Matang Trip diary- a very easy and interesting read with good photos. I missed the trip but your update satisfied my curiosity about the trip!