Singapore Diaries: Singapore Zoo and Its Unshackled Creatures

I have a love and hate relationship with zoos. I detest how they imprison animals but at the same time, I wouldn’t develop such fascination with animals if not for zoos. Those rare times that I open my television? If not series, it’ll probably be tuned in to Animal Planet

Singapore earned my respect because its progressive state did not hinder it from protecting its mute inhabitants. Singapore Zoo certainly lived up to its “World Best Rainforest Zoo” title. The “no-cage” policy amazed me! Plants and rocks were mostly the barriers between the visitors and animals. The animals seem comfortable in their clean enclosures. I wish more countries will emulate the zoo’s handling of its animals instead of treating them as mere displays.

The zoo also does its part in raising visitors' awareness on animal cruelty. Signboards educating visitors about key wildlife issues (tiger skin trading, kangaroo slaughter, elephant ivory tusks trade, etc.) are scattered.

I enjoyed the shows that I even volunteered for the snake part of the “Rainforest Fights Back” show. Visitors are likewise given chances to feed the gentle giants from the “Elephants of Asia” show. I’m happy that the animals featured in these shows do not come in shackles. Chatting with the zookeepers also rekindled my dream to be one of them.

There are plenty of dining places inside like Ah Meng Restaurant and KFC. I suggest bringing your own water (Vapur’s one of my travel essentials) since it’s pricey if you’ll get it from snack kiosks. Souvenir shops mostly sell stuffed animals, shirts, and snow globes. You may view the zoo's items here.

Since the zoo is situated in a forest, it’s about an hour and a half away from Singapore’s business district. Hailing a cab isn’t practical if you’re just two people. From Bugis, we instead took a train and boarded a bus in Ang Mo Kio. This website greatly helped me in planning our commute.