I’ve decided to finally get off my lazy butt and get this post out. ‘Cuz if I wait any longer, the little bit of memory I have regarding this trip might just fly out the window. And oh, there’s the persistent group of people yelling at me to get the post out and I’m scared they might do something if I delay this anymore than I already have. That too. *shudder*
Just kidding. 😛
Ok, so on with the post. Buckle your seat belts and get ready, ‘cuz this is gonna be one long ride. Ready? Ok, then! Let’s go!
After two pretty eventful field trips, we (the gang) were very excited about our last trip to the zoo. We weren’t expecting it to be as interesting as the one at Changi beach, since it was just gonna be a lot of walking around and staring at animals, but since it was our last field trip for the semester, we were all looking forward to having a good time and enjoying ourselves to the maximum.
We got into the buses, and after a nice, long, half an hour ride, came to our destination. Singapore Zoological Gardens. Or, more popularly, ‘The Zoo’.
We entered the zoo and then split up into our respective groups and crowded around our TAs. Since there were so many of us going around the zoo, we decided to take separate routes. So, while some of the groups went around the zoo clockwise (its pretty much a huge, circular area), we decided to go anti-clockwise. Our Practical Manuals had been written with the zoo map in mind, so basically we went about seeing the animals at the end of the manual first, and then proceeding backwards.
So, we all rolled up our sleeves and started out on our long walk. We said hello to the camels, llamas and the komodo dragon (*shudder*, lizards, any kind, freak the hell out of me) and then walked into the polar bear enclosure.
Did you know that polar bears actually have black skin? Yep, they do! And their fur is actually colourless and transparent, not white. Polar bears are not suited for tropical regions, and even though the zoo does all it can to make sure that the environment of the bears is as close to their natural habitat as possible, let’s face it – Singapore will never be able to mimic the Arctic. Animals like these don’t belong to the zoo, but I digress. Back to the topic.
After the polar bears, it was time to pay a visit to our friendly ungulates – the rhinos. Not surprisingly, the batch we saw were rolling around in a pile of poo and horning each other. (Yikes. That did not come out right. :P)
We then sauntered over to the zebra section, where our TA decided to ask us a very enlightening question.
“Do zebras have black stripes on white skin, or white stripes on black skin?”
My thought bubble: “Um…does it really matter?”
Anyway, for those who do care, zebras have black stripes on white skin. Not that it would make a difference if it was the other way round. Would it?
A little while later, we arrived at the lions enclosure. Just a bunch of them lazing around, lying in the sun, though I don’t blame them in the least. What a boring life they must lead, those poor animals.
Next stop, leopards. Interesting fact to know: leopards and jaguars can actually be differentiated by their coat patterns. Leopards have coats with rosettes (tiny circle-like patterns) without a spot in the centre, whereas jaguars have rosettes with the spots.
Can ya guess which one this is? Cookies for the ones with the right answer! 🙂
We didn’t realize how hot and humid the day had become until we stepped inside an air-conditioned room, which had creepy crawlies in various glass boxes. What a horrid decision to make: stay in the room and be surrounded all around by hissing, crawling, creeping insects that reminded us of Fear Factor (and not in a good way), or go out into the hot sun and start spouting sweat again. After some contemplation, we chose the latter and stepped out of the air-conditioned room, upon which MG and I had the following conversation.
MG: They should make the whole zoo air-conditioned, damn it!
Me: Well, if they did that, in about a 100 years, all the animals would’ve evolved and grown fur. Then we’d have nothing to see but furry animals all around.
MG: Do you think that in a 100 years, Singaporeans will all have evolved fur, given the amount of time they spend in air-conditioned rooms?
Me: Haha! Imagine that! Furry Singaporeans!
And we chuckled our way to the next exhibit. And the laughter died on my lips. We’d come to the freakiest part of the entire zoo. No, not hungry carnivores, or crawling insects or slithering snakes. Worse.
Butterflies. Hundreds and thousands of them. Acting completely out of character and buzzing around as if we weren’t even there! They managed to completely freak me out. A few butterflies fluttering by are ok, hundreds of them swarming around you like they’re about to attack you are not. *eeeks*
This particular butterfly climbed onto a guy’s shirt, and refused to let go. We tried to shoo it, but it wouldn’t budge! I ask you, is that characteristic of butterflies?!? Well, it finally let go, but I bet it was pretty pissed!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bat-o-phobic, or whatever you call it. I just don’t like them very much. Those long, leathery wings, those scary eyes, and the upside-down hanging thing – it just sorta freaks me out a little.
To make things worse, these little lemurs started hopping onto the platform and dashing around between our legs. I screamed and hopped and made quite a fool of myself trying to avoid them, and gave all my friends a hearty laugh.
After that, a baboon was nice enough to show us its colourful ass, and let us take a picture of it.
So did a crocodile (or an alligator – I couldn’t really be sure), but I’m not sure you can call that an ‘ass’, really. It’s more of a tail. But a fine one, at that. Magnificent.
After that, it was a quick stroll through the primate areas, where we saw the monkeys, the Hamadryan Baboons and banded mongooses…
…followed by some baby kangaroos and a white tiger.
And with that, we were done. We’d made an entire round of the zoo, and it was time for our test (yes, we still had to endure that one torture before being let go of). We sat in a huge circle at the entrance of the zoo (I’m sure many tourists gave us weird looks) and wrote a quick 10-min MCQ test.
And just like that, it was all over. We all stood together for one group photo with our TA, and then we all gathered into our buses and rode back to the university (we made sure not to miss the bus this time around! :P). It was a happy journey, ‘cuz we’d all had an extremely good time and had gotten plenty of information on the various animals (stuff I’ve refrained from mentioning, ‘cuz the scientific aspects of zoo-traveling can get pretty darn boring for non-biology students :P) We came back all brown and happy, and decided that this was the best trip we’d had all semester. What a way to say good-bye to an amazing group of trips, where we’d gained so much knowledge in such fun ways.
I grouched about the subject a lot before the exams, but now that it’s over, I’ve gotta say this. Studying the subject was a great experience and a lot of fun and as much as it shocks me to say this…
I’m gonna miss ya, little fella. 🙂