I returned to one of my favorite spots in Singapore - the Singapore Zoo. The last time I was here was in July of 2010, when Justin and I celebrated our union, riding into the celebrations atop an elephant. When I was in school I had volunteered at the zoo for a short stint and was assigned to the elephants. That was when I fell in love with these gentle giants. They became my favorite animals and my dream job is to someday be able to care for them.
Today I visited my old haunt with one of my best friends, Elisa and her 6 month old baby girl Noms. We decided to start the day off with the Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife, where you get to dine alongside the Orangutans and take photos with them. About seven or eight Orangutans joined us for breakfast this morning, munching on leaves and sunflower seeds. Despite my experiences with the monkeys on Sisters' Island, I love these creatures. Watching the mother orangutan carry two young ones on her back, feeding and caring for them, it's such a sight to behold.
We managed to watch several shows including my favorite Elephants at Work and Play, walk around the zoo to see all the animals and catching them at feeding times. I thought it strange that the zoo was much smaller than I remember it to be, but everything probably seemed bigger when you were a kid. Still, there was a lot of walking, although we didn't mind. It was a beautiful day and the zoo was like a mini rainforest, paved with walking trails. There was plenty of shade from the towering trees and the occasional gentle breeze provided some respite from the island's unrelenting humidity. And Noms has been such a trooper even though we stayed all day from half past 8 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon!
There are too many different enclosures to choose from to call my favorite, but I do love the Primate Kingdom - the monkey enclosures, and walking through the Fragile Forest - you walk through a covered enclosure without any barriers between you and the creatures of the simulated rainforest. I also fed the giraffe and the elephants (naturally), carried a ball python, and came nose to nose with a fruit bat. The mandrill and its rainbow bottom tickled us, the chimps' resourcefulness commanded our respect and the scuttling rhino iguana gave us the heebie jeebies. I never cease to be amazed by Mother Nature's creations and how they evolve and adapt to this world we call home. I just feel sad that these creatures at the zoo had to give up their freedom in order to educate us humans, the greater and yet, lesser creatures, in the lesson of living in simplicity, harmony and contentment.