Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Singapore Zoo - last visit

UPDATE 5 February 2009

Just to let my viewers know I have gone to the UK as my Dad is not well.

I will upload the next edition of my blog as soon as I can after I have returned to Singapore.


Hello and welcome.

This is the concluding post of my trip to the Singapore Zoo. Some animals, a couple of birds and a few orchids. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Next time I will post shots from my latest experiment with macro-photography.

This first shot is of a South African antelope. Do you know what the difference is between an antelope and a deer?

In this issue you have some homework to do!


Male giraffes can grow to almost 6 metres
The average lifespan in the wild is about 10 years,
but in captivity they can live up to 28 years

Tell me, what is special about their tongue?

Now, how did anything get called a warthog?
Can you tell me why the warts are useful?

It was all a bit snoozy by the time I got to
the lions. The lionesses usually do the hunting
through co-operative teamwork

And then they sleep! Not that these lions had
to exert themselves much to get lunch!

Cushions are a bit hard....

Male lions rather offend principles of equality.
They get the women to do the dangerous work,
the top guy gets all the ladies
and when the women have killed their prey
the bloke takes the lion's share!

"Oi! have a look at me tonsils!
I think they're inflammed."
The most energy I saw with
this lot was a yawn

The King of the Jungle finally decided he
ought to do something. I have searched
everywhere on the Internet but can't
find anything on why he's sniffing leaves!

Question: when an adult lion roars,
how far away can the roar be heard?
Answer is here

Orchids are the national flower
of Singapore

There are many orchid gardens in Singapore.
There are many species of orchid

Which species of orchid is the Singapore Orchid
and why was it chosen?

This is a male Electus Parrot.
What a beautiful beak! It can
only be found in one part of the
world. Your question is, where?

And believe it or not this is his wife!
This is the female of the species.

There are 17 species of penguins.
Which species is this one?

Why is the White Rhino called "White"?
Check you answer:

Zebras live in some parts of Africa and can
run for a long time at about 40 km per hour

They feed mostly on rough grass

Question for you. In what way are their
stripes useful?

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Hello and welcome to my blog.

I hope you enjoyed the White Bengal Tigers. Continuing with shots from my visit to Singapore Zoo this posting is dedicated to Primates. You will see 5 different types:

Proboscis monkeys (photo on the right)
Douc Langurs
Hamadryas Baboons (parental guidance advised!)
Brown Capuchins

The word 'primate' generally refers to mammals with flexible hands and feet and a highly developed brain, such as a monkey, an ape, or a human being that have developed complex social relationships and structure.

I didn't include photos of human beings, although there were plenty of fine examples at the zoo!

Next time will be the last posting dedicated to the residents of Singapore zoo. I'll show you a variety of animals.


Proboscis monkeys have the longest nose of
all primates. It can reach 17.5 cm (a quarter
of the body length). It is thought it is attractive
to the ladies!

Those living in the wild inhabit Borneo.
They like to live in mangroves, swamp forest
and by the river

They feed on leaves, seeds, fruits, flowers and
a small amount of animal prey. They live to
about 13 years old. They are an endangered

The Red-Shanked Douc Langurs are probably
the most colourful of the primates. They are
often referred to as the 'costumed ape'. They
are very agile and frequently make leaps of
up to 6 m (20 feet)

They live in groups of 4 - 15 though groups of
50 have been reported. They live in the tropical
and monsoon forests of Cambodia, Laos and
Vietnam. There are usually two ladies for each

Like the proboscis monkeys they are an
endangered species. The douc monkey eats a
variety of leaves and certain fruits. They have
big stomachs to enable digestion

They have a lifespan of about 25 - 30 years.
Much of their time is spent eating, digesting
food, grooming and dozing. Not bad!

They have been rarely observed in the wild
so little is known about their natural breeding
habits. The San Diego Zoo is collaborating with
the Singapore Zoo to chronicle the emergence
of behaviours in captive red-shanked douc
langurs and proboscis monkeys from birth
to 18 months

They live peacefully with each other and have
been known to share their food by offering it
to another. This is quite rare amongst old
world monkeys

The Hamadryas baboon lives in Ethiopia,
Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. It prefers
the rocky desert areas and the subdesert
regions that have grass

The pink “sitting pads” on a baboon’s rump
make it more comfortable for the animal to
sleep in a seated position

The smallest social unit, called a
harem, contains one adult male,
one or more “follower” males,
and up to 9 adult females with
their young

Usually, a baboon mother gives birth to one
baby in the late spring or early wintertime.
How many monkeys can you see in this photo?
A hamadryas baboon can live for around 38
years in a zoo

The females are ruled by aggression and stay
by the side of the male at all times. This
babboon can live up to about 35 years

Hamadryas baboons are omnivorous and eat
a wide variety of foods, including grass, roots,
tubers, nuts, insects, eggs, and small birds
and mammals.

It’s best not to smile at a baboon—amongst
their own kind, showing teeth can be
interpreted as a threat!

Orangutans eat fruit, flowers, leaves, seeds etc.
They will also eat insects and small animals.
After a morning of searching for food and eating
they have an afternoon nap.

Orangutans are about 2/3 the size of the gorilla.
The word 'orangutan' is Malay and means
"Man of the forest".

They are thought to be very intelligent.
They use found objects as tools, like a large
leaf to protect them from the rain.
In the wild they live in Borneo and Northern

The capuchin monkey derives its name from
the Capuchin monk. The monkey's hair-pattern
resembles the monk's hood

They are very clever and are often
trained to entertain (the famous
monkey of the organ grinder) but
also to help people. They can be
helping hands for quadriplegics.
Around the house, the monkeys help
by doing tasks including microwaving
food and washing the quadriplegic's face

Jack, in the film "Pirates of the Carribean"
is a capuchin monkey

They live in Central and South America in
groups of 6 - 40 monkeys. Their life expectancy
in the wild is 15 - 25 years. During the mosquito
season they crush millipedes and rub the remains
on their backs as a mosquito repellent.
Hmm, perhaps I should try that here in Singapore!

Add Video

Thursday, January 01, 2009

White Bengal Tigers

A happy, healthy and harmonious New Year to you! Welcome to the first edition of my blog in 2009. I still have a few photos of Australia I'd like to show you but let's take a break from that beautiful land.

This posting is dedicated entirely to the stunningly gorgeous White Bengal Tiger. I'd like to be able to tell you I took these shots out in the wild, risking my life for photography. You wouldn't believe me though if you know that there have only been about 12 sightings of the White Tiger in the wild in the last 100 years!

These shots were taken with a Nikon 70 - 300mm zoom lens from the safety of Singapore Zoo!

Unless you live in Singapore you will probably not know that a few short weeks ago two of these tigers killed an employee of the zoo. It was entirely the fault of the employee who made his way into the compound and provoked the animals. They only did what is their nature to do. Unfortunately help arrived too late and the poor man died as a result of his injuries. You can read about it here.

Proof that as gorgeous as they are, they are extremely dangerous.

I hope you enjoy the photos of these extraordinary animals.

Next time I'll show you some primates


Unlike domestic cats, Bengal Tigers love water.
Already at 9am in the morning they were
enjoying cooling off. As you can see from the
first photo he did test the temperature first!

In the wild it is thought they have a life
expectancy of about 10 years.
In zoos it is often double that

The White Tiger is a good swimmer
but a poor climber. The Jaguar is the only
other cat that likes water

Tigers normally have yellow eyes. White Tigers
have ice-blue eyes

The use of natural barriers like streams,
rock walls and vegetation to separate animals
from visitors defines the "open" concept of
Singapore Zoo

White tigers are born to Bengal tigers that
carry an unusual gene needed for white

It is not an albino, or a sub-species

Two orange tigers carrying the mutant gene
may produce white offspring. White tigers
bred together will produce only white cubs.

In nature only one White Tiger is born out of
every 10,000 normal orange-coloured Bengal
tigers. But it is thought that only about 5000
tigers remain in the wild. At the beginning of
the 19th century there were about 100,000!

It is believed that if you are born in the
Chinese Year of the Tiger you are
unusually lucky

The tiger's forehead has a marking which
resembles the Chinese character 王, which
means "king". In Eastern Asia the tiger is the
King of the beasts

All white tigers in captivity in the world
today are the descendants of one white
tiger, Mohan, caught by the Maharaja of
Rewa in the year 1951

The night vision of a tiger is six times
better than that of humans

They have little stamina, so they use stealth
to catch any prey in their sights. They can,
however, reach a top speed of 60 km per hour
But if one came at me, it wouldn't need speed.....
I'd die of fright!

Unlike lions, tigers are basically solitary.
They come together for mating, when
sharing a kill, or watering hole. I hope you
enjoyed seeing the tigers.