Thursday, September 22, 2011

National Zoo

I have planned this trip for quite some time. Have always wanted to bring Clarisse to look at animals in the zoo. Hence, last week, coinciding with the Malaysia Day national holidays, I took the opportunity to bring my family to Zoo Negara (Malaysia’s National Zoo). From my house, it’s less than 30 kilometres away to the Zoo Negara. The driving journey, including some traffic jam, takes around 30 minutes to the zoo. Personally, I have not been to the zoo since my schooling days. So, the last time I have stepped foot into Zoo Negara was more than 20 years.

Ticket price for Zoo Negara is RM25 for Malaysian and RM35 for Non-Malaysian. Kids are charged RM9 with Malaysian ID and RM18 for non-Malaysian. I would not think the price is hefty considering the amount of food which is needed to feed the animals daily and zoo does not get visitors by the hundreds or thousands daily. 

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 Entrance to Zoo Negara

The entrance to the zoo is well managed from what I see, perhaps because it’s not school holidays season and visitors’ number is still manageable. The facade looks well maintained as well with the coat of paints on the walls still look new.

Our first visit was to the primate areas where different varieties of monkeys and apes. Clarisse was amazed by the gibbons with different colours all in 1 cage. Now, come to think of it, I don’t recall seeing chimpanzees. Do they have chimpanzees in Zoo Negara? Have anyone seen them in our zoo?

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 3 gibbons playing together

 Neighbouring the primates are the our national bird, the hornbill. There are also a few varieties of hornbills showcased by Zoo Negara. Besides the usual ones that we see in Sarawak, there is also a white-crowned hornbill which I find kinda interesting and majestic.

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 Hornbill – Malaysia’s national bird & the White-Crowned Hornbill

Moving on from the hornbill, we went to see the domestic animals. The miniature horse caught our attention with its nice brown and white fur. To add on it, we’re used to see tall, muscular horses, not miniature ones. This miniature horse certainly attracted lots of attention as we can see scores of people petting its head. It’s definitely basking on all the attention it’s getting.

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The miniature horse

The rabbits with its different fur colours also attracted lots of attention but unfortunately, these are rabbits which you can usually find in local shops and not those long-ear rabbits which are much bigger in size.

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 Rabbits, lots of them but mostly are camera shy

The aquarium section is also a main draw for the zoo as it has penguins on display. I am amazed by the speed a penguin can swim. Looking through the glass aquarium, you can see for yourself how fast and agile a penguin is underwater. It’s almost like the penguin is gliding underwater as to how a bird glides in the sky.

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Penguin on the lookout for Batman

When it comes to fishes, it’s really a challenge for me. I hardly know the names of fishes and I do not find fishes any interesting at all except for how big they can grow up to in the water. The sizes that some fishes can grow up to are certainly many, many more times bigger than what you are being served in a restaurant.

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 Name of Fish 1 : Dunno, Fish 2 : Also dunno

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With so many fishes around, surely I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity for photo taking with Clarisse and the fishes even though I won’t be able to name them :-)

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 Once a United, always a United and PEACE !!

 After visiting the aquarium area, we took a quick lunch break and then proceeded to the dry land where we came across the giant tortoise and hippopotamus. I am fascinated to see such huge tortoises carrying such a big load on their back. Am sure the shell must weigh a lot more than its body. The hippos are true to their nature than they hardly move, like the alligators. All staying still in the water like statues.

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 Help, I’m having backache !!

 Of all the beasts in the animal kingdom, I like tigers the most. Perhaps it’s due to its combination of black and orange which I find making the beast very outstanding. Hence whenever I’m at a zoo, I would definitely look for tigers. When I reached the tigers’ area in Zoo Negara, I was lucky to see some active tigers. None of them were napping. In fact, 2 tigers were playing with each other while we were there. It’s nice to see them enjoying each other’s company.

2011-09-17 13.47.01         Yipee, have reached the tiger’s section in the zoo…..

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 The 2 tigers playing with each other

After the tigers, we saw some many storks at a nearby lake. All of them enjoying the cloudy afternoon. We took the opportunity to walk close by the storks and took some close shots of them. I am not sure though whether these storks are permanent birds of the zoo or they are migrating birds who are currently in Malaysia. Hmm.. should have asked them for their passports for verification..

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 2 “stalkers” by the side of the lake

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 More “stalkers” on the trees

After saying goodbyes to the “stalkers” storks, we reached to the homes of my daughter’s favourite animal – the elephants! There’s someone who sells sugarcane by the side for RM3. A few visitors bought the sugar cane and feed these giant mammals. One of the elephants is so smart that after taking 1 sugar cane, it leaves the sugar cane by the side and asked for more. Only when there’s no more handouts from the visitors that the elephant went back to eat the sugar canes which it has gathered earlier. The elephant was the only animal which Clarisse mentioned over and over again after we have left the zoo. She also took a picture with the elephant.

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This is the smart elephant which asked and gathered sugar canes

The giraffes are the neighbours for the elephants. I like giraffes too for their spots on their bodies, similar to those of a leopard. We also took some photographs with this tall animal. Wonder if I would have the chance to go to the Savannah are one day to see theses animals in the wild and in their natural habitat.

2011-09-17 14.25.52    The tallest residents of Zoo Negara

After spending close to 3 hours in the zoo, it’s time to say “bye bye”. I must say that we all enjoyed our zoo outing as the weather has been kind to us. It only started to rain after we left the zoo. It has been raining the last few days and I wouldn’t want the rain to spoil this trip, planned specially for Clarisse to see the animals in real life rather than in “reel life.


Saying goodbye to Zoo Negara

I wouldn’t be able to say when will be the next time I will visit Zoo Negara. Probably the next time I step foot into Zoo Negara, Clarisse will be bringing her kids with her, who knows?? The following day, we all went to the National Science Centre but that will be told in another blog.

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