Singapore Night Safari

The Singapore Night Safari is probably the only place of its kind in the world. A zoo that opens at night. Seeing the animals at night is really very different from seeing them in the day as most animals are nocturnal and naturally more active at night. The only problem with this place was that one cannot get good photos of the animals what with its natural settings which mean the place is dark.

Handheld, no flash and high ISO at 12800 and slow shutter speed. And despite that, I did managed to take some pretty decent photos if I may said so myself. 

 

Dusky Langur @ Tanjong Tuan, Port Dickson

The first thing we noticed when we alighted from our bus at the PNB Ilham Resort was a monkey on a tree next to the road. Not any monkey but a Dusky Langur! Immediately those with readily available camera started snapping. Unfortunately for me, my gear was still in the bag and not setup and I know by the time I get anything ready, the little creature will be long gone, what with the oooh and haaa that the whole bus was making over it. And true enough, it soon sprung off.

The next with nature photography is that one need to seize every opportunity that comes along because you never know when it will happen again. And I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t manage a shot of it. But with hope eternal, after check in and on our way up to the lighthouse for the raptor watch, I was hopeful that we can spot more of them. But sadly even after doing a unplanned for trek through the reserve, we only saw 2 Long Tailed Macaque. I think M sense my disappointment or she was just as disappointed as me. On our way back to the resort while the rest of the group went back up to the lighthouse or to their room, she suggested going back to the alighting point to see when the langur has returned. And of course no luck.

There was a side road there and we decided to take a walk down to see what was there. Some birds – mainly Oriental Magpie Robin and a couple of Asian Glossy Starlings. And then we saw this tree.

Any by golly, Mother Nature was smiling on us for once! It was crawling with the Dusky Langur. Not one, not two but at least 8 – 9 of them. And I had my photos! Look at them. Aren’t they so so cute!

Further down the road, there were another 3 on a mangrove plant. So we had our fill of the Langur.

The next day some of the others also wanted to come and see the Langur. But sadly the road to the tree was closed and there was a gate. So we were very fortunate that we had stumbled upon them yesterday.

We did spot a couple of the Langur on our way to and from the Light House along the main path. But the lighting there was much poorer and there were too many visitors walking up and down and I didn’t get any usable shots from.

We heard there were 4 types of monkey in this area. The Tailed Macaque; Dusky Langur; Pig Tailed Macaque and Silver Langur. We didn’t get to sight the latter 2 but I happy that at least we got the Dusky Langur.

Wild Boars of Pasir Ris

I lived in Pasir Ris for a long time and I have heard so much about the wild boars of Pasir Ris but have until recently never seen one in the area. Not in Pasir Ris Park where there are signs warning of them or even at the Punggol Waterway/Lorong Halus where they were first reported in the press.

The other night though, on a whim was running along Drive 3 hoping to catch a glimpse of a family of White Bellied Sea Eagle. Instead of the Eagle, I stumbled upon a whole group of wild boars at the junction of Drive 3 and the Mainland Fish Farm. Here is a video I took of them scavenging for food.

I read in the press complaints of the wild boars – of them being a danger to the public. This being my first time encountering such a big group – there were at least more than 10, I played it safe and stood behind 2 big construction boulders (in the foreground of the video). However my observation was that the wild boars were more afraid of humans than we should be of them. Every time I made a sudden movement, the whole lot of them will run into the forest.

Nevertheless, I think with such a big group of them, there will be bound to be some animal/human conflicts especially if there are piglets. Also with them being so near the road, there is always the potential for them to go onto the road ending up as roadkill or causing a nasty accident.

I would like to suggest to the authorities to consider putting up a fence to stop the wild boars from encroaching onto the road. The fence can start from the perimeter fence of Mainland Fish Farm running along the edge of the forest grass verge to the Vue 8 condominium, a distance of about roughly 50 metres. The fence will keep the wild boars within the forested area and not go onto the pavement and roads and not run into any humans. Same time, it will serve as a sort of deterrent to itchy backside public who try to get too close to them. Also, the authorities should consider putting up prominent notices warning against feeding the wild boars. Hopefully, with these measures, it will be a win win situation for both the wild boars and the public and not result in the authorities having to cull the wild boars.

It our Jungle out there

Nature is funny. We keep destroying forests and green and yet mother nature never gives up. And we get all sort of animals and birds coming into the heartland and some making it a home. Like this Crested Goshawk in Bedok which is building a nest on a tree right next to a HDB block and above a carpark.

Let just hope no selfish stupid ingrate makes a complaint about them being a nuisance and AVA and Nparks will not “euthanise” them. 

Crocodiles!

I been seeing crocodiles and I mean real crocs and not monitor lizard like these people actually saw and mistook for crocodile. And no they are not at the zoo either but out here in “wild” Singapore.

A few years ago, one can hardly sight a crocodile at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve but nowadays a visit there is almost guaranteed one or two sightings. And there is no need to wander the whole place. There are usually at least 2 or 3 of them around the main river and can easily be spotted from the bridge. Like these:

And although I haven’t encounter one on the walking path yet, there are some that can be see basking in the sun

While  I happy that there are so many of them now, I wonder what is going to happen if one day some idiotic visitor gets too close and ends up getting injured. I have seen the antics of some people especially from a certain country in Asia and the stupid things they do. I couldn’t care less if they get bitten in the process of getting a selfie with the croc or while throwing things at it to make it move but I will pity the poor croc who will only be protecting itself. 

Hopefully that day will not happen when the crocs have to be relocated or culled for the “safety” of the visitor.

Who afraid of Dog & Cat?

This irrational fear of dog and cat. Seriously it leaves me baffled. Sure nobody has to like them if they don’t want to but to fear them?

Look at this cat.How can someone fear a creature that looks so beautiful? And yet many many times I see people especially ladies screaming in shock and fear when a cat walk between their chairs at the food centre.

Look at this dog. Does it look like it will bite anyone? And yet I see people giving dogs like this a wide berth when they pass them by.

So I am highly perturbed when people talk about their fear of dogs and cats. Take this post from the Archbishop  on his Instagram on this stray cat found in their premises. And I quote “Now we are looking for someone to adopt her as some of the staff here are afraid of cats”  What are the staff afraid of? “If anything, it should be the cat that should be afraid of the human considering what it had been through to be in the stage that it had been found..

And these paranoid people about dogs in lifts: “Several families, particularly those with young children, had raised concerns about safety when there were big dogs using the lifts.TNP 3 December 2016. Safety around dogs? So far I have never heard of any body being attacked by a dog in a lift but I have heard of many cases where people have been rob, molested, and attacked by other people in lifts. So maybe we should ban people from taking lift too? 

Fact is most animals don’t attack human being unless provoked. So a cat will only scratch someone if say that person pulls his tail or hit it although I dare say, most time the cat will try to escape first. Dog especially the smaller breed will similarly not bit without provocation. Usually when they go near someone, it is because they are curious and want to be pat. The thing with dog is – don’t touch it unless the owner says it is ok.

But this letter writer takes the cake. Sure there are dog poo around my places and my neighbor’s  dogs bark whenever somebody walk by their door. But dog poo and barking is the least of my problem in my estate. Almost every day, I have to contend with this group of kids dashing up and down the staircase and corridors and in the playground screaming and shouting. Then there are the smoke and noise from a group of people who hang around the void deck every night chatting into the early hours. And the parents and guardians of the children at the playground inevitably leaves behind a lot of litters. Do I then ask for these people to be banned?

When I walk my little dog, I do not board the lift if there is someone already inside. I simply wait for the next lift. And the noise from the kids? Actually I like it very much. The sound of children at play is probably one of the most beautiful sound in the world and we should never ever complain that they are a nuisance. The others I can’t do much but just tolerate it as we do not live in isolation and we got to take the good and the bad that comes from living in a vibrant and alive community.

The thing is, we need to learn to live and let live. Sure we may be inconvenienced at time but that’s life. And if one cannot live with poo, barking, litter and what not, maybe that person should move to a deserted island away from the rest of the world. Oh but wait, there may be wild animals and other creepy crawlies on deserted island and which are definitely worse than dog and cats.