Nocturnal zooing

Published: Monday 15 August 1994

-- Night life in Singapore can now mean observing tropical animals. A new wildlife park, the Night Safari Park, has been set up on 40 hectares next to the Singapore Zoological Gardens. Across extra-wide moats or through camouflaged fences, visitors can see 1,200 creatures from more than 90 species, nearly half of which are endangered. These include African bongos, Himalayan bharals, Asian elephants, bearded pigs and giant anteaters.

The animals are a welcome addition to Singapore, whose wildlife parks have used science and a little commonsense to make life in captivity much easier for penguins, polar bears and a lively multitude of other birds, mammals, reptiles and marine life.

At the Jurong Bird Park, many of the cages -- some of which are 20 metres high -- are built into the side of grassy slopes. A massive glass aviary contains a temperature- and humidity-controlled jungle, where many tropical species are kept. The aviary, where tropical storms are simulated, also houses an acclimatisation pen for new exhibits. All this can be viewed from a monorail that traverses the grounds and even cuts through the aviary.

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