Monday, 3 February 2014

Mia's Update: River Safari & Amazon River Quest


Yes, the river is calling.... 

I found these motifs of fishes on the ground really cute. Feels like you're following these fishes to enter the river.

And we shall kick start the day with Mississippi River! Yes, that's a hardworking beaver right there in front of the signboard. 
But the actual beaver isn't that hardworking. It was fast asleep underneath the stacked up twigs and branches I could only see part of its back. 
Apart from the American Beaver, the Mississippi River also houses exhibition tanks for Mississippi Paddlefish, Alligator Gar and Alligator Snapping Turtle.
 Yes, it's always much easier to snap a photo of a lifeless statue, isn't it?

Right after Mississippi River was the Congo River. 

And the first creature that greeted us was this really cute African Dwarf Crocodile! They seldom grow any longer than just 1.6m in length. Posted this picture directly up on my FB (that's why it's taken with my mickey mouse note 2) and tagged YS, stating that it's her height. Poor her kena further suan by a friend, "it's still longer than her." 
This cute crocodile only has some Tigerfish as neighbour, which I didn't even snap any pictures of. I mean, they're really just fish. 

Continuing on, we came to the Nile River. 

And we met this really cute Giant Puffer Fish with a funny face. It has a habitat of Congo Tetra as neighbours, to which YS commented upon seeing the difference between the picture on the signboard and the actual fishes, "pictures are deceiving."

And here's an example of Giraffe Catfish to prove YS's point. xp

Moving on, we came to Ganges River, the River of Faith.

Which happened to be located along this beautiful scenery. :)


Needless to say, the star of this exhibition area is this hugeass Indian Gharial. Its neighbour, the Goonch Catfish, simply pales in comparison to this active gharial. This is the first time I see a gharial/crocodile/alligator moving in water at the zoo!

After which we came to the Murray River, housing a habitat of fishes, namely the Murray Cod, Australian Lungfish and Barramundi, which resemble nothing but FOOD.

Following the trail, we went by the enclosure of the Crab-eating Macaques and came to the Mekong River.

And the main attraction at the Mekong River area has got to be this gigantic tank housing the Giant Freshwater Stingray and the Mekong Giant Catfish.

And they are really huge, albeit could have been much bigger in the wild under the right living condition.

Leaving the large tank, we came to the Lesser Adjutant Stork's enclosure, which once again look rather pretty in pictures.... but.
There's supposed to be the Elephant Trunk Snake as its enclosure neighbour, but we didn't seem to spot any snake inside.

Moving on, we came to the Yangtze River.

Which actually felt kind of CNY-ish with all the red lanterns hanging around.

Here, we met a pretty stoned Yangtze Alligator, along with the Chinese Giant Salamander (AKA "baby fish" in Mandarin due to its baby like cries) and the Sturgeon, which I couldn't snap any pictures of them.

There's also this weird looking turtle, which I really have no idea what are they.

And after saying goodbye to the Yangtze River, we finally came to the highlight number 1 of the day.
THE GIANT PANDAS! :)

However, what came out to greet us first was the Golden Pheasant. HAH!

After which, came the Red Panda, a pair (or more?) of them, and they're such pretty cuties! Look at that face, how can anybody not fall in love with this bundle of fur?

And before meeting JiaJia and KaiKai in person, we got introduced to how their favourite snacks/food were prepared.

 KaiKai showing off his bulky physique. HAHAHA!
 Actually he was just really busy eating his bamboo shoots....

And in such an unglamorous manner too.

 After which, we left the enclosure housing Kai Kai and passed through these cute signboards before reaching at Jia Jia's enclosure. Yup, the pair of Giant Pandas are actually separated.




Other than the tuff of fur on top of Kai Kai's head (giving him the obvious Onion Head), another way to differentiate them got to be the way they eat! Jia Jia definitely munches on her bamboo shoots way more demurely. :)

And after seeing Jia Jia and Kai Kai filling their stomachs, it's time to fill ours! When we reached this one and only cafe located inside the premise, it was so crowded I immediately became full, no joke.
 

Fortunately, we still managed to grab a small table by the door just as the previous diners vacant the table. I guess this is more of the "kids' section" with smaller/shorter than usual tables and chairs with cute panda drawings on the wall. 
 

And how can you NOT have the Panda Cappuccino and Panda Pau? The coffee was rather weak, what else to expect from a monopoly-cafe huh? Whereas the pau was, passable? Much better than those I had at HK Ocean Park, though. The chocolate custard inside was pretty good, although not much. And the pau was still pretty soft and fluffy as it was served piping hot. 
But seriously, who cares when they're so cute and served at the one and only eatery you can find located inside the premise? The nearest eating place got to be the River Safari Tea House located at the entrance plaza, there really isn't much choice for us. 

After our lunch, we crossed the wooden bridge spanning across the Upper Seletar Reservoir and did some camwhoring along the way with the pretty sight that overlook the tranquil waters.

Anyway, cheap thrill for the day. WE CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF THE GIRAFFE OVER AT THE ZOO!


We were just in time for the 2pm ride, which we've booked at the ticketing booth in the morning. Yes, you gotta book your slot for the Amazon Ride and according to their staff, they pretty much get fully booked by 11 plus in the morning so do book early if you wanna give this ride a go, which is still complimentary for the time being!

Basically to kick start the ride, your boat get lifted by the platform and you've get a teeny weeny slidedown to get a splash of water (if you're seated at the first row).

 That's how it looked like inside the boat-lift.

Mere seconds before the splash...

Frankly speaking, this ride is pretty disappointing, lasting only 10 to 15 minutes I supposed? My highlights for the day gotta be just the lonely Jaguar and the Caribbean Flamingo. The rest of the animals were either sleeping/hiding, or just couldn't be seen so easily on a moving boat. I was really hoping I can see the Capybara, but all I saw that day was an empty enclosure. :(

 After the disappointing Amazon ride, we following the trail along the viewing deck and met the Jaguarundi, which actually looks pretty cute. :)


Then we arrived at the Squrriel Monkey Forest, housing a habitat of these cuties!


You can actually get pretty close to them, however, with the staff keeping a watchful eye on you just in case some joker decided to pick a fight with these adorable tiny primates.

After bidding the cute monkeys goodbye, we came to our final stop for the day.

 The Amazon Flooded Forest. And over here, you can find one of my favourite zoo animal, ever.


 OTTERS! Unlike the small clawed river otters housed at the zoo, the River Safari housed the 'upsized' version of the Giant River Otters.
But the size doesn't change the fact that they're so adorable!

 Along with the otters, we also saw the Electric Eel
 And the Red-bellied Piranha, whose bellies look more yellow than red, to be honest.

 Then we came to yet another huge tank, housing the manatees (mermaids, yikes!), pacu and arapaima.
 If you're wondering why all the manatees are crowding at the floating box...

It's because it's their feeding box!

And to end our day at the safari, we went by the otters' enclosure again and saw one of them coming up for a quick scratch! Aww...

The River Safari is open 9:00am to 6:00pm daily.
For more information, visit HERE

Till then,
Mia

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