All through the history of zoos, one thing has remained constant – zoos operate during the day a close at night. In fact, it is typical of many zoos to have a strict closing time, during which the visitors must vacate the zoo premises. However, this is not to mean that all wild animals are asleep at night. Very few of them actually, remain inactive during the night. So why not explore the nocturnal habitats of wild animals? Well, the Night Safari in Singapore allows you to do so.
The History And Management Of The Zoo
The Night Safari is the first nocturnal zoo in the world. The idea of such a zoo was first conceptualized by Dr. Ong Swee Law in the 1980s. However, it took some time for the idea to come to fruition, with Night Safari opening its doors on 26 May 1994. The construction cost for this unique zoo was pegged at S$ 63 million and it occupies 86 acres (35 hectares) adjacent to the Upper Selector Reservoir and Singapore Zoo. Occupying a humid tropical setting – secondary rainforest – the zoo mainly has tropical species of animal. The park is managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
The Make Up And Structure Of The Zoo
Night Safari has over 2,500 animals spanning over 130 species. 38% of these animals are threated species. Some of the animal attractions in the park include the Asian elephants, the pangolins, the Indian rhinoceros, the tarsiers, the Malayan flying foxes, the giant flying squirrels, and fishing cats.
The zoo is designed to mimic the natural habitat of the animals in the zoo and thus it is divided into 7 geographical regions including Asian Riverine Forest and the Himalayan Foothill. Importantly, it is also an open air-zoo that makes use of naturalistic enclosures rather than cages that are typical of most zoos. For instance, the cattle grids are used to prevent the hoofed animals in the zoo from moving from one habitat to another. Hot wires designed by twigs were used to keep animals away from the boundaries, instead of the typical cagy enclosures.
Additionally, the lighting in the zoo was designed by Simon Corder to mimic the full moonlighting. As such, it is dim enough to appear as the moon and not disturb the nocturnal behavior of the animals but also bright enough for the visitors to use.
In terms of exploring the zoo, visitors have the option of using trams as well as exploring on foot. Walking trails such as the Leopard Trail and the Fishing Cat Trail allow visitors to get up close and candid with the animals while still being very safe. On the other hand, the trams allow users to explore a very large part of the zoo with ease.
The Popularity Of The Night Safari
In terms of popularity, it is very popular with both domestic and international tourists. It receives about 1.1 million visitors every year and on May 29, 2007, the park received its 11 millionth visitor. This is a testament to the interest of exploring wildlife behavior during night times.