Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Penguin Coast (企鹅海岸) @ Jurong Bird Park (裕廊飞禽公园), Singapore

Penguins are one of the most adorable creatures in the world and their apparent clumsiness just adds on to the overall cute factor that many people find irresistible.

When i was a kid, the penguin enclosure at Jurong Bird Park was the key highlight. Now known as the Penguin Coast, the air-conditioned quarter was also popular with hyperactive children as air-conditioning was a luxury expense reserved for the rich back in the 1980s.

As a child, i looked upon these see-through "animal cages" as real-life educational tools. Until the arrival of the immensely successful animated movie; Happy Feet.

The scene where Mumble was confined to a similar glass enclosure is most shocking; partly because i can see a huge majority of penguins displaying the same spaced-out look in most penguin enclosures!

It is a dilemma situation - on one hand, i find it cruel to keep penguins (or any other animals) in small areas that are a far cry from their original habitat. On the other hand, i know how important it is to educate the public (especially the younger generation) on wildlife.

Coming back to Penguin Coast, there is an elevated viewing gallery for visitors who would like to have an above-water view. This is also a good place for some rest and relax from the hot weather outside!

This indoor den houses five species of penguins [Humboldt, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Fairy and King Penguins] with mirrors, rocky terrain and a roughly two-meter deep underwater view.

Thankfully, i can still see some penguins swimming in the water and supposedly playing with one another. It's comforting to see the social behaviour in play here.

Outdoor section features the jackass penguins! You may ask yourself - penguins can survive in such a hot and humid climate country like Singapore?!

Out of between 17 and 20 penguin species, Jackass penguins are one of the few that have adapted to the tropics even though almost all of them in this outdoor enclosure were trying to hide from the sun!

Back to the indoors again - Eye catching panels with useful information for everyone.

Such close-up view is impossible in the penguins' natural habitat in the wild. Damn, i know i can never be a naturalist! And as we are aware, there are often many schools of thought with no perfect answer!

Chubby puffins were kept separately in a smaller indoor enclosure within the same building.

Question - can penguins be found both the northern and southern hemisphere? The answer is no; penguins are naturally limited to the south.

Another question to test your knowledge - what are those white stuff on the rocks? Wear and tear? Paint? From the Gang of Four analysis, we deduce they were likely dried up bird poo!

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For information on location, pricing of tickets (for Jurong Bird Park of which the Penguin Coast is located) and other information, please click:

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