As a kid, a trip to the zoo was a very exciting event – especially since there aren’t that many in Malaysia. I last went to Zoo Negara, or the National Zoo when I was ten years old. I remember being fascinated by the animals and the wildlife shows. More than 10 years down the road, I went on a random trip there to see how the place has changed. :)
The 45-ha Zoo Negara is the first zoo in Malaysia and opened its doors in 1963. The area was surrounded by jungle until development started creeping in. Today, the zoo is enclosed by urban buildings and homes, making it one of the last green bastions in the city. The entrance is right in front of the very busy Middle Ring Road 2. Sometimes you might even see storks perched on the lamp posts along the highway!
The place is home to more than 5,000 animals and is run by an NGO, which relies on gate collections and sponsors. Entry is a rather hefty RM32 for Malaysians and RM53 for non-citizens.
From the entrance, the enclosures make a loop around the area. First off was the giraffe paddock. There were two animals in the area and they looked curiously at the men fixing a tall gazebo structure next to them.
There was something very graceful about their long necks and legs, and their double-lidded, long eyelashes which gave them a doleful, sleepy look.
“What are you doing?”
I love the giraffe’s coat, it was so sleek and pretty. :)
There is a large lake in the middle of the zoo, and storks often roost in the trees above or with their legs half submerged in cool water. Sometimes they fly outside the zoo, as they aren’t caged.
Emus remind me of dinosaurs, because they have a hook-like claw that acts like a dagger in hunting and combat. These large birds are native to Australia and are the second largest flightless bird in the world, after the ostrich. It was said that dinosaurs are big, leathery birds, so the resemblance isn’t lost on modern-day birds.
Emu meat is farmed and eaten. With more than 95% lean meat, it’s considered a healthy option packed with protein. Would you try emu meat?
In the aviary section. The wire mesh made it almost impossible to take good shots of the birds. Most were perched in the middle of the large cage, so it was hard to locate them between the branches and leaves.
The lion enclosure had one male lion panting in the shade. Poor thing.
The tigers were more frolicky and loved playing in the water. This one was probably looking at me and thinking about how much of a meal I would make. Or perhaps it got bored of people gawking at it and making growling noises at it all day.
PS: People at zoos, please stop making animal noises at the enclosures. A tiger will not roar in response to your tiger-imitating attempts. You just sound like an idiot and you annoy both the animal and me.
Such powerful muscles. I feel sad that people hunt this beautiful, magnificent creature for their fur and body parts.
The other enclosure was not so well kept, even though it had at least five tigers. The water was covered in algae. Imagine how the fur would have to be cleaned once the tigers take a soak. The one on the left seemed to share this sentiment, sighing as one powerful paw gripped the side of the concrete lol.
If you look at their behaviour, it’s no surprise that they are called big cats – because they really are feline-like. They act like house cats (albeit ones that can kill and eat you!)
A rare and beautiful Bengal white tiger.
A leopard with beautiful markings on its coat. The enclosure was covered in foliage and mostly obscured. I wasn’t able to see the animals clearly.
The Savannah Walk area, which had little hut gazebos to resemble an African grassplain.Visitors can rest in the shade for a bit before continuing.
The souvenir shop was filled with panda-related paraphernalia. Malaysia has two pandas on loan from China, and they had a cub in August so the media frenzy was nuts.
A camel sunning itself in the sand. The enclosure wasn’t very high, it could have easily walked out from the area. I wondered what they’d do if the camel suddenly decided to go berserk and ran out of its enclosure.
Flamingos in another lake-like area. These were pinkish-orange and looked healthy, unlike the flamingoes at Putrajaya Wetlands which were white due to diet deficiency .__.
A crocodile thermoregulating its body temp by opening its mouth and basking in the sun.
A very cute and eager goat who approached the fence in hopes that I would feed it. I’m sorry goat, I haz no food on me D:
An adorable tapir submerging itself in a pond of cool water. I immediately thought of the Pokemon Hypno.
Capybaras. The animals love resting in the water, since Malaysia’s weather is so hot.
I caught the hippos at a wrong time, just as they were finishing their bath. Their bodies looked so fat and shiny I wanted to squeeze them, but I’d probably end up dead. Hippos are deadlier than most animals and cause many deaths each year. They are so badass even crocs don’t dare to mess with them, despite their tubby appearance.
The Zoo Negara is a good place to bring your family and especially the kids on a weekend to learn more about animals. I guess it would be nice to bring a date here too. :) I missed the animal shows, but to those who want to watch them, they happen at 11.30am and 3.30pm daily (sealion and macaws).
How to Get There
-By Public Transport: Metrobus 16 @ KL Sentral bus hub. Stops directly at entrance. Or you can take the LRT Kelana Jaya line, get down at Wangsa Maju station and take a taxi, takes about 15mins.
- (From Ampang) On the Middle Ring Road 2, U-Turn at the Taman Melawati exit and take the first left.
- (From Gombak) Take the first left after the Taman Melawati exit flyover.
- Adults (Malaysian) RM32 (Normal rate). RM54 – inclusive of Giant Panda exhibit
- Children (Malaysian) RM11(Normal rate). RM22 -inclusive of Giant Panda exhibit
- Adults (Non-Malaysians) RM53 / RM85
- Children (Non-Malaysians) RM27 / 43
Opening hours: 9am – 5pm (Daily)
visit http://www.zoonegaramalaysia.my or call +603-41083422.