While you may know Singapore is famous for its amazing food, rich history and culture as well as its bustling city streets, you probably didn’t know it’s home to four incredible wildlife reserves. Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and the famous Singapore Zoo are must-visit destinations for anyone visiting Singapore and they’re working tirelessly to achieve conservation and survival of a huge range of animal species. Beyond this, staff are committed to bringing education and awareness to the public, showing us the impact our choices have on the animals you see at the parks and how we can do better!
Watch Matt’s amazing video from his incredible trip to all 4 wildlife reserves:
Both Matt and I have been very vocal about our concerns over the animal tourism industry. So, when the team at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) contacted us, we told them our focus on our visit would be finding out how they’re ensuring the animals are taken care of appropriately, living full and happy lives and what the reserves are doing to make a difference to the survival and treatment of animals globally. Turns out, the team are doing incredible things at each of the reserves, offering the chance for people to experience beautiful animals in world-class habitats while learning about the importance of conservation and how we can each make a difference.
As Matt saw first-hand, the animals are treated with love and respect, receiving the very best care available, like dedicated animal nutritionists as well as a healthcare and research centre. At no point are any of the animals offered up for rides to tourists. Instead, visitors are afforded the chance to assist with feeding, but touching is strictly forbidden. Getting up close and personal with an endangered rhinoceros is sure to have an impact on any person, hammering home the importance of conservation as your eyes struggle to take in the beautiful, peaceful soul before you.
The reserves also have a proactive approach to sustainability, offering water refilling stations all over the park (not just charging you $7 per bottle of water or something ridiculous). All on-site restaurants use minimal disposable food service items as well. Further, they’ve implemented the use of the Wildlife Witness App, which encourages travellers to report animal abuse, animals shows or products for sale, spotted around the world. These reports are anonymously sent to TRAFFIC, who investigate them.
Fearlessly, WRS has implemented the slogan, ‘You buy, they die,’ a powerful reminder that purchasing animal products creates demand for them. By making the conscious decision to stop purchasing animal products, you are directly fighting the cruelty many animals sadly receive. I strongly suggest you visit this website, created by WRS, showing the sad reality many animals face and what we can do to take a stand.
We’re at a point now where the selfish requirements of many people are causing the deterioration and gradual extinction of many species. Day by day we’re losing more beautiful animals from this world. It may feel hopeless, but it isn’t. We each can make everyday choices which will have a huge impact on the animals of this world we are so close to losing. For example, don’t purchase pets which could be part of the illegal animal smuggling industry, like yellow-crested cockatoos who are stuffed inside plastic bottles and smuggled. 2 out of 5 will die while being smuggled.
Be aware of what the products you purchase daily contain, ask questions and challenge the system. Tell your friends and family about what’s going on, share what you’ve learned and educate others. When we know better, we do better. Thankfully the four wildlife reserves of Singapore are committed to education and conservation, it’s a great way to see incredible creatures, big and small, and develop a deep love and respect for them. You’ll not only see wonderful animals, you’ll learn a heck of a lot about them and what we can each do to make the world a better place for them. So, if you’re trying to work out what to do with your time in Singapore, a trip to one (or all) of the four wildlife reserves will see you having an amazing day, learning a lot, seeing amazing animals and joining the fight!
Watch our ‘Singapore for first-timers’ video
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.