Last Saturday was a school holiday replacement day and I had to send my son to school. Since it replaces a Friday, it means that I have about five hours of time in hand before I need to fetch my son back.
I decided to head down to Zoo Johor (State Zoo of Johor) because my last trip there was more than 20 years ago. It also provided me with a quick and cheap way of practising my animal photography because the admission fee is only RM2.00.
As I entered the zoo compounds, the first animals that caught my attention were four pelicans perched on pillars in a lake.
This one even managed to give me a cute smile:
After spending a few minutes observing the pelicans, I proceed to the elephant exhibit. To my surprise there were only two calves there; no adult elephants. Fortunately, baby elephants are very cute and I took a portrait of this particularly friendly guy.
My favourite animals are the big cats. I’m especially fond of the crest bearers of Johor’s coat of arms; the tiger. I managed to get this overhead shot of tiger roaming around his pen.
A short walk then took me to the lion’s den. This male looks particularly regal yet nonchalant… befitting his nickname of King of the Jungle.
Another group of animals I love to observe are apes. They never fail to impress me with their social behaviour and streaks of ingenuity.
Here is a shot of a pair of chimpanzees monkeying around.
There’s also an orang utan playing with a plastic bag (where he stuffed some sand into), a piece of rock and a stick. He seems to use the rock and stick as a tool of sorts, banging the stick using the rock into his perch. It may seem to be typical animal behaviour, but who knows… he maybe he knows something I don’t.
Like I mentioned earlier, it’s been more than two decades since I last visited Zoo Johor. From what I can recall, little has changed… even the layout of the zoo is virtually identical to what I remembered.
What’s nice though is that the zoo is kept very clean. It’s much cleaner than Zoo Melaka and even the National Zoo which I visited recently. Perhaps this is because I visited just at the start of visiting hours… however, I’d like to think that the zoo management has really done a very good job.
An interesting thing happened just before I wrapped up my visit. I was thinking about how little things have changed at the zoo, even to the point that I almost categorized the trip as boring.
As I headed to the exit with this thought in mind, I saw a group of children with their teachers entering the zoo. I wondered why they were at the zoo since it was a school replacement day… I then heard one of the teachers saying, “OK kids… we have just entered Zoo Johor. Listen to surroundings and stay close to one another. Our first stop is the aviary where you can hear some of the birds including…”
I then noticed that the children were from a school for the blind.
I thank God that I’m still blessed with the gift of sight and this is a blessing that allowed me to capture the visions I see with my camera. It almost brought tears to my eyes as I wondered how much these blind kids would give just to see the animals they’re hearing.
I promised myself that I will continue to take pictures and share them with the world… This is one way I can contribute to human knowledge and history and I pray that I will never forget that day.
Thanks for viewing and God bless!