Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bali Zoo Park

The Bali Zoo Park is located in Gianar, on the way to Ubud, only about 20-30 minutes drive from Denpasar. The drive to the park goes through the hills and leads up to a small parking lot within a small dense forest, right next to a river. The entrance way to the enclosure is traditional and it opens up to a path that trails along the entire complex, past the various cages and finally emerges near the entrance once again, right outside the restaurant. I love animals so a visit to the zoo is always a treat for me.

Right after passing the gets and following the uneven path I encountered this water feature. Somehow I do not feel it is exactly appropriate for kids. One of my nephews did not hesitate to point out what a large LALI (dick) the man had. And what is also amusing is that is moves up and down as the water passes through the shaft.

The first animal I came across was this blue headed dwarf thing. I can’t remember what it was called but the fact that it had a blue head was pretty cool on its own.

This here is an animal unique to this part of the world, the Komodo Dragon. Yes, it is a dragon. These fuckers totally infest the islands off the coast of Jakarta where I go scuba diving. Some of them are large enough to take down a goat for lunch, otherwise they just feed on fruits and garbage. Their mouths are full of so many bacteria that a bite from them is lethal because it is guaranteed to get infected.

I managed to get up close to this croc. He actually turned on me right after the flash went off.

A zoo is not a zoo unless they got some playful monkeys, and these guys were insane. It was hard to get a picture of them cause they would not hold still. They kept reaching out at tourists as well. There was a HUGE orangutan as well who kept throwing fruits at me. There was even a sign warning patrons that he would do this. I narrowly missed being tagged in the head by a watermelon. A bit of general knowledge for you, the word orangutan comes from the Indonesian/Malaysian words Orang Hutan, meaning jungle man.

The winding path is surrounded by colorful plants. Eventually it enters directly an enclosure where exotic birds are housed and allowed to roam free. Well, free in a bigger cage at least. As the parrots flew overhead and the peacocks scurried along the path ahead of me, my only worry was birds shitting on me. Fortunately I was not hit. I think this is a pretty decent shot of one of the birds. Granted, it isn’t a very rare bird.

I also came across this spider that was as big as my palm!!! The son of a bitch was not even in a cage but rather just hanging around on its huge web right above where I walking. I have never really seen a spider that large in real life so it was pretty neat to stop and take a few pictures of it. Spiders actually scare the shit out of me, especially when they got all these funky colors and they are so damn enormous.

Some dude insisted on putting this ugly ass parrot on my back. I guess that called for a photo op. Then he threw this huge ass python on me who was actually pretty cool but it freaked the kids out. They thought I was going to get eaten up. The bastard was so fucking heavy. I love snakes though, and this guy had the freakiest eyes. I have been thinking about getting a small albino python but I am constantly being outvoted at home. I would name him Gandalf. I hate mice though so I don’t know how I could feed him.

I hate to see lions and tigers in cages but I guess it is necessary in some places. They looked really tired and sad. The tiger kept pacing around his cage while the lion just sat and licked his paws. The lion somehow still maintains that majestic look. You got to love em. I missed their feeding time but if you are there at 2 pm or if you pay an extra fee you can watch the big cats being fed.

Like I said, I love animals. I would much rather observe and photograph them running free but that is not an option right now. The Bali Zoo Park is not as large as the zoo in Ragunan Jakarta but it is cleaner and the animals looked healthier. It has already been made evident that the tourist industry is suffering heavily this year and the town was relatively empty considering it is summer in Australia. The zoo also had very few visitors which made it very comfortable for me but I worry how these industries will survive. There were some local visitors but we only pay a ¼ of what foreign tourists would pay to enter the park. With these entries I hope to prove that it is still safe to visit and travel in and around Bali despite the warning governments are forced to issue. There are fun and safe activities that families can indulge in without taking unnecessary risks.

1 comment:

Shan said...

I love zoos and I know what u mean about how some of them have really depressed looking animals. Poor things.
Was in the Singapore Zoo in March. Had a realyl great time there (polar bears) and learnt quite a lot too. Went for the sea lion show and the bugger came up to me and planted a wet one on my cheek which was great - even if he smelt like cod liver oil.
It was all good :D