As one of the world’s largest ecosystem enclosures, the Fragile Forest in Singapore Zoo is a recreation of the various strata of the rainforest. Challenge yourselves and spot these animals in the Fragile Forest with our insider’s guide!
As you enter the Fragile Forest, look to the ponds on your right and left and see if you can spot our whistling ducks! They roam around the biodome so you may see our adorable ducklings and their mum but do keep your distance as the mother duck may feel threatened.
Keep your eyes peeled and look down into the bushes as you walk along the path to spot the smallest of hoofed animals – the lesser mousedeer! But do tread softly, as these tiny creatures are extremely shy. They are also known to sometimes follow behind monkeys during meal times to pick up leftover fruit and leafy tidbits that the latter leaves behind on the forest floor.
You may also cross paths with our beautiful crowned pigeon. Admire their lacy crowns and elaborate plumage! These pigeons are so large that they have often been mistaken for chickens or turkeys.
Continue your journey in the mangrove swamps and look out for the mudskippers, stingrays and the Archer fish, which is known to hunt for food by shooting water at their targets!
When walking around the Fragile Forest, feast your eyes on nature’s jewels – the butterflies! The tree nymph and great eggfly are the only two butterfly species that are bred in the Fragile Forest. Look out for the various pods where you’ll usually find them feeding on the honey solution! Did you know that most caterpillars are fussy eaters? Each species will usually feed on only one specific plant from birth. It cannot survive if that particular plant species dies out.
As you ascend to the observation deck, don’t be surprised to see the spotted whistling ducks resting on top of trees! In fact, spotted whistling ducks are more arboreal than other duck species and tend to nest in tree holes. When faced with danger, spotted whistling ducks parents lure predators away from their young by faking a broken wing! Once they have led the predator a safe distance away from the nest, the parents will then fly up the nearest tree.
On the observation deck, enjoy a close encounter with the rainforest species in the tree canopies such as the eclectus parrot.
Did you know you can tell an eclectus parrot’s gender easily by looking at their colour? Males are green, females are red. It is believed that females are a darker colour to help them camouflage in dark tree holes where they nest.
Bonus points if you can spot the slowest mammal in the world – our sloths! It can be challenging to spot the pair of them, as they’re often high up in the trees. If you’re exploring the Fragile Forest at about 11.30am, you’re in luck! Check the feeding hut and you may spot the sloths enjoying their meal.
The sloth does almost everything upside down! That includes eating, sleeping, mating and giving birth! They are also so well adapted to living in trees that they spend almost all their time there. The only time it descends to the ground is to defecate!
Up on the observation deck, you won’t be able to miss our colony of Malayan flying foxes! Observe them up close as they take a nap or hang on upper tree branches, tucking into juicy fruits left by our keepers. They’re often on the upper branches of tall trees possibly due to their large size and the need for a “free-fall” take off. To launch a flight, they have to drop about a metre from the branch to gain the momentum to propel forward.
While you’re on the observation deck, look to the branches on your left and you just might see a troop of lemurs basking in the sun or huddling up together to groom each other. These sun-loving primates of Madagascar are highly social animals and they spend a lot of time on the ground, which is not common amongst lemur species. So don’t be surprised if you spot a lemur casually walking by you on the observation deck!
Not sure if you are up for the challenge of spotting all these amazing animals? You can catch our Fragile Forest Docents for a free guided tour of the rainforest biodome! Spot them at the entrance of the Fragile Forest on weekends, from 11am – 1pm.
In the Fragile Forest, you will inevitably stop in your tracks to admire the splendor of rainforest species, as they co-exist in this breathtaking ecosystem. Unfortunately, the rainforest is also disappearing at alarming rates every day. At the end of your journey in the Fragile Forest, we hope you’ll be inspired to appreciate the gifts of our rainforests and do your part to save it!