The Taiping Zoo is the only zoo in North Malaysia. But, is that a reason to visit? The answer is that this is a great zoo. In fact, it is one of the finer zoos I have visited. As a Dutchman I have been in many zoos as Holland have many good ones. However, this one in Taiping is something special and thus the answer to the question is YES, so please visit!
There are two different packages available. The most common is the day trip. Walk around the animals and enjoy the day.
Hoover your mouse over the photos to get a better view
The second trip which is worth a visit is the night safari. Some animals are active at night. Usually you won't see them active unless the circumstances are made so day becomes night. It means, dark rooms, and dimmed lights. The night safari however offers a ride through the park in the evening.
So what can you expect? The Taiping Zoo is a big zoo. It's easy to spend half day there. For children it's a great day out. Not just seeing the animals in a natural environment, there's also a playground and a restaurant when you get tired but your children not.
Most of the animals come from tropical or sub-tropical areas of the world. You won't find penguins and polar bears but... lions, tigers, elephants and rhinos are all there.
Impressive as I find them always are the chimpanzees. It's a small group but they have a lot of space and the little ones enjoyed playing with the water. And you will not be the only one who watches the chimpanzees. Other wild monkeys have a keen interest in them too.
A relatively small area is the dominion of the iguanas. Lazy hanging in the trees watching the passing zoo. You wonder who's watching who.
When we were there, the animals were still eating. Some had just finished, others were still busy. The iguanas had finished their meal and were now resting. A bit further on were saw the hornbills. At Tiger Rock you can see them high in the hills. These giant birds make a lot of noise when they fly over, even if they are still far away.
For making pictures of Hornbills, the Taiping Zoo was easier. In the zoo there's a few different kind of hornbills living. You wonder how they can carry such a heavy beak. (I am glad I don't have one!)
Another species which lives on the north west Malaysian coastline is the eagle. When you arrive at Pangkor, look in the sky, it's not uncommon to see a few hunting in the sky. Here in the Taiping Zoo you can have a close look at these magnificent animals.
The Taiping Zoo has a nice selections of snakes, especially the boa constrictors and the cobras were quite impressive.
But as it goes with snakes, these animals too are to be found in the Malaysian wild life itself. Snakes are shy and you may find them difficult to find as many hunt in the evening or night time.
The monkey section was interesting too. All over the Zoo you find wild monkeys but here there are monkeys visiting monkeys, quite literal! And although people are not allowed to feed the monkeys in the Zoo, many do give the wild monkeys food. Apparently used to the scent, the mandrils didn't pay any attention to the spectacle.
Who's watching who?
Another species you can find in the Taiping Zoo which can be found in the wild in Pangkor is the Monitor Lizard or Biawak.
This cousin from the more well known Komodo dragon can reach a size of over 2 meters. They are good swimmers and eat virtually anything from rodents, bird or even fruits. The Monitor Lizard or Biawak is very well known in Malaysia. While driving (or cycling if you want) around you will find quite some baiwaks hit by passing cars.
And even though the biawaks are hunted for their tasty meat, they still quite well. The Taiping Zoo however has a few large examples although you might spot a few of them around the pools with birds and giraffes. Those biawaks are the wild ones.
A selection of animals from the Australian continent contained kangaroos and koala bears. The African continent is represented by giraffes, flamingos, lions and different kinds of deer.
An ostrich came close to the fence to examine what we had to offer him but he was probably disappointed since we didn't have anything. The animals in this section have a large area in which different species live together as they do in the wild.
It is of course useless to mention all the animals in the Taiping Zoo. The examples here may give you an impression of the variety of the species living here.
It is quite a large selection of animals here. There are 200 animals of 160 species in a natural setting.
The zoo was established in 1961 and is owned by the Taiping Municipal Council. The zoo is located at the Taiping Lake Gardens and is open daily from 8.30am to 6pm while the Night Safari which is open from 8pm to 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends and public holidays.
The zoo is a good opportunity to see some animals in captivity you may see on Pulau Pangkor. Which animals? I wrote a page about the animals you will most likely see while visiting Pulau Pangkor. Click here to read more about the Pangkor animal life.
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