I’ve been to a lot of zoos in my time. Some, like the zoo + croc farm in Melaka, are a little sad… the animals don’t look too happy. Others, like the San Diego Zoo, do a much better job with habitats, space, and overall quality of life for the animals. I’m happy to say the Taipei Zoo meets the same standard as the zoo in San Diego, at least from what I could see as a visitor.
There were a lot of primates there as well, and their habitats were quite impressive. Mostly I was going for zoom shots, trying to avoid too many hints that it’s a zoo instead of the wild:
You’ll notice I have a lot of shots of the big cats. They had nice habitats, and all were posing for me, so why not? I used a Nikon D90 and 70-300VR lens for all these photos.
Okay, this was Taipei, and it gets hot there in the summer. I think it was in the mid-30’s Celsius (90’s in F). I was glad to see the most sensitive animals were not in their “on-show” habitats; probably they were cooler non-visible areas. But several of the animals were looking toasty, and not too happy about it. (not the greatest focus, but I had to laugh at/with this poor guy)
Here’s a bird I don’t think I had ever seen before in person, only in photos and on cereal cartons:
This is a favorite, the lynx: I used one as a character in my book, Demon’s Bane. The demon Shyama inhabits a lynx form.
I saved my favorite for last. To get this shot I had to walk around to the back viewing area of the enclosure, and stand on some rocks by the path to get the right angle for a “natural” look. Out of a dozen shots, one came out looking like a teenager’s portrait in the evening sun:
To sum up, if you enjoy good zoos, I highly recommend the one in Taipei. The zoo is at the end of an MRT line so it’s easy to find. There’s lots more to do in Taipei, so if you’re looking for a nice trip idea, go there! You won’t regret it.