Friday, August 24, 2012

The Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum

I don't think many people know about the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum in Singapore. One main reason is because it's situated inside the Singapore Chinese Garden, and there hasn't really been any publicity on this place. I'm always looking out for new places to bring my kids because their novelty runs out fast, and I get sick of revisiting the same places all the time. New experiences enhance their learning & growth, and widen their knowledge, which is what I strive to do. I was, frankly, a little shocked at the number of different turtle species at the museum - many of which I've never even heard of before!

The museum was started by two people who are collectors of turtles and tortoises. I think it's so much more meaningful now that it's converted from a private collection to a public one. Entrance fees is $5/adult and $3/kid, and you can also purchase veggies at $2/bundle to feed the turtles & tortoises.

The first turtle that greeted us the moment we entered was this humongous tortoise of an African descent. That shell of his sure looked unbreakable.

It's kept in an enclosure because it's either rare or it bites. Anyway, I only saw one of his kind in the whole museum.

There is a garden with a lake and there are thousands of turtles swimming inside, with about 10 tortoises crawling everywhere in the garden. I trust that they are harmless since they are allowed to roam around freely. I was a little freaked out by them crawling everywhere, especially when they seem to like to navigate towards us when we approach. My kids were not scared at all, and kept wanting to touch them! My common sense screams out, 'Don't touch! It's dirty!!', but I know that's really the fun part of the learning, especially in a touch-and-feed garden like this.

It's amazing, but these tortoises would actually try to engage us. When we approach one, it will look up and stare at us in the eye! I'm not exaggerating - these creatures want to communicate with us real bad! Anyway, the one in the following picture has a rather kind-looking face, don't you think?

Lots and lots of turtles swimming in the pond, waiting for people to feed them.

We decided to check out the collection first, where different species of turtles and tortoises are kept and labelled. Be forewarned: Some look really scary!!

Girls being girls, whenever we saw a species that looked gross, we would go, 'Ekkkkkkssss! So gross!!!' in our high-pitched voices. I pray the rest of the people there were not too distressed by the three of us.

Some of the species I captured on photos, but I can't remember all the names. From their looks though, you can guess most of them I believe. :)

Pig-nosed turtle!

Snake-necked turtle! This is really gross-looking! It's like a snake trapped in a turtle shell!

Very devious-looking eh?!

Red-spotted turtle

A very flat looking turtle with sharp claws...

...and a long tail that resembles one of a komodo dragon!

Baby sitting on mama..

Stripped turtle...

A tortoise with a colourful and high shell...

A turtle with thick, flat and rough head and limps!

Just look at those scales.... it's like a crocodile's body... =X

Very smooth and round shells...

A leather-lookalike shell...

A tortoise with a camouflage shell... It took Papa Isaiah a while to spot him in the enclosure.. It looked like a big stone! =D

The girls had the most fun feeding the tortoises! These friends were really hungry!!!

Joey commented on our way out of the Singapore Chinese Garden, 'This place is so much more fun than Gardens by the Bay.' =P

We will surely be back again to visit the little shelled friends. :)