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Jurong Reptile and Crocodile Paradise

The Jurong Reptile and Crocodile Paradise, also known as the Jurong Reptile Park is located only a short distance away from the magnificent Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. If one were to visit the Bird Park first I imagine that most people would expect a reptilian equivalent, and indeed 'Paradise' is in the name. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The park is open daily from 09.00-16.00 each day and was apparently built at a cost of ten million Singapore dollars. One wonders where the money was spent. I cannot find it in myself to recommend a visit here.

This is one of a series of zoo reports that was actually included within my travel journal ‘The Itinerant ZooKeeper’. Initially I started to extract the zoo data but found the reading was diminished by it. So look on it as a zoo/travel article. The only major edits I have done is a little censoring and to remove the Casanova exploits.

Green Iguana

Photo by:

Photo by:

Leaving the bird park I walked across the car park to the 'Jurong Reptile and Crocodile Paradise'. As I climbed the loose tiled steps and walked down the dark dusty hallway to the entrance I knew I was in for a completely different experience. Seven dollars to get in. I doubt it was worth an eighth of that.

The first enclosure I came to contained several large (not huge) Reticulated Pythons. This pen was too small, shitty and dirty. That really set the picture for the rest of the collection.

Everywhere was dirty and rundown. One third of the collection was closed and the grounds were untidy. The only building which seemed to be getting any attention was that for the 'Reptile Show'. This appeared to be a typical crocodile show cum teasing set up. That said I never saw any show and there were only two other people in the park anyway.

No, I thought the whole place was a mess. If I was the owner I would close out of embarrassment. The only bit that I thought was remotely interesting was 'Iguana Kingdom'. This was a walk through pen containing fourteen or so large Green Iguanas. Even so I reckon it could have been set up so much better. Conditions must have been good though because I saw baby Iguanas running about in the park outside of the 'Kingdom'.

I think though that what will stick in my mind most about my visit to this awful collection was that I was bitten to buggery by no see-ums.

If you have enjoyed reading this article you should move onto the next, entitled ‘Sentosa Island Underwater World‘ as soon as it is published. Or you could move back to Jurong Bird Park if you missed it. Please also check out my blog Zoo News Digest.

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Chris Wickenden on October 22, 2009:

Peter, I visited the Bird Park first and was quite impressed (not being a bird person) but I too was appalled at the Reptile Park.

A Spitting Cobra was in a small aquaria type encloure with wire mesh entilation. People were banging on the glass and the animal of course was very disturbed. There was no cover for the snake to shelter/hide under. Whether the animal was able to spit I am unsure as it never did but someone could have been hit through the mesh.

The Tomistoma mentioned by crocman1111, was in amongst at least 20 or so other crocs and had a broken lower jaw which was quite visibly seen hanging away from the mouth.

This was all seen 4 yrs ago and on the last day before we left the country. I rang the Singapore SPCA and complained but never had a reply. The phone operator said they had many complaints about this park.

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I hope that changes have been made or the Park closed, with 10 years working with Reptiles at London Zoo I felt ashamed that this place was tarring all Reptile parks/zoos with the same brush.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on October 16, 2009:

No Ralf, I do not recollect seeing it. Mind you if it was kept in them I am not really surprised.

crocman1111 from Frankfurt, Germany on October 16, 2009:

Its a bad place! Did you see any Tomistoma, Peter? When I was there they had one badly injured animal, kept together with salties....

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on October 15, 2009:

dohn and Catherine - I would visit again to see if it has improved if I get down to Singapore again.

Catherine R from Melbourne, Australia on October 15, 2009:

Glad I never bothered with that. We had some good croc and reptile parks in South Africa so we didn't see the point of going to that one. Most likely we also heard that it wasn't up to much.

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on October 15, 2009:

That iguana could well pass for a dragon. I'm sorry to hear that the Jurong Reptile Park was such a let down. I won't be visiting it should I get the opportunity to go to Singapore. Thanks again, Peter.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on October 15, 2009:

Green Iguanas are purely vegetarian when adult but like all animals are capable of giving quite a painful and damaging bite as well as scratching. Some male iguanas will attack human females at 'their time of the month' least in my experience that is the case....don't know if it has been researched.

bingskee from Quezon City, Philippines on October 15, 2009:

that green iguana is lovely? is it not dangerous?

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