While my friend was here with me for the first 2 and a half weeks of my stay we went to the MacRitchie Reservoir for the famed Tree Top walk. Within the first 15 minutes of hiking, we came across a Long-tailed Macaque with her infant. Over the entire hike, we saw 28 more monkeys. All of them were friendly and were about as timid as squirrels in the United States.
Being able to see monkeys in there natural habitat was an amazing experience, however it showed the stark contrast between one of Singapores last non-manmade nature reserves and the rest of the city state. In the populated areas of Singapore, there are few animals other than birds. While this fast growing city can boast %1.9 unemployment rate and a GDP per capita easily in the top ten globally (CIA World Factbook), it has grown so rapidly since the 1980’s that much of the natural wildlife has suffered. Due to development, the “tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, sambar, and barking deer” have all disappeared from the forests of Singapore.
As a visitor, it has been interesting to see the cost of progress. Singapore has been fortunate to develop quickly and produce a high quality of life for nearly all of its residents. Unfortunately, there is only so much space. To provide space, residences and the overall necessities of a large population, the fauna of Singapore has been put on the back burner.
On a brighter note, MacRitchie Reservoir was an amazing haven for wildlife. And if anyone is in Singapore, I highly recommend the tree top walk. Bring a camera (and plenty of water)!