Monthly Archives: November 2008

Are we still getting cool and fresh air in Cameron Highlands?

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My good friend Tony and his wife Erin called to invite us for a holiday. We chose to go to Cameron Highlands to enjoy the cool climate and fresh air of the highlands

 Cameron Highlands is a highland region located about 300 km north of my home in Subang Jaya. It is the largest and most famous hill resort in the country. This highland paradise still retains much of the charm of a typical English colonial home

We took a slow leisure drive, dropping by at Bidor for lunch to savour the famous herbal roast duck soup noodle. We used the new entrance Simpang Pulai and drove up as high as 1500 metres above sea-level reaching one of the peaks of the main range of Peninsular Malaysia, High above here on the highlands the temperature plunged as low as 16 ˚C.

So many things have changed compared to thirty years ago when I first visited this holiday resort after I left school. During that time, there were not many houses, hotels and apartments and even then there were not so many vegetable farms and gardens. It was just a forest with trees and plants. Nowadays there are too much land clearings for new development around the towns of Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Many have complained that the weather was affected and it was not so cold like in the earliest days

We stayed three days and 2 night at a holiday apartment,. Everywhere we walked we can see flowers and they are bigger and color rich. There were too many key attracting places to look around but we just visited some in Cameron Highlands including, strawberry farms, rose gardens and vegetable gardens, Cactus Point, and the Boh Tea Plantation.

At the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Centre, we order a cup of tea, sitting and chatting. The teahouse which was overlooking the valley while sipping a cup hot freshly brewed tea was truely relaxing

More pictures to come in my next posting and stay tune!

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Tigers are strong swimmers

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After the
tragic incident of the white tigers attacked and killed the cleaner in the Singapore Zoo I am starting to find out more about these animals in the Wikipedia and they are adorable and beautiful animals.

According to a poll conducted by Animal Planet, the tiger was voted the world’s favourite animal, narrowly beating man’s best friend, the dog. And the tiger is regarded as the king of the jungle in most parts of Asia, because its forehead has a marking which resembles the Chinese character , which means “king”

Tigers come in a large range of sizes, but the biggest tigers are as big as lions.Siberian tigers are the largest and have extra shaggy fur to fend off the cold.Tiger coats have widely spaced black stripes over orange on top and white underneath.

Do you know that there is no one tiger that has the same pattern of stripes? The pattern of stripes is unique to each animal, and thus could potentially be used to identify individuals, much in the same way as fingerprints are used to identify people

And White tigers are the same species as other tigers, just without the orange color.All the white tigers in captivity are descendents of Bengal Tigers.

The most common species of tigers are the following:

The Bengal tiger or the Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
The Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti),
The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris malayensis
The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)
The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica
The South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis),

Among the big cats (generally refer to the tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar ) only the tiger and jaguar are strong swimmers. Tigers are often found bathing in ponds, lakes and rivers.

I saw two Malayan tigers in the Zoo Negara, not sure of their genders but I believe they must be a male and a female. During my first visit to the Zoo Negara I missed the shot as I don’t know their habits and passion of life.

The Zoo worker tipped me to come the next day in the afternoon if I want to capture them swimming. These animals will cool their bodies in the hot afternoon sun.

The two animals did not swim together. The tiger will go down to the water from the same spot and come out to the other end. They will repeat again and again. Many opportunities are waiting for you if you like to capture them in action. You won’t miss it.

So these were the photos taken during my second visit which I captured them swimming. I took these photos with my canon camera and a 70-200mm telephoto lens


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Tiger attack! Do you feel safe in the Zoo?

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These are photos of two tigers taken at Zoo Negara two months ago.

Do you feel safe in the Zoo?

Zoos in any part of the world should assure that the wild animals in the exhibits would not pose any danger to visitors .The safety measures taken should meet the standards recommended by the association of zoos and aquariums (AZA). Visitors too need to be reminded to be abide to the rules for their own safety when they visit the Zoo.

I have visited a number of zoos and I wonder whether Zoo officials can really assure the public that the exhibits are “very safe”.

I remembered reading a report in the newspaper years ago of a lady teacher from Malacca who was attacked and killed by a white tiger at a zoo in Indonesia. I believe there are many more cases and stories like that in the world.

In the “Tiger temple” at Thailand, tourists are allowed to be photographed with the tigers. The tigers were even allowed to be taken out of the temple premise to pose with tourists because the officials in charge assure that these tigers are very tame and safe .

Many curious tourists took this opportunity to pose with these tigers. Are they really very safe for them posting a photograph with these wild animals.

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This was the photo taken by W. R. de Boer when the two white tigers at Singapore zoo attacked Nordin. He covered his head with a yellow pail, laid down on the ground, and curled himself into a foetal position.

The Straits Times Singapore reported that Nordin Montong, a 32-year-old cleaner from Sarawak, was attacked and killed by three of the white tigers on Thursday 13-11-2008 about noon in the exhibit at Singapore Zoo.

According eyewitness, Dutch tourist W. R. de Boer who was at the scene, Nordin was seen shouting and flinging items. He then vaulted a low wall and landed in a moat in the enclosure, four metres below.

Carrying a yellow pail and a broom, he then crossed the 1.75m-deep moat, walked up to a rocky ledge near where the animals were and began agitating them by swinging the broom.

As two of the tigers approached him, he covered his head with the pail, lay down on the ground, and curled himself into a foetal position.

In a flash, two of the extremely rare white tigers were on him. One took a swipe at him with its paw – which is about the size of a softball glove – and he began screaming in pain.

Some visitors even assumed it was part of the zoo show, until the huge cat started sinking its teeth into the back of the cleaner’s neck and tossed him around repeatedly like a ragdoll.

Blood could be seen oozing from Nordin’s back. The cleaner struggled and thrashed his legs about and became still about five minutes later.

More than a dozen zookeepers went to Nordin’s rescue. They managed to distract the big cats and shooed them back into their den.

It’s a Olive-backed Sunbird

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The male Olive-backed Sunbird

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The female Olive-backed Sunbird

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I Got it!

The colorful little birds returned as I expected! I finally got to snap both of them together while they were searching for food in my little garden. They were chirping, playing and singing. This time I caught them, male and female courting together.

The female bird perched on my front gate and the male followed. At first they were far apart but the male moved nearer to her. Although she hopped away but the male kept moving close.. The male performed the courting dance advancing nearer to the female bird. They were so engrossed with each other that they seemed not to be aware of anything else.

They were so occupied courting and dancing in excitement that their sense of alertness were not focused. They seemed so much in love that they didnt even know that I had come so near with my Canon camera 30D and 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens, standing behind my car, clicking continuosly. Finally they sensed my presence as I wanted to go for closer shots and they flew away.

These colorful little birds are actually the Olive-backed Sunbird. My blogfriend Birgitte from Denmark emailed me with a link to the information and the name of these birds. Thanks a lot Birgitte.

The sunbirds are a group of very small birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering, but usually perch to feed most of the time.

The Olive-backed Sunbird is common across southern China to the Philippines and Malaysia down to northeast Australia. They are small songbirds, at most 12cm long. The underparts of both male and female are bright yellow, the backs are a dull brown color. The forehead, throat and upper breast of the adult male is a dark, metallic blue-black. Read more

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The colorful little bird returns again with a companion

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The colorful little bird returns
…When I heard the familiar chirping, I knew the little bird has returned. She has been coming to my garden frequently and now she has ventured to resting in my porch.

It was on a afternoon and the weather was hot. This time she comes with a companion, it may be her boy friend and they were both chirping noisily.

Maybe they have enough feeding on the nectars of the flowers in my garden under the hot sun and needed shelter.

The female bird I believe is the one with bright yellow coloured breast while the male has yellow and purplish blue neck.

I quickly took out my camera, Canon 30D and 70-200mm F2.8 telephoto lens. This time I captured it closer but against the light..

As they were in a lovely mood, they lingered long enough for me to snap several shots. They were singing and chirping but unfortunetly they didn’t come close to each other. I captured only the one which I had posted when she was wriggling her body against the leaves of my bonsai plant. I hope I will be able to capture both of them together one day

The colorful little bird seem to be doing some exercises, stretching her left and right wings when she was hopping on the grilles that enclose my porch. She did not fly away as I moved close behind the curtain.

My wife and I could have a good look at this colorful little bird and we realized how tiny she is, she is about one and a half inches long. The legs were so very thin and with the sharp pointed beak. Tiny as they are, like all other creatures they are capable of surviving on their own, looking for their own food and a safe dwelling place of their own

We may like their presence but the only complain is their droppings.

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