Sunday, September 9, 2012

Taipei Zoo Part I: Formosan Animals and Insect House

One of the few zoos I've been to outside of North America is the Taipei Zoo. It's probably the largest zoo on the island of Taiwan. (Its Wikipedia page makes the claim that it's the largest zoo in Asia, but I'm less certain about that and the citation link for it is broken.) Overall it's a pretty decent zoo; not quite on par with the top American zoos I've been to, but it has a good variety of animals and most of the exhibits are of acceptable quality (a number, however, visibly suffer from overcrowding).

As is common for many zoos, the first exhibit one sees upon entering is a pond with several species of flamingos.

A nearby section of the zoo features native Formosan (=Taiwanese) wildlife. Here's a sika deer, the Formosan subspecies of which is endemic to the island. Historically these were common all over the place, but in the wild are now restricted to a population of around a thousand individuals in southern Taiwan.

Blurry and poorly-taken photo of some wild boar. Having eaten wild boar on various occasions I can say they're delicious.

A leopard cat.

A crested serpent eagle. As one can guess, this species preys mainly on snakes. Right next to its exhibit was a clouded leopard enclosure, though I didn't see the clouded leopard during my visit this summer. I bring it up only to mention that the Formosan clouded leopard is thought to be extinct, and so the individual exhibited isn't actually from the island.

A Formosan black bear, another endemic subspecies, this time of the Asiatic black bear.

Formosan macaques, which are an actual endemic species to Taiwan. Wild ones can be commonly seen in some of the mountains there.

A brown wood owl.

A long-nosed squirrel. It was jumping and scurrying around the exhibit, as squirrels tend to do, so this was the best photo I got of it.

A male Swinhoe's pheasant, an endemic bird species.

Taipei Zoo is the only zoo I've ever been to that exhibits pangolins, so I was very excited to see one out and about this time. So excited that I couldn't get a good picture of it!

There's an insect house near the Formosan animals area. I went through it rather quickly so these photos aren't really representative of the place. Here's a stick insect of the genus Megacrania.

A Lan-Hsu giant katydid.

There was an area with various free-flying butterflies, all local species.

I got a nice photo of a leaf butterfly there.

There was a small area that exhibited nocturnal insects, including this one, which what I think is some sort of stag beetle. I mostly learned my lesson from past zoo trips and remembered to photograph signs of animal species I didn't think I'd remember afterward. This time though there was the small snag that some of the photos I took of the signs turned out too blurry to read easily.

Some king mealworms.

A whirligig beetle.


  1. I'm guessing the pangolin is...
    Nope, not in that tiny hole. That wormy figure.

    1. The lump with a long tail to the left of the water bowl. I've now got a better photo from a different visit that I haven't uploaded to the blog.

  2. I can't see it because of that stupid bullbutt ad;
    "Please update your account to enable 3rd party hosting."

    1. UPDATE: Now I see it!

    2. The website I used to host my pictures on recently changed its policies without warning so that I can no longer show the images on my blog via their site. It's crap. I'm slowly going through and reuploading my old photos, but it will take a while.

  3. Now here's a picture of the Rarely Seen Short-Beaked Echidna @ Paignton Zoo;
    (He's on the left of the two Red Panda enclosures)

    1. Nice shot! I don't believe I've ever seen one walking around before.

  4. Also, go to for amazing animal facts and pictures; and spread the word for Matthew's Animals! (The Website)

    1. But isn't the website in the link good?

    2. You have quite an impressive collection of animal photos. Keep up the good work!

    3. There's more where that came from; photos that haven't yet been uploaded to the web!

  5. But there is a list of Top 10 animals to come back to the UK;
    10. Quokka
    The quokka is a small sized wallaby from the Rotnest Islands resembling a giant rat. These critters hopped their way out of the UK after an individual at Blackpool disappeared in 1987.
    9. Bottlenose Dolphin
    OK, OK. Stupid PETA wants to commit SeaWorld bad until its orcas and dolphins go out of the marine parks. As these critters leap through the ring (No marine park does make them jump through rings I read) The last Bottlenose Dolphin dissapeared from a closed dolphinarium.
    8. Orca
    Orcas in captivity really spark the activists, but nothing is impossible (or so I say!) The last ones in the UK mostly disappeared in the 197?/198?s.
    7. Pilot Whale
    Less is known about these small whales in marine parks, as the last ones capative are now in America. The last one in capative UK (I read somewhere) disappeared at Flamingo Park in 1966.
    6. Trogons
    Trogons, birds with amazing colours, are sadly had to breed; the one I'm after is the Crested Quetzal, who disappeared at Amazon World Zoo Park in 2010.
    5. Cock-of-the-Rock
    These contingas originate from South America, and the last ones disappeared after the RSCC closed in 2015.
    4. Umbrellabirds
    Umbrellabirds are unmistakenable for their Umbrella-like crest. The last one's information is not known.
    3. More Quolls
    Quolls as you might know, are sometimes cute, cat-sized marsupials from Australia and the only species currently in the UK is the Eastern at Linton and Bristol, sent from a zoo in Germany.
    2. Nine Banded Armadillo...
    Hmm.. I'm unsure for additional text for this one..

    1. ...And all those small mammals I'm after:
    Flying Squirrels, Spotted Skunks, Zorillas, etc.