Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries on Earth. Yet, amongst the hustle and bustle of this futuristic metropolis, nature thrives. This is the story of a wild day out in the lives of Singapore’s lesser-known residents.
The sun rises over one of the greatest cities on the planet. Amongst skyscrapers and fading neon lights, the curious call of a rooster rings out. A red jungle fowl, ancestor to all domestic chickens, is looking for a scrap. This city has a wild side.
The daily alarm over and the commute begins. A family of smooth-coated otters, 10 strong, heads into Marina Bay to fish. A white bellied sea eagle sets out to hunt amongst giant container ships. As people flood in from the suburbs, the macaques of Segar Road take their chance to raid gardens.
Despite rapid urban development, Singapore still has wild spaces. As the day heats up in the remaining patches of old forest, flying lizards and little-known Raffle’s banded langurs race to feed before the tropical sun grows too powerful.
By midday, quiet falls over the city. The otter and macaque family relax in the shade as, in quieter corners, wild boar try their best to steal people’s picnics. Along the coast, however, some animals are working through the lunchbreak. It’s low tide and mudskippers and sand bubbler crabs are in frenzied activity. Giant saltwater crocodiles, Singapore’s top predator, stalk fish in the shallow waters.
As afternoon arrives, clouds burst and everyone seeks shelter. Lying just to the north of the equator, this is a daily pattern in the tropics. And with so much water around, the otter family have many more fishing grounds than the famous marina. They head inland to raid ponds for expensive ornamental fish. It’s a frustration for fish keepers, but these otters are local celebrities; well loved by most of the city’s human residents.
Night in Singapore is when the more unusual residents come out to play; flying lemurs and strange pangolins. Palm civets stalk the rooftops and, on special nights, spawning coral puts on a show more magical than the city’s lights.
Singapore aims to be the greenest city on Earth. From its first tree-planting day in 1971 to modern ‘supertrees’ that shelter orchids and sunbirds, this film reveals how nature has found a home in one of the world’s greatest urban jungles.