Wild Insect Museum

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This post was originally published in 2007
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

After eating lunch Yvonne wanted to look at some more makeup. I waited outside the shop for most of the time, because they were playing dreaded Christmas carols. I blacked out for a while, so I'm not sure how long Yvonne spent in the store. The walk from the mall to the "Wild Insects Museum" was as short one. When we arrived we saw that it was 40å…ƒ per person. We thought that was a little too much to pay for some insects, so I tried to sneak a peek inside, to determine its worthiness. I couldn't get a good look, but we decided to pay and go in anyway. [caption id="attachment_124" align="alignleft" width="168" caption="OMG the stench!"]OMG the stench![/caption]The first display was terrible. Oh, it looked nice and everything: it was a glass-sided pool that filled a corner of the foyer area, with an island along the wall. The pool and island were visually appealing, but as the inhabitants of the island were ferrets, it reeked. Yvonne said it almost made her throw up, but she has never been around farms. I thought it smelled bad. With the tickets we had bought two bags of fish food, which we emptied into the pool for the fish. The ferrets weren't very exciting, so we moved on. By this time we were starting to feel the loss of 80å…ƒ. The next area consisted of a long pool that had a walkway running over it. The pool was filled with Koi and Goldfish. Half-way along the walkway was a fish pellet dispenser, from which we bought another bag of pellets. We felt pretty dumb for wasting all of our fish food on the Goldfish in the first pool, and for spending so much money. One area of the pool was sealed off, and had some small Crocodiles living in it. They didn't move much, even when we threw fish pellets at them, and I wondered if they were real. Later, on our way out, I noticed that one was in a different position. Either they were real, or someone is being paid to periodically shift some fakes. At the walkway's termination there were a lot of small terrariums, which housed snakes. There were many different types. Across from the snakes there were three large cages, which housed small monkeys. The monkeys were very cute, and climbed about a lot. I thought it a rather cruel joke to play on both the monkeys and the snakes, putting them directly opposite one another. We turned a corner and found a large number of terrariums, most of which contained dead insects. A lot of the insects looked very nasty, like the Golden Scorpion, from Israel, purportedly the most poisonous in the world. Another hideous beast of note was the large centipede. Everyone hates centipedes. Amongst the dead terrariums of dead insects there were some live ones, and a few aquatic themed tanks. One had newts, another large water beetles, which are also disgusting. At the end of this section there was a tank of jellyfish. The tank had a colour-changing light shining into it, which made the jellies look very bright. It was entertaining. Beyond the jelly tank we were surprised to find a staircase leading down. It lead to the turtle and lizard area. Turtles all look pretty much the same, and there isn't much I can say about lizards, other than they are interesting to look at, not to read about (unless you're me). There were a lot of both turtles and lizards, and they were all quite active. After the turtles there was a large pool that was teeming with small goldfish. It had stones all over it such that one could walk around easily. There was also a swinging bridge, and a fake waterfall. There was a little side room that had an owl, some bats, some goats, hamsters and rabbits, all in separate cages. Putting a large owl in the same room as rabbits and hamsters must have been another subtle joke. All of the animals were very clean and looked healthy. The goats were friendly and let us pet them, Yvonne needed reassuring that they weren't going to leap over their fence and maul her. The cutest thing we saw were the miniature russian hamsters, which were about the size of large mice. They were exceedingly cute, and it took a few tries to convince Yvonne that she should ask her parent's before buying one. The keeper happened to be in the room at the same time as us, he and Yvonne chatted about the hamsters. He was a very nice man, and it was evident that he really loved the little hamsters. He got one out to show us, and let us hold and pet it. It didn't seem frightened that it was being manhandled by creatures 200 times its size. It just sat in our hands and cleaned itself. I repeat, they were very cute. The final area was one in which people could make their own keepsake, from standard arts & craft materials. Needless to say, we did not participate. After the expectation-lowering experience of the first exhibit, the monkeys and snakes were really impressive. It got better as we went along, going from something I'd take a naughty child to as a punishment, to a fun and interesting place. I think we spent about two and a half hours wandering around. In the end I think it was worth it, even reasonably priced. The staff that we saw obviously cared about the animals, and did their best to keep the place clean. Yvonne observed that as the entire facility must be kept quite warm and humid, because of the origin of many of the animals, smells would be very difficult to control. Ferrets are quite smelly at the best of times. Wild Insect Museum: recommended.
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