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Top 20 Wild Animals in Singapore [And Where You Can Spot Them]

Top 20 Wild Animals in Singapore [And Where You Can Spot Them]

Encountering wildlife can be bewildering, especially if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. 

Your curious mind might wonder, “What on earth was that?” 

That’s why we’ve made this list of top wild animals you can spot in Singapore. This might come in handy the next time you spot an unknown animal in our urban jungle!

1. Crab-Eating Macaque

1. Crab-Eating Macaque

Crab-eating macaque is a type of monkey that is easy to identify with their brown-grey fur, long tails, and expressive faces.

By the way, the name isn’t just for show – they do love snacking on crabs!

You’ll often see these macaques foraging for food near water bodies or raiding picnic baskets in parks.

As for their personality, they’re curious, playful, and sometimes mischievous.

However, it’s essential to remember that while they may seem cute, they’re wild animals and should be observed from a safe distance.

If you want to catch a glimpse of these playful primates in action, head to nature reserves like Bukit Timah or Pulau Ubin, where they can often be spotted foraging for food or lounging in the treetops. 

2. Oriental Pied Hornbill

2. Oriental Pied Hornbill

Oriental pied hornbills are hard to miss with their distinctive appearance: glossy black beaks accented by bold white markings, including a large casque atop their bills.

But wait – there’s more to these hornbills than just their looks!

Despite their formidable appearance, they are surprisingly gentle creatures with a docile demeanor. They’re often seen perched high in the canopy, where they feed on fruits, small reptiles, and insects.

Their distinctive call, a series of cackling laughs, can echo through the forest as they communicate with each other.

Sadly, these charismatic birds face threats from habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade, leading to their decline in certain areas.

Conservation efforts of the residents and local government are underway to protect their remaining habitat on Pulau Ubin Island and ensure their survival.

3. Sunda Pangolin

3. Sunda Pangolin

The Sunda pangolin is the closest thing to a living creature straight out of a fantasy world! 

It has a scaly armor-like coat covering its body from head to tail, a long sticky tongue for slurping up ants and termites, and the cutest little face you’ll ever see!

Sunda pangolins are fascinating creatures easily recognizable by their unique appearance, resembling a walking pinecone or a miniature dragon.

In case you don’t know, their scales are made of keratin, the same material as our fingernails, making them incredibly tough and resistant to predators!

But despite their tough exterior, they are shy and gentle creatures. They prefer to avoid conflict by curling up into a tight ball when threatened.

Unfortunately, Sunda pangolins are critically endangered.

In some cultures, their scales are believed to have medicinal properties, leading to their exploitation and persecution.

You’ll most likely spot them in forested areas such as the Central Catchment Nature Reserve or the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

4. Clouded Leopard

4. Clouded Leopard

Clouded leopards are one of the most elusive and majestic creatures you might encounter in Singapore’s wild places!

They are medium-sized cats with a thick, cloud-like fur pattern covering its body, hence the name.

Their striking coat ranges from pale yellow to deep gray and is adorned with large, irregular spots and blotches.

Due to habitat loss and poaching, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies these beautiful cats as endangered species.

If you’re fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a clouded leopard during your travels in Singapore, consider yourself privileged and savor the moment.

Where can you catch a glimpse of these mysterious felines?

Your best bet would be to explore the country’s dense forests, such as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Area.

5. Common Palm Civet Cat

5. Common Palm Civet Cat

Common palm civet cats are cute critters about the size of a house cat, with a slender body covered in coarse fur ranging from grayish-brown to black.

Their most distinctive feature? Their long banded tails that they use for balance as they leap from branch to branch.

You might also notice their pointed snout and large eyes, perfect for spotting tasty insects and fruits in the dark.

These guys are quite the night owls – preferring to roam and forage under the cover of darkness.  

If you’re eager to catch a glimpse of them in their natural environment, you may head to places like the Singapore Botanic Gardens or Pulau Ubin.

6. Sunda Slow Loris

6. Sunda Slow Loris

Sunda slow lorises are unmistakable once you memorize their appearance.

They have a round face with a dark stripe running from their forehead to their nose, giving them a distinctive masked appearance.

Their fur is usually a mix of gray, brown, and white, providing excellent camouflage among the foliage. 

Despite their slow-moving nature, they’re incredibly agile climbers, using their strong limbs and prehensile tails to navigate the treetops easily. 

The best places to spot a Sunda slow loris are in the lush forests and nature reserves, particularly during nighttime excursions, like MacRitchie Reservoir or the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

7. Blood Python

7. Blood Python

The blood python is a slithery stunner with a glossy red or reddish-brown coloration and dark blotches or stripes.

But appearances aren’t the only thing that sets this snake apart.

Blood pythons are known for their docile nature and tendency to coil up rather than strike when threatened, as they prefer to avoid confrontation.

A blood python’s size can reach up to 2.5 meters in length, yet they pose little threat to humans unless provoked. 

When there are still many of them, they can be commonly spotted in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and MacRitchie Reservoir Park.

Sadly, this stunning snake is facing extinction. So, if you’re lucky enough to spot one, please don’t panic and hurt it and report its sighting to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

8. Malayan Colugo

8. Malayan Colugo

Malayan Colugo are remarkable mammals, often called “flying lemurs” in other regions. 

But they don’t actually fly. Instead, they use their extraordinary patagium, a membrane stretching from their neck to their limbs, to glide effortlessly through the forest canopy.

Another thing is that despite being called “lemurs,” they are more closely related to primates like monkeys and apes.

They have large, round eyes and a body covered in soft grayish-brown fur. 

They’re primarily solitary and nocturnal creatures, preferring to spend their nights foraging for leaves, shoots, and fruits in the trees.

These fascinating creatures also face threats from habitat loss and hunting, leading to a decline in their population. As a result, the Malayan colugo is classified as an endangered species.

They are commonly found in places like Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and Pulau Ubin.

9. Plantain Squirrel

9. Plantain Squirrel

The charming plantain squirrel, or as some call it, the common treeshrew, is a small, furry critter darting among the branches with its bushy tail held high like a flag.

The plantain squirrel’s tail is almost as long as its body and acts like a balancing pole as it scampers around.  

And don’t be surprised if you spot one boldly approaching you in search of a snack because they’re not shy at all!

Plantain squirrels are quite common in parks, gardens, and even urban areas across the island.

You may head to places like the Singapore Botanic Gardens and East Coast Park, and you’re bound to encounter these adorable critters going about their daily antics!

10. Malayan Water Monitor

10. Malayan Water Monitor

The Malayan water monitor is a sleek lizard with a scaly body adorned with striking yellow markings.

These impressive lizards are the largest in Singapore, often reaching lengths of over two meters!

With their sharp claws and powerful jaws, Malayan water monitors are expert hunters, preying on fish, birds, and even small mammals.

But don’t let their fearsome appearance fool you – these monitors are surprisingly shy and elusive, preferring to avoid human contact whenever possible.

You may head to Singapore’s waterways and mangrove forests, where these creatures are often spotted, like in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Pasir Ris Park.

11. Lesser Mouse-Deer

11. Lesser Mouse-Deer

Despite its name, a lesser mouse-deer is not a mouse nor a deer but belongs to its unique family of hoofed mammals. 

Lesser mouse-deer are small, shy creatures with a reddish-brown coat, standing no taller than your knee.

However, their small size makes them vulnerable to larger predators such as snakes and birds of prey, so they rely on their excellent camouflage and stealthy movements to avoid detection.

You might think they’re timid, and you’d be right. These little guys are known for their shy demeanor and prefer to stay hidden in the forest during the day and only come for food at night.

But they can be surprisingly feisty when provoked, using their sharp hooves to defend themselves against predators.

Now, where can you spot these elusive creatures? Lesser mouse-deer are found in forested areas such as Bukit Timah and the Central Catchment Area.

12. Straw-Headed Bulbul

12. Straw-Headed Bulbul

A charming straw-headed bulbul has a vibrant yellow head and chestnut-colored body. 

Its appearance is as striking as its personality – lively and full of energy, they’re often seen flitting from branch to branch with boundless enthusiasm and cheerful chirps.

If you’re wondering where you can catch a glimpse of these delightful creatures, go to the forested areas of Singapore, particularly the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Pulau Ubin.

These areas provide the perfect habitat for the straw-headed bulbul, with plenty of trees and dense vegetation for them to thrive. 

While they’re not currently classified as endangered, their populations are declining due to habitat loss and illegal trapping for the pet trade.

13. Changeable Hawk-Eagle

13. Changeable Hawk-Eagle

Have you ever spotted a bird so regal it could make you question if you were in a nature documentary? Wait ‘till you see a changeable hawk-eagle! 

This bird has piercing eyes, sharp talons, and wings that can slice through the air!

But where can you find this majestic creature in Singapore? You may catch a glimpse of a changeable hawk-eagle in parks, but it’s rare. 

They often travel and reside in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for them perched on a tree branch, surveying their domain like the royalties of the skies!

14. Malayan Porcupine

14. Malayan Porcupine

Malayan porcupines are pretty easy to identify with their bristly quills, cute button nose, and small, round ears.

They’re chill creatures despite their intimidating appearance because of their spikes. They’re not aggressive – unless you give them a reason to be!

They’re mainly nocturnal, so you’re more likely to spot them during the evening or early hours of the morning. 

If you want to see one, your best destination is to head to the island’s nature reserves and forested areas. Places like Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Sungei Buloh, and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve are known hotspots for these spiky critters.

Just remember to keep your eyes peeled and your footsteps light – these guys are masters of camouflage!

15. Blue-Throated Bee-Eater 

15. Blue-Throated Bee-Eater

The blue-throated bee-eater’s appearance is a vibrant mix of blue, green, and yellow feathers with a striking blue throat – it’s like nature’s own masterpiece!

With their swift aerial acrobatics and melodious calls, blue-throated bee-eaters are like the life of the forest party.

You may head to places like Pulau Ubin or the Central Catchment Nature Reserve to catch a glimpse of these feathered beauties. 

But there might be a little luck to spot them in your tree’s yard as they migrate during the summer seasons.

16. Malayan Flying Fox

16. Malayan Flying Fox

Ever heard of a bat so big it could almost pass for a flying puppy?

If you haven’t seen one, wait until you meet the Malayan flying fox – a giant among bats! 

It has a wingspan stretching up to a meter wide, covered in sleek, dark fur, with big, soulful eyes that seem to peer right into your soul. 

It might scare you for a second to see one, but Malayan flying foxes are harmless fruit-eaters, spending their nights feasting on juicy fruits and nectar.

These majestic creatures have made their homes in several locations across the island. But they can often be seen in the Singapore Botanic Gardens during nighttime.

17. Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo

17. Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo

Greater racket-tailed drongo birds are sleek and stylish, with a charisma that’s hard to miss! They have glossy black tails and feathers that resemble elegant rackets that shine in the sunlight.

When it comes to personality, they are known for their playful nature and remarkable vocal talents.

You might catch them mimicking the calls of other birds or even imitating sounds from their environment.

They’re quite the social butterflies and can be found in various habitats, from wooded areas to urban parks in Singapore.

18. Green Crested Lizard

18. Green Crested Lizard

Have you ever spotted a lizard with a vibrant green hue and what looks like a stylish mohawk? Well, chances are, you’ve come across the green crested lizard! 

It’s a sleek reptile, adorned with shimmering green scales from head to tail, and atop its head, a crest that adds a touch of flair to its appearance. 

You’ll often find it darting through the foliage or clinging to walls with its adhesive toe pads.

Where can you catch a glimpse of these fashion-forward lizards in Singapore?

They’re pretty easy to find if you know where to look. Just keep your eyes peeled in parks, gardens, and even urban green spaces with plenty of vegetation cover.

They’re particularly fond of areas with lots of trees and shrubs, where they can blend seamlessly into their surroundings.

19. Sugar Glider

A sugar glider is a tiny furball that can fit snugly in the palm of your hand. Its fur is soft and velvety, with shades of grey and cream.

When it comes to personality, sugar gliders are charming, and despite their small size, they’re full of energy and curiosity. They are always on the lookout for their next adventure. 

As for where to spot these adorable critters in Singapore, your best destination is to head to areas with plenty of trees and greenery.

Parks like MacRitchie Reservoir and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are prime glider territory, with their dense greenery providing the perfect playground for these agile creatures. 

However, they’re most active at night, so a late-night stroll is your ticket to catching them in action.

20. Gibbons

20. Gibbons

Gibbons are the true acrobats of the jungle, with their sleek fur and soulful eyes capturing the essence of wild beauty.

These primates are known for their playful personalities, often seen engaging in aerial displays or grooming rituals with their family members.

While they once roamed freely throughout the island, their populations have decreased due to habitat loss and fragmentation. 

Several species are classified as critically endangered, making it all the more important to protect their remaining habitats and raise awareness about their conservation needs.

However, you can still spot them in certain areas, particularly the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Pulau Ubin Island. 

Whether you’re exploring the island’s forests, parks, or urban areas, you should keep your eyes and ears open for these incredible creatures.

With a bit of luck and patience, you never know what wild encounters await you in Singapore!