Last week, my classmates and I took a trip to Taipei Zoo, which I haven’t visited since I was about eight or so. Or I may have been five. I was very impressed with the zoo, in large part because I finally realized my lifelong dream of seeing real, live emperor penguins:

Emperor penguins

To be honest, it was a little bit anti-climatic because the penguins spent most of their time staring into a mirror that lined the wall of their enclosure. Just as exciting, if not more, were these sculptures outside of the penguin house:

Me kissing a "penguin"

I love the Chinese word for penguin, 企鵝 (qǐ é). 企 means to plan a project in the business sense, and 鵝 means goose, so the word literally means business goose.

Other critters we saw included this woe-begotten turtle that seemed to have fallen on hard times, i.e. the side of its shell:

I'm rooting for you turtle!

It spun right round, like a record:

Poor turtle

It mesmerized my classmates and me for a few minutes before we finally got bored and wandered off. Poor thing:

Come on, turtle! 加油!!!

The zoo also greatly esteems its koalas, which were looking cute and sleepy the day I saw them:


This snake matched the sign outside of its enclosure perfectly:

Sleepy snake Sleepy snake sign

We saw a lot of frogs and toads:

Toad Frog

The day was cloudy, wet and cold, and we arrived at the zoo late, so the elephants had already been lead back into their elephant house, but we did managed to see some zookeepers cleaning up after them. In other words, we missed the 大象, but I saw the 大便!

Cleaning up

To be honest, the zoo is a lot more exciting than this post makes it seem. My class arrived there only a couple of hours before it closed, and the place is huge. Also, the weather, as I mentioned, was horrible. I’ll definitely be going back again (and again and again) at some point(s) during my stay in Taipei, in order to give this turtle another piece of my mind if not for any other reason:

Conquering a turtle