Botanic Gardens is notorious for its verdant landscape and lush gardens; it is also known for its wildlife. But did you know over five types of terrapins can be found in Botanic Gardens, four of which are native to Singapore island ? Maitreyi Sanadhya writes about her recent discovery.


Many a bird can be spotted soaring in the skies and croaking frogs dot the shores of small lakes. However, a lesser-known gem in the gardens is none other than the terrapin, which resides the lake by the Botanic Gardens MRT exit by Cluny Court.


Walk a short distance into the park and you will encounter a large lake, relatively clear of foliage. Upon approaching the water body, you will be welcomed by the sight of dozens of terrapins sunning themselves on the shore.




The best time to go and see the terrapins is between 12 noon and 3.00 p.m. as the majority of them come to the shore.


Note : It is typically warm around this time, so be sure to pack some water and sunscreen!


You may approach the terrapins – but do keep in mind that they are easily frightened, so ensure that your child does not make sudden movements or attempt to touch the creatures as they will dive back into the water!


The Malayan Box Terrapin can be distinguished by its greyish-black skin and underbelly markings and is the most commonly seen at this lake.


Keep your eyes peeled and you may spot the Asian Leaf Terrapin, Spiny Terrapin, Malayan Flatshell Terrapin, and the Black Marsh Terrapin!


Discovery, text and pictures by Maitreyi Sanadhya.