Amongst the Giants by Shawn Danker
Bukit Brown’s landscape is adorned by ancient rain trees that have grown into spectacular giants that dwarf anything in their path as environmental activist Olivia Choong (pictured under the tree) would attest. Sights like these are intrinsically linked to people’s memories of the place.

The frog in the well by Shawn Danker

An Asian Toad lazily swims in a bucket of water that has become its own self sustaining eco system, complete with tadpoles and mosquito larva.

The Asian Toad is the most common amphibian found in Singapore. Its tadpoles are small and black, and are usually found in drains. Secretions from the skin of the toad are known to be poisonous. Amphibians such as this toad are intimately tied to an aquatic environment. The quality of the water in which they live can affect their growth, development, and survival. Because pollutants, waterborne pathogens, and global environmental changes can all affect water quality, these factors can in turn affect amphibians. Conversely, amphibians are important indicators of water quality, and are considered a sentinel species, meaning that what affects amphibians presently may affect other animal species in the future. The fact that this toad is able to happily live in this bucket of water is an indicator the water is clean and able to sustain life.

Huat Ah! by Shawn Danker

In a flurry of activity, petitioners toss paper money into the air shouting “huat ah!” while burning paper replicas of luxury goods such as houses and cars at the end of a night time cleansing ritual in Bukit Brown. Chinese culture believes that people still need material things in the afterlife. It is common practice during these rituals for petitioners to write down the names of their ancestors on the paper objects being burned. Petitioners will then sign the paper offerings as an acknowledgment of receipt on their ancestors’ behalf. This is to ensure that the correct ancestors receive the goods being sent to them. In this case the petitioners are wrapping up their ritual by making elaborate offerings to appease the spirits with the intention of preventing misfortune from befalling them again.

Theft by Shawn Danker
A family of long tail macaques demonstrate why they are one of the most successful wild species that are found in Singapore. These highly adaptable primates are in the process of raiding the offerings left behind by a visitor, with the troop’s alpha male feasting on an orange while being watched by a fellow troop member. Macaques are common in our nature reserves. The population of the macaques are proliferating because they have no natural predators to keep their population in check. In addition, macaques have no fear of humans because of their constant contact with us. The macaques are opportunistic and are considered a nuisance as they sometimes raid houses.
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