Stop shaming my toddler and I for nursingJune 2, 2019
My earliest memory of the Miri crocodile farm was my dad draping a huge snake around my shoulder for a photo opportunity. Despite the trauma (and probably the countless tears and tantrums), I didn't really think of the crocodile farm much again until I had a child of my own. A child that is obsessed with animals.
The Miri crocodile farm is really the closest thing we have to a zoo (though Louis Zoo in Tutong is slowly being redeveloped). I was a bit sceptical at first because these kinds of places are really “farms” with a zoo-like element, and are not known for having the best practices when it comes to animal welfare. However, I had heard that the place had a renovation recently and was worth a visit.
Located on the old highway from Malaysian immigration to Miri town, it's best to visit when you first arrive or before leaving Miri to head back to Brunei (if you're from Brunei that is). It's also quite a scenic drive, as you'll be driving along the coast. We decided to visit at the end of our trip to Miri before heading home to Brunei and reached the farm at about 4 pm.
The first thing that struck me was how old school it was (in a good way). It seems that they kept a lot of the old structures and signs, which gave it a real rustic charm. Just outside the ticketing office, you could ride a pony for a small fee. Our daughter is definitely too young for this so she had to satisfy herself with just looking at the pony and talking to it (I was also a bit sceptical about her petting it). At the ticketing booth (prices in the pictures below) we paid for our standard tickets and added-on an optional DIY crocodile feeding for an extra RM10.
If you came here looking for crocodiles then this place really delivers. There are over 1000 crocodiles of various species and sizes. We were lucky enough to catch a live feeding in one of the larger enclosures, where the keepers threw in dozens of whole chickens (not live of course) into the snapping jaws of excited gators. Because we managed to catch this, we ended up choosing not using our DIY crocodile feeding, which was fine for us.
If crocodiles aren’t your thing, or if you would just like to see a range of different animals, there are actually tons at the Miri Crocodile Farm. From snakes and turtles to deer and monkeys. We actually didn’t manage to see it all. The highlight for us though was the rabbit and guinea pig enclosure during feeding time (this was just sheer luck). Ellie managed to feed some blades of grass to the rabbits and guinea pigs and that is all she would talk about when asked about the crocodile farm for months after that.
While our experience at the Miri Crocodile Farm was generally a positive one, there are some areas that I do feel it needs to improve. Some of the enclosures made me kind of sad - like for the sun bears. Those sun bears looked positively depressed and it made me sad to see them in a largely concrete enclosure. But I guess that is the nature of most zoos. In any event, if you have an animal-loving kid who wants to see some animals (or better yet one that loves crocodiles) then this is definitely worth a visit.