When things go bump and roar in the darkness, there is no need for fear, writes Melissa Nightingale.
I'm trekking alone through stifling hot darkness, surrounded by dense forest and the sounds of wilderness. In the distance, something begins to roar.
It sounds like a scene from Jurassic Park. Surely any moment something large and toothy will burst through the trees and devour me with one quick chomp of its deadly jaws.
But there are no dinosaurs here and all the large, toothy creatures are safely contained.
I'm at the Night Safari in Singapore, a 35ha nocturnal wildlife park connected to the local zoo.
Attracting about 1.9 million visitors every year, the Night Safari has close to 900 animals from about 11 species, of which almost 41 per cent are threatened.
In line with its mission to promote biodiversity, the park focuses on the captive breeding of threatened species, and has successfully bred Malayan tigers and Asiatic elephants and lions, among other threatened species.
Some of the animals here are free roaming - as I discovered when a bat nearly flew into my face several times.
But importantly the ones that might actually want to devour me are separated by moats from the public, kept in non-restrictive enclosures with minimal fencing that allow them to exhibit their natural behaviours at a safe distance from visitors.
When I arrive at the park on a muggy midweek night, I head straight for the tram. The ride takes passengers through sections of the park, with recorded commentary providing interesting facts about the animals.
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The park is specially set up so the lighting mimics the brightness of a full moon filtering down through the trees. It means visitors can see where they're going and what the animals are doing, but it makes photos a tricky business.
There's a huge range of wildlife - from rhinos and white African lions to flocks of flamingos and an elusive tiger - and that's just what you can see from the tram.
My feet are aching from a day of exploring Singapore, but as the ride comes to an end I know I can't leave the park without checking out the walking trails that take you through parts of the zoo not accessed by the tram.
I spend some time at the first enclosure watching the fishing cat wading stealthily through the ponds looking for its dinner while a turtle swims nearby. It pointedly ignores the crowd of people watching, in true cat fashion.
There's a steady stream of people on the trails, but also the occasional moment where I find myself alone in the darkness, surrounded by chirping crickets.
It's not scary - at least for me it isn't - until I reach a section of the trail where something appears to be scurrying alongside me in the bushes. Whatever is following me sounds too large to be a rat and sends me off on some panicked scurrying of my own.
When you're not running away from ominous noises in the shadows, it's wonderful to stop and take time to watch the animals going about their nightly business.
In one habitat, a large branch is suspended in front of a window, covered in assorted bits of fruit, across which the bats inside have gleefully draped themselves.
In another enclosure, a group of dinosaur-like Indian gharial crocodiles glides through the water. It's mesmerising to watch the silent, smooth way they move, and they're so close I could almost lean over the railing and touch them.
I catch myself wondering how much room and run-up a crocodile needs to propel itself out of the water and swallow up an unsuspecting tourist.
I carry on through the park, and that's when the roaring starts. As I make my way toward the sound, I come across a tour group, whose guide is explaining to them how the lions roar to let other lions know where they are. It's a way for them to stake their claim on an area and warn other lions not to come into their territory.
I intend to do only two of the four walking trails because I'm so tired, but the deeper I go into the zoo the more I want to see. Oh, the tiger enclosure is just this way? I guess a detour won't hurt . . .
Of course, I end up "detouring" the whole way through the park.
I finally emerge from the trails about 11pm, exhausted, awed and uneaten.
Not a bad way to end the night.