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Posts Tagged ‘Avilon Zoo’

The first time I have been to a zoo was when I was seven years old. It was Manila Zoo and there were still lots of animals there at that time – rhinos, giraffes, hippos, antelopes of all shapes and sizes, and tons more. I went back two years ago with James and it was a pitiful site. Half of the cages were covered in feces, the animals, or whatever’s left of the number of species exhibited, were thin and sickly. The smell was intolerable. We went home sad after the experience.

Now that I am on vacation leave, James and I took the opportunity to go to the Avilon Zoo in Montalban, Rizal, with my oldest nephew, Vien. From our place in Cainta, we went to Sta Lucia East Mall for there is an FX terminal bound for Montalban. For P40, we snaked through the streets of Marikina, San Mateo and then Rodrigiuez to what seemed like a day’s travel to such unknown lands. At last we reached the landmark gas station, rode a tricycle to the zoo along a very rocky path.

The fee was P300 for adults and P200 for kids and a tour guide for P400. We no longer took a guide so we had a lunch first (yes, we went there during high noon, under the glaring sun of Rizal!) and saw three arapaimas in the large pond. Armed with Off lotion slathered on our skin, bottles of cold water and lots of face towels, we went inside the zoo to look at the animals.

We first saw the numerous geese, swans and ducks and then the pet animals and then the farm animals. The Martha-wannabe in me dreams of having my own farm taking care of silver pheasants, golden pheasants, peafowls and swans! Then we went to the arid habitat section where we saw the small fennec foxes and snobbish caracal. It was a bad timing for us for certainly these animals are taking cover from the midday sun. Then we went to see the flightless birds section where I saw ostriches and learned that there are several types of cassowary!

Off we went to the bigger mammals section where a hippo was resting under a bridge, wallabies (cousins of the kangaroos) were resting in the shade, a tree kangaroo was on a branch, small deer were grouped together, probably gossiping among themselves the arrival of a cute guy like me!

Me, my nephew and the warty pigs!

Then we went to see the big cats but before that we saw an opportunity to feed the arapaimas with chicken heads for only P20! We took the challenge and I panicked when I saw how it was like to have more than ten arapaimas jumping out of the water to get to the food! I forgot that these fish jump out of the Amazon River to catch birds and small monkeys in the canopies when the river overflows. Then we saw, or rather awakened, a lion, saw Bengal Red and White Tigers, Puma or Cougar, Clouded Leopard and a Malaysian Sun Bear. I know he is a bit out of place but do you know that Sun Bears are victimized by the traditional Chinese medicine trade which considers their bile medicinal? The poachers attach plastic tubes to the bear’s insides to draw out the bile while the bear is still living! Efforts are being made to stop this heinous crime to animals!

Elegance!

Then we went to see the small and big primates : lorises, marmosets, macaques (there is a white one who was alone in the cage who masturbated in front of us – oh, what sadness can do to one’s sanity!) and orang-utans! The big primate spat at the noisy onlookers and they all laughed. I wanted to tell them that the reason he spat was because he was irritated of them! So move on!

The naughty white guy!

Then off we go to the reptiles: numerous crocodiles, alligators and gharials. Gharials are smaller crocodilians with elongated snout perfect for hunting fish and small invertebrates. They are not known to attack humans but they fall prey to habitat destruction.

Next stop were the birds! Well, you know how I love big birds with beautiful behinds (and you know what I mean *wink*) and the exhibit did not disappoint me, from the ultra colorful peacocks to the lesser colored finches, to the noisy sun conures to the laughing thrushes, from the big-beaked hornbills to the scary falcons.

Can't wait to get my hands on that ass!

There was a never a pungent smell of feces in the air and we saw a lot of zoo staff cleaning cages, changing the food bowls, hosing down plants and showering the birds with water. There are also satellite snack bars inside the zoo perfect for sudden thirst. I particularly like the benches in front of the birds’ cages inviting the patrons to sit down and listen to songs of nature. The restrooms, available around the property, were also clean.

Soon the tour was over; we got home, took a quick shower (for Tessa and Sam would soon become too curious with all the animal smell we took home) and simply were very happy with our latest zoo trip!

Now, that monkey got me thinking of my family tree!

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