Sunday, November 26, 2006

Return to Avilon Zoo

Two years after our first visit, D2, B2 & I, together with Luigi, returned to Avilon Zoo in Rizal. It's our 2nd OOTFS in two weeks, as if making up for lost time. The zoo looks more complete this time around.I  miss the giant turtle though, wondering out loud what could've happened to it. 

We were on the road as the sun rose up, thinking we were early and would have the zoo to ourselves. Hahaha, about 5-6 busloads of students on a field trip beat us to the 8.30am opening. Of course, the young 'uns can be rowdy. and while it was nice to see so many young people being acquainted with animals they would normally only see on cable TV, it was also saddening to realize not too many of them know how to behave around animals. Either they don't understand all the signs reminding people not to poke or all that National Geographic/Animal Planet viewing hours haven't really taught us much of anything.

Anyway, while the 7-ha zoo has no elephants or giraffes in its roster, it nevertheless boasts of a comprehensive Serpentarium (with boas and cobras along with arachnids), several tigers and members of the big cat family, orangutans, plus a very comprehensive collection of birds (toucans, cockatoos, cassowaries, lorys, owls and eagles among other birds).

One drawback to going here is its location -- tucked in the outskirts of Manila, near Payatas, Rizal. Much of the travel time can be wasted waiting for traffic to clear up in the Tandang Sora - Commonwealth areas. Nevertheless, this private zoo is a great destination for animal lovers and photographers alike. 

Avilon Zoo is open from 8.30am - 4pm daily. entrance fee: P200/adults. guides available for an extra fee although optional. best time to visit: early morning or late afternoon; the noon sun can be hot.
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