Posted by: neblinoso | January 19, 2010

Zoobic Safari

After visiting the Bacolor church, we headed off to Subic Bay where we spent a good deal of time in Zoobic Safari, a zooish place that offers a jeep ride through the tiger habitat.  We started off in a large group of about 30+ people.  A young tour guide led us through each exhibit, offering tidbits of information in each area.

There were too many people to hear everything the tour guide said unless you were standing close to her, and i kept hanging back so i could take pictures without mobs of people around.  The zoo was a maze of trails through a set of outdoor exhibits.  First we saw a variety of different birds, including some colorful parrots.  We also encountered a furry animal, of which i don’t remember the name. 

After the birds we entered Rodent World, though not a single ROUS was to be seen.  Tree squirrels, porcupines, hamsters and guinea pigs were in this area.  The next area housed small fenced in enclosures of various farm animals.  Next to the cow exhibit on the ground was a pile of leaves you could use to feed many of the animals in this area.  I picked up a long branch and waved it in front of a cow who’d stuck his had between the fence.  He was wise to this trick and yanked the entire stalk right out of my hands.

The serpentarium housed a collection of pythons, geckos and other snakes.  After this exhibit we waited in an outdoor auditorium for our van to drive us a few feet down the road to where we would go on the tiger safari.  This consisted of getting in a caged jeep and driving through the tiger’s habitat. While we waited, i notice a girl wearing wedge heels. Why would you wear heels to a zoo? It didn’t have the best paved trails and in many places it was just the ground, with tree roots sticking up. I will never understand how women can wear heels with a smile on their face. I have a hard time keeping my balance wearing tennis shoes!

We took a less-than-one-minute ride to the tiger safari holding area, taking note of the dos and don’ts rules posted.  Rule number 8 amused me.  What if the driver of the vehicle gets eaten by a tiger, are we allowed to panic then?  Once our jeep arrived, we piled into the cage on wheels and headed through the gates.  We waited behind another jeep which had a tiger on top.  Perhaps this was the loading area for tigers?  We stopped behind it and we peer out of our caged vehicle looking to pick up our own tiger. 

This tiger bus stop didn’t have any more tigers, so we moved on to the next area where the official “chicken feeder” held a small raw chicken out of square hole in the cage, enticing one of the tigers to come over.  It pawed at the meat, then gnawed at it until it yanked a chunk through the hole.  Our chicken feed tossed the rest of the meat up on the top of the jeep and sure enough, that tiger jumped right up.  You couldn’t see very well as there were only narrow windows in the ceiling of the jeep.  I was still pretty excited as i’d been hoping to have a tiger on top of our jeep.  I really wanted to jump out of the jeep to quickly get some good pics, as i was on the opposite side from where they were getting fed out of the window, but this probably wasn’t a good idea.  However, i wouldn’t have broken any rules as long as i got out when the van was stopped.  Rule #3 clearly states that you shouldn’t open the door while the jeep is still moving, but it never says you can’t get out while it’s stopped.  😛

I always have dichotomic views about zoos.  On one hand, I love animals and enjoy going to zoos in order to see animals, but on the other hand, when i go, i feel sad for the animals because they are locked in cages or in cramped quarters instead of out in the wild where they belong.  I go from saying “awwww, look how cute that animal is” to “awwww, that animal looks sad and depressed about being in the same cage day after day after day.”  For all i know, some animals don’t even have complex thoughts and are content to just eat grass and sleep all day.  But i like to imagine i know what the animals are feeling and they are sad in my head.

When the tiger safari was over, we decided to abandon the rest of the tour in favor of finding a place for lunch.  We left Zoobic and headed to the Reef Restaurant and Bar for lunch.  It was situated just off a beach on Subic Bay, part of the Camayan Beach Resort.  I ordered tilapia for my meal along with a mango shake.  I’m going to drink as many mango shakes as i can before heading home.  It’s a pretty safe bet if i’m eating out and there’s mango shakes on the menu i’m going to order one.

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