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What is a More Animal Friendly Zoo? PARADIZOO

Updated on May 4, 2017
grand old lady profile image

Mona writes a column for Enrich Magazine which is distributed in five countries. She is interested in learning as she writes.

More like an animal friendly ranch than a zoo

An animal friendly "ranch-style" zoo.
An animal friendly "ranch-style" zoo. | Source

Animal friendly zoos are trending

I’ve always loved zoos, from the Manila Zoo of my childhood, to the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington DC, the San Diego Zoo in California and the Singapore Zoo (and it’s bird zoo, too). But of late, I’ve noticed a pleasant, new trend in zoos. They are less zoo-ish, and more animal focused.

I first realized this when I visited the Corella zoo for tarsiers. We were told beforehand not to touch the tarsiers and to speak softly. Knowing how to behave when in their company made me feel closer to these sensitive creatures and privileged to walk among them.

Hey cow, I see you now

Cow
Cow | Source

An Animal and Nature Focused Farm

Paradizoo is similarly animal and environmentally friendly. Its 11- hectare expanse resembles a farm, not a zoo. Ducks walked about freely, or swam in a lake. Turkeys and chickens would wander into a restaurant if people were eating, hoping for a nibble. A mongrel dog was perfectly comfortable fleeting through the zoo among animals large and small.

Still Swan

I thought it was a statue, it stood so still. But then it moved...
I thought it was a statue, it stood so still. But then it moved... | Source

An agritech farm

Paradizoo, owned by Zoomanity Group (under the Yupangco Group of Companies) is an Agritech project. It advocates clean vegetable farming practices, water management and irrigation. It also has lovely flowers, plants and trees. In all, Paradizoo advance the “Reuse-Reduce-Recycle-Refuse-Respect” principle.

Environment, plant, and animal friendly.
Environment, plant, and animal friendly. | Source

Chandelier made of used plastic cups

Chandelier made of recycled plastic cups
Chandelier made of recycled plastic cups | Source

Big animals

We fell in love with the ostrich, which ate seed straight from the palm of our hands. Its beak had force, but no pain and the bond we felt to this marvelous bird was unmistakable.

We also saw an albino carabao, llamas, an alpaca, wagyu buffalo, cows, a five-legged bull named Voltes 5, beautiful and stately horses, a wild boar (that they tamed), and camels. The animals gathered towards people. Two camels spotted us from afar and walked slowly and gracefully our way. We fed them grass that we purchased for just P30.

Sweet-beaked ostrich

Ostrich with  gentle beak
Ostrich with gentle beak | Source

Hubby and I with one of the horses

Ed and I with one of the horses at Paradizoo.
Ed and I with one of the horses at Paradizoo. | Source

Happy Dromedary

Feeding a happy camel
Feeding a happy camel | Source

Smaller animals, insects

The smaller animals included deer, boer goats, Saanen goats (from the Saanen valley of Switzerland), various types of sheep, rabbits, and pigs. You could milk a goat for a fee or help to shear a sheep.

Finally, there was a honeybee farm and a butterfly garden. We were given a lecture about bees and their role in the environment, and viewed their honeycomb. In the butterfly garden we were amazed at the huge, black and white butterflies around us. A part of me hoped a butterfly would land on me. No luck.

Sheep

Sheep seek shelter from the hot sun
Sheep seek shelter from the hot sun | Source

Sample for the butterfly farm

Butterfly farm
Butterfly farm | Source

Flower Farm

Paradizoo has a lovely flower farm which is outstanding because of the way the flowers are arranged, and the overage of colors. The flowers included the most popular flowers in the Philippines – Dona Aurora, Scarlet Beauty, Purple Crumble, Forget-me-nots, Dona Luz, Hibiscus and many others.

It was nice to know that our own local flowers could be a source of so much color and beauty. One plant of interest was the Mickey Mouse flower which sprouts ears like Mickey. It is more commonly called the Nipplefruit. There is also an African Tulip tree that sprouts amazing flowers on top.

Mickey Mouse Plant

Mickey Mouse flower
Mickey Mouse flower | Source

Love Motel

There is also a “Love Motel” built to resemble Noah’s Ark, where animals can mate. Sometimes, they mate two different animals, which will result in a hybrid. This is the way tiny horses (knee high when fully grown) are made. A small horse sells for some P600,000.

For animals that have died, there is a pet cemetery open to the public -- the first of its kind. can We saw several names of different animals, including Brownie, Cathy, Flappy, Fluffy, Jeje, Karay, Boggs, Mike, and Jinggoy.

Hybrid animals

Love Motel for Animals

Make love not war
Make love not war | Source

Pet cemetary

Pet cemetary
Pet cemetary | Source

Wake up with the animals

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to wake up in a zoo? I remember reading an article about a couple that did precisely that, in another country. Now, you can do it in the Philippines, too. They have bunkbeds with a bathroom and shower in a container van, and a larger log cabin for families. The price is quite good. It feels good to know that if ever we wanted to sleep with the animals, we have that option very easily, at hand.

Container van home

Container van with bunkbeds and bathroom
Container van with bunkbeds and bathroom | Source

Cabin house for overnight stay

Log cabin for overnight stay
Log cabin for overnight stay | Source

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    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 21 months ago from Philippines

      Hello Ms. Dora, how wonderful that you are here and that you have stopped by to read this article. I have missed you and feel thankful that at Hub Pages, even if we disappear for awhile, when we are back everything is okay again:). People like you make this space a home where one always feels welcomed back again and again.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 21 months ago from The Caribbean

      Seems like a very interesting experience at Paradizoo. So many things I like about it--the container van, the paper cups chandelier and of course, the animals. Thanks for sharing.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 21 months ago from Philippines

      Billybuc, I know where you're coming from. It really is sad to see animals in cages. In the same way, I also have a love-hate relationship with zoos, but I go anyway because I love seeing the animals. I wish everyone in the world could afford to go to Africa and see animals in the wild, giraffes crossing streets. Especially when I saw this movie, a true story about this lady who loved gorillas, and how people capture gorillas for zoos, it's really sad. I hope people continue to find ways to make it allowable for people to see animals, without changing the natural life and habitat of the animals themselves.

      Peach Purple, yes, my husband is really tall, and I am really small, hahaha. When we were dating it used to embarrass me a lot. Delighted to meet you here at Hub Pages.

      DDE, how wonderful to hear from you again. Am trying to get back to Hub pages and to read my favorite hubbers again. This is a place you come to love no matter what!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have a love/hate relationship with zoos. I hate to see animals penned up, but I also love to visit them. I guess I can settle on animals being treated humanely like in places like this. Thanks for a glimpse of this place, Mona.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      this is an awesome animal zoo that i had ever seen, thanks, and boy, you ed is sure tall!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 21 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautiful photos and informative.