Published: July 17th 2005April 22nd 2005
I had been hearing nice things about this new zoo, located in Montalban, Rizal. Since, its Jeric's Birthday, i convinced him to celebrate it w/ nature. Along w/ his brother, and our very cute niece, Sylvanna, we travelled, for almost an hour to Avilon Zoo.
At 730 am, they were already waiting for me at Chowking Philcoa. It's friday, and i took my day off the office, and travelled all along from Pampanga. After we had our breakfast at Dunkin Donuts, we rode a jeep in front of Jollibee, en-route to San Mateo, Rizal. The jeepney fare was approximately Php 20.00/each. I was uneasy during the travel, coz i thought that we were losing the right track, coz i can't find the landmarks indicated in the Avilon Map
that we brought with us. I was relieved, when finally, the jeep dropped us to the street leading to Avilon Zoo, where we took a tricycle, down the dirt road to the zoo. Well, i was just being hyper and excited, as always. Hehe. The tric fare is Php 30.00 only. AVILON MONTALBAN ZOOLOGICAL PARK
The Avilon Montalban Zoological Park is located at San Isidro, Montalban, Province of Rizal. It
is a 7.5 hectare property which contains beautifully landscaped pocket gardens, four man-made lagoons, and more than 3,000 animals belonging to over 500 species.
The park opened to the public in the year 2003. the construction of the zoo began nine years ago, simultaneous with the acquisition of animals to be put on display. Most animals are from asia, and Papua New Guinea.
Once we arrived the place, i was hesitant at first if that was really a zoo, coz there was just a huge green gate, and an "Avilon Zoo" sign. When we came in, we were greeted by a huge pond, and a very large arapaima (from the arowana family). I was mesmerized by the beauty of the pavillion's structure, and i told myself that this will be a very nice trip. On the left side was a pond full of large swans, oh they really provide a romantic ambiance.
We paid for the entrance fee (200.00/pax), luckily, we won't need to pay for Sylvanna's entrance, coz children, 1 yr below are free. Immediately after we paid the fee, Mark, our tour guide, asked us to go to the pavillion, coz the tour will soon
start at 9am. There are tours every 1 hour, and we were lucky that we arrived early. Coz there are many educational tours during the day. Zoo Rules
Food is not allowed during the 2-hour tour, only bottled water. But you can bring food, and there are designated areas where you can eat. You'll definitely need water, coz walking, and trekking(sometimes) along the 7.5 hectare zoo is not that easy. You can take pictures along the tour, but there are areas, like the primates area where taking pictures is prohibited, to prevent the nocturnal animals on reacting to the camera flash. But still, i managed to take a picture of the orangutan on the primates area w/ my celfon. Hehehe.
First Stop - The Crocodiles. There were different kinds of Crocodiles in the zoo. One of them is Babalu, which had a crooked snout, which makes him different from the others. On the crocodile Area, they also have a Capybara, which are the largest rodent in the world. The largest crocodile in the zoo, was housed in a pond below.
Next - The Birds. Most species in the Zoo are birds. Since Avilon means "land of the
Birds." There were a lot of hornbills, parrots, cockatoos, canaries, toucans, and other small but colorful birds that are nestled in different cages.
We were lucky that we heard Milan, one of the parrots, her talking prowess. She said her "hi, hello, and bye-bye" to us. Well, not during the trip, but after it, when we visited her back.
There were also birds of prey, the eagles and the owls. The eagle, named Puti, was released and allowed to fly away from where we were. Upon the whistle of his trainer, he flew back, swooping over our heads, and landed safely on the arm of the trainer.
Another eagle, Makisig, made his first flight debut, during our trip. Big Bird, the eagle owl, on the other hand, showed off his "walking" skill to the amuse crowd. The biggest owl in the country, he can turn his head by 180 degrees on both directions. Then we were given time for a photo session - Jeric w/ Puti on his arms, and Big Bird on my shoulder.
The flightless birds, such as the emu ,flamingoes, ostrich, were just across the pen of the kangaroo, wallaby and tapir.
lion and the lioness were provided with a large area, with a pond w/ aropaema's in it. Within the area are a lot of birds, porcupines, mousedeer. There were a lot of species in the zoo, but they have no name tags in their cages, maybe that's why they provide us with a tour guide to do the talking huh, hehehe. I don't have a sharp memory now, that's why i already forgot the species that i've seen there. Too bad.
We enjoyed the primates exhibit. This is where cameras are prohibited. There were tarsiers, bear cats, alamid, monkeys, orangutans and others. I so love the orangutan, he showed us his tricks, and was even kissing us in the glass enclosure when he stood up from a very relaxing position.
Outside the Primates area is a home of different big cats - tigers, jaguars, puma, leopards. There were also sunbears, whom we caught pooping around. Ha ha. Sunbears love to swim, so they have a small pool in their cage.
The zoo also has farm animals - an albino carabao, chickens, turkeys fallabello horses (pony).
Last part of our guided tour, was the area of the
reptiles. Lots of turtles, tortoises. There were even pirranhas, but the aquarium was so dark, and due to my poor eye-sight, i did'nt see them, no matter how hard i try to spot them.
Then there were the exhibit with the snakes, and spiders. Camera's with flash are also prohibited in this area. Different kinds of snakes, were there. There were also tarantulas, frogs, in the exhibit.
There were a lot of ponds in the area w/c are home to arapaimas, which can grow up to 12ft long.
The zoo is very clean and very well-maintained. They are constructing a chapel and an ampi-theatre, where they will hold gatherings in the future. They also have a souvenir shop, where you can buy miniature animals and other items. In the pavillion, a pack lunch is available for just Php 75.00.
They still don't have the large animals, like the girraffe, zebras. But according to Mark, they will soon acquire an Asian Elephant, and they were already constructing his area.
The zoo is becoming popular to tours - educational and family, because, it is now frequently advertised in the tv.
Avilon Montalban Zoological Park
San Isidro, Rodriguez(Montalban), Rizal
Zoo Tour Hours: 8am.9am.10am.1pm.2pm.3pm
Additional Tour Hours: Saturday & Sunday: 11am.4pm
Entrance Fee: PHP200.00
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