“Manila Zoo?? Buhay pa ba yun? (Is that still open?)” That’s the resounding question I got when I told people that I had gone to visit the old zoo. “Why not so and so zoo?” “It’s so much nicer at the other zoos.” “Yes, a lot of nicer animals at so and so.” “There’s nothing much to see and do in Manila Zoo, right?” They went on saying.
Unknown to many, inside the 55-year old state-owned zoo is a privately owned half hectare of land called Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle. Owned by GMA Network’s CEO, Joel Marcelo Gozon Jimenez, Kinder Zoo is an interactive zoological facility that features exotic animals that can be held and fed. Last August 23, 2014, it welcomed both media and bloggers to take a tour around its facilities and introduced to us two of its most famous residents, both of whom have starred in Hollywood’s blockbuster movies. Wow, right?!
Come on, let’s go!
From Manila Zoo’s main entrance, turn left to enter Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle. There’s a separate minimal entrance fee for this facility. You can check out the prices at the end of this post.
After entering the gate, we found ourselves in this cool shaded pathway with colourful LEGO animals to greet us.
Going in further, we found a kiddie pool that looked so refreshing on that warm sunny day. We were told that guests can book the whole place for a pool party. A zoo pool party! Now, that’s sure to be a hit! 🙂
The program started with DJs from DZME 1530 Radyo Uno building rapport with the audience as they enjoy the sumptuous buffet. CreatiVoices CEO, Voice Master Pocholo Gonzales (left) also joined them and wowed the crowd by doing voice impersonations of popular animal characters like Pong Pagong, Kiko Matsing, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Barney.
While everyone’s busy, I slipped away for a while. The animals were calling. 🙂
These pretty birds were just perched on the trees, free to roam, free to play. There’s the grass owl on the left, lady birds on the right, and the colorful Toucan at the bottom.
There were also tortoises (land-based turtles) doing uhm, something.
These are the Indian Star Tortoises. They are usually found in dry areas and scrub forests in India and Sri Lanka. They got the star on their name from the black and yellow radiating streaks pattern on their shells (seen more on the smaller tortoise on the left).
There were also animals that the guests can take a ride on.
The birds were very tame and well-trained to perch on guests’ arms. Here, both kids and kids at heart take turns in getting a photo with the white Cuckatoo.
Here, a man braces for a lips-to-lips with the friendly Toucan.
Guests were allowed to feed the birds, with dietician approved food, of course. The bottom photo shows a woman throwing banana pieces to the birds.
There’s DA knocking on the tortoise’s hard shell. Guests were encouraged to touch and feel the tortoises shell but never to sit on them.
Aww, this Gibbon is just too cute with his yellow diaper. When he’s not monkeying around, he also gets a photo op with the park’s young guests.
I came back just in time to listen to Kinder Zoo’s Marketing Director Grace Bondad Nicolas (left) give a short talk. Operations Manager, Juana “Neneng” Lubrico (right) also went onstage to introduce our first guest, 50-year old Sulcata Tortoise, Mr. T. His blockbuster movie is still showing in cinemas by the way. 😛
Here comes Mr. T, carried by 2 personnel. Yes, he’s that heavy! 50 years may sound like a long time already but these Sulcatas can live over a hundred years, with the oldest recorded at 182 years old! Wow, I feel so young! 🙂 Their shells can grow to over 1 meter in length and they can weigh over 40kgs. They eat grass, plants, and cactuses. Unlike regular turtles, these tortoises are not shy and actually look forward to being with humans. They love being fed but do be careful with their sharp beak.
Here’s a closer look at Mr. T.
Kinder Zoo has been successful in breeding these tortoises. Here, a 4-month old baby Sulcata Tortoise was placed on top of 50-year old Mr. T.
Hey there, little fella!
DA with Mr. T when the latter was back in his environment.
Meet our second guest. Which movie have you seen this smart looking BLUE parrot? Right you are! It’s in the movie Rio! Well, to be really accurate, the ones in the movie were Spix’s Macaws and this beauty here is a close relative. Kinder Zoo is proud to conserve 7 Hyacinthe Macaws in its facilities. These macaws, native to Brazil, are the largest flying parrot in the world. Sadly though, they are considered endangered, numbering approximately only 4,000 in the wild.
Hyacinthe Macaws are known as the clowns of the parrot family because of their yellow skin that make them look like they are constantly smiling. The staff was not kidding when he said that these birds are naturally inquisitive and playful. Just look at these photos of them that I took! 🙂
Mommy, can I take one home? Puh-lease!!
Oh and did I mention that these birds are at a whopping P800,000 each?
This is their caged aviary. It’s amazing how they immediately fly to you when you stand by their cage. Be careful of their beaks though as they are powerful and have a crushing strength of 3000 pounds per inch. The 7 Hyacinthe Macaws have called this home for the past 5 years, growing and maturing into adult birds. Sometime this year, Kinder Zoo will no longer display the Macaws that have paired up and will set them up for breeding in its new breeding facility. Awww… So be sure to catch them while they’re still at Kinder Zoo!
After the event, we all got to take home souvenir Hyacinthe Macaw feathers. Nice! We’re all a tiny fraction of P800,000 richer. LOL! And no, they did not pluck them off the birds, they naturally shed these feathers, if you must know.
Before heading to the exit, this charming Toucan made his way to my arm for an obligatory photo-op. 🙂
Finishing the rest of my tour, I saw this wall climbing facility near the exit. Apart from this, Kinder Zoo also offers other activities like Zip Lining.
The entrance fee is just P100 per person. With this, you can already do the basics of taking photos and interacting with the animals. To really maximize your jungle adventure however, you may opt to get their SuperSulit Bundle for only P250 which includes the wall climbing, zip line ride, swimming, butterfly garden, horseback riding, bird, fish, and turtle feeding, and sideway climbing.
Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle
Inside the compound of Manila Zoo
M. Adriatico Street cor. President Quirino Avenue,
City of Manila
9:30AM – 6:00PM
Open everyday including holidays
*Visitors will have to enter Manila Zoo to be able to purchase an entrance ticket to Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle
I would love for you to experience the Kinder Zoo fun firsthand so I am giving away 5 tickets to Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle. And since my birthday is coming up in a few days, I’ll also throw in a goody bag with lots of kiddie stuffs.
Here’s how to join:
- Like Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy on Facebook
- Comment your full name, email address, and who you’ll share the Kinder Zoo tickets with on this blog post.
Entries will be accepted until September 25, 2014, 11:59PM. Good luck! 🙂
P.S. We also visited Manila Zoo to check out the animals there. Photo Gallery here.