It wasn’t the first time I visited Zoobic Safari. The first time was a swirl of thrill to experience really close encounters with different species of kingdom animalia—especially with a full-grown tiger devouring his meal with only the steel screens separating us from the big cat.
Re-encountering them a couple of days ago is a whole different experience because I was there not only as a tourist worrying how I would survive running away from full-grown Siberian–Bengal tigers if the locks of our Safari jeep got loose and the doors flew open; last Saturday, I was there as a shooter, too, with Subic Bay Photography Society. So if the doors of the jeep flew open, we got ourselves another problem: getting out of the park in one piece with our cameras and gears intact. ;p
Zoobic Safari tram
We started off with the ones that don’t bite. Our assignment was, of course, to capture the natural beauty of the different fauna kept in this 25-hectare zoo.
I have not been to many zoos, but I can say that animals here are well-kept and fed. They all look happy, healthy and active. Just like this river otter who keep on moving, and swimming and making a high-pitch sound that is so annoying and too cute at the same time.
a river otter
My favorite area is the Bird Walk. It’s always a delight for me to see colorful birds and hear them chirp. And the parakeets here are too lovely when they fly and feed on the palm of your hands. This area is a favorite, too, among children. No wonder I like it here. I think most of my SBPS colleagues spent quite a while too in this area. 🙂
I forgot what these birds are called. They hop when they walk. And here, I’m not sure too if they’re playing or fighting. 🙂
As we move along, the animals are getting bigger—from birds, to rodents, to goats, sheep and deer, to camels… you name it! All of us are getting busier with our own angles and perspective and shutter clicks. It’s the first time I was able to join Team SBPS for a photo shoot activity. It was nice. No one’s hurrying me up on the next itinerary of the day because everyone’s taking his/her time to get a good shot, or a better shot.
the only time I noticed that sheep, deer, and goats have rectangular pupils!
kiss me, quick! 😀
The most exciting part of the Zoobic Safari adventure, of course, is riding on a safari jeep and encounter tigers on the loose up close! But it was getting really hot. Summer is screaming out of our skin pores non-stop. When we saw the tigers, whew! we were not alone in feeling the scorching heat of the sun. I was expecting for fierce eyes and angry fangs but there they were on a pond, panting and trying to cool down. They even ignored the chicken! I was a bit disappointed I don’t have an eye-of-the-tiger shot. Two Richrad Parkers sitting there, panting… broke my heart. ;p
Richard Parker’s not in the mood
well, at least he looked (but the eyes are not sharp, darn my camera settings!)
Zoobic Safari has additional attraction, to my delight. They now have a pair of lion and lioness! This is where I fired up clicking the shutter non stop. Hahah.
the king (named JB)
and her majesty (Tisay)
As soon as the Zoobic guides on the other jeep showed the lion the chicken meat that they brought, the animal quickly got off the platform and walked towards the vehicle. It was a treat for the lion and a treat for us to shoot and capture the moment. Win-win!
teasing the lion with a piece of meat
bring it on humans!
The lioness joined him in a while. And there they were, a few feet from us, standing on their hind legs showing their muscular built, gobbling up pieces of meat.
and her majesty joined him
big cats on a lunch date, eh?
Sluurrrp! finger… errr… paw-licking goodness!
Ate Betchay, our Zoobic guide, instructed her colleague to make the big cats come to our jeep. They brought out some meat and the big cats slowly came to us. We were literally just a few inches from their mighty jaws and paws!
If you’re having a hard time visualizing that, well, here you go:
He’s looking at you. You’re his next meal!
hala sige, shoot!
I was already feeling hungry, uncomfortable and madungis after the close encounter with the wild cats. Our group decided to have a quick-lunch before we head on to another close encounter… with happy and innocent souls in the humble Aeta community of Pamulaklakin village. 🙂