Dumaguete’s Special Zoo

Close to a private school run by nuns is a zoo. In glass cages, animals of differing species scratch, dig, toss, make faces, feed, drink, defecate and urinate. Decibel meters would not work here, as howls, hisses, caws, screeches, and growls would ruin any piece of equipment because of the density of the noise… pretty much like how a tropical jungle had sounded like at certain evenings before lowlanders came and denuded the natural habitat of these animals.

The animals found here have long been semi-domesticated, living with humans who are kind enough to raise them as their own. The humans even gave a name for these displaced animals, so that these different members of the animal kingdom could be accepted in the mainstream human society. They are called, to be politically correct, adolescents. Now, in this zoo, they are in a square glass enclosure. A small overhead fan provides the only ventilation, amping up the heat; it’s no wonder that the pheromone levels are so high as most of the females of the species are near estrus.

Visit the place… the animals are on display for the public only at around twelve noon to one o’clock in the afternoon on weekdays. Some choice species will also be on display at 4:30 to 6:00 pm, especially the screaming jackadaw, i.e., Primus anno bosconii. Usually, the males gather in packs of fours or up to a dozen, hooting and screeching their disapproval at an artificial simulation screen that displays scenes from their long-gone forest. The experience of having your eardrums shattered is such a special treat that seeing these animals is a must if you are in the zoo.

And the name of the zoo? You can’t miss the yellow on red sign that says “Scooby’s.” They serve a mean fried chicken in the visitor’s canteen. Pencil in a visit this week in your calendar.

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