One man had a dream: to turn the Philippines into a resort country. And in pursuit of this dream, he has so far built five zoo themed parks: Zoobic in the heart of a Zambales jungle in the Subic Free Port; Zoori at Residence Inn, Tagaytay; Paradizoo at Mendez, Cavite; Zoocobia in Clark, Pampanga; and Zoocolate Thrills in Bohol. One more is in Japan.
Taking care to blend the foreign—wild animals from outside the country—and the indigenous—the Aetas, who lived in the mountains long before the arrival of foreign invaders, he arranged for the latter to help care for the animals and give them the opportunity to showcase their culture and traditions in the process.
That man was Robert Laurel Yupangco of the Zoomanity Group of Companies, and he hopes that by letting guests enjoy the company of wild animals in the 25-hectare forest adventure park, Zoobic can promote awareness and concern for the different species it hosts. At Zoobic Park, guests can get up close and personal with tigers, take selfies with rare white tigers and white lions, bottle-feed or pet them, or just sit back and observe. Many of the animals roam freely and have become used to the company of humans. Guests can reach out and pet many of the animals, including deer, ostriches, albino caribou, a bear, monkeys, an eagle, miniature horses, ducks, bearcats, guinea pigs, and ferrets.
Other attractions are the Forbidden and Zoobic Caves, where visitors can navigate a hanging bridge; the Savannah, an animal sanctuary reached via train; the Aetas Trail, where visitors can learn about the traditional Aeta lifestyle in a village, and a show featuring their butterfly, war, and monkey dances; the Bone Muzooem, a display of animals’ skeletal structures; the Tiger Safari; Croco Loco, where more daring visitors can walk on a steel-grated walkway with over 200 crocodiles below and buy fresh chicken to dangle on a fishing pole for the crocodiles to snatch at; the Serpentarium, featuring snakes from around the world are on display, along with lizards, iguanas, monitor lizards, turtles, and other cold-blooded creatures; and Tiger and Lion Close Encounters, where guests can walk just a few inches away from the rest and sleep areas of the kings of the jungle, the largest cats.
There’s also the Eggziting Story, which tells the story of the egg, offering interesting facts and trivia about eggs; Hip Hop Bunny Hop, in which guests can hop around with cute bunnies and negotiate a small stone maze; the Train Ride, which lets visitors explore the venue’s attractions in an open train, and weekend live animal shows.
Zoobic Safari is located at Ilanin Forest, Forrest Adventure, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. For inquiries, call (047) 252-2272 or (02) 899-9828/24, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.zoomanity.com.ph.
This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s April 2018 issue.