An Experience to Remember

by Puspa Malar, Dec 22, 2007 | Destinations: Philippines
My daughter Kancana Preetika at the petting zoo

My daughter Kancana Preetika at the petting zoo

My daughter Kancana Preetika at the petting zoo
My husband Kathir at the petting zoo
Father and daughter having a jolly time
Feeding the camel


Have you ever been so close to a tiger that it’s practically breathing on your face and dripping saliva all over your hands? Well, that’s how close I was to a tiger during my close encounter with the big cat at the Zoobic Safari recently.


This was the highlight of our tour in Zoobic Safari. Named the Tiger Safari, we boarded a safari jeepney – one that has been converted into something like a cage, protected with iron mesh – which took us to the 15-hectare safari where adult tigers were roaming. It was like boarding a mini bus, about ten of us cramped inside it. You can get live chickens for 200 Pesos to feed the tigers. And no! you don’t have to feed the tigers by yourself if you are not up to it. There is a local guide who comes with you in the jeepney, lets the chicken dangle on a hook and rope, luring the tigers to come get their feast!


After taking off, we passed through a gate, letting us into the safari area. Once the jeep was inside, the man at the gate quickly closed it. Within minutes as we drove through the enclosed area, two tigers lunged at us trying to get a bite at the chicken leg that’s dangling outside the jeepney. And I guess I must be quite lucky because the guide with the chicken was sitting right next to me. So each time the tigers came charging at us, my heart was beating twice as fast, thankful that the iron mesh was in between me and the tiger. Amazingly, my kids were having a whole lot of fun watching these tigers, not an ounce of fear in them. Not only were the tigers attacking from the sides, one also jumped on the roof of the jeepney, trying to get at the chicken. I think some of us were screaming at the shock of seeing the tiger on the roof, getting hold of the chicken and ripping it apart. It was certainly a sight to behold. This experience lasted just about five minutes, though it felt like a long time. The jeepney kept moving slowly and drove out the other gate, leaving all the wild cats behind us.


You have to be there in order to feel the excitement. It’s certainly one experience I wouldn’t forget.


Arriving at the Zoobic Safari earlier that morning, we were greeted by tiger cubs and an albino snake at the entrance. Entrance Fee is 295 Pesos for adults and 195 pesos for children below 4 feet in height. We were provided with a guide who took us through all various parts of the safari.


The tour guide first led us to The Serpentarium which showcases a variety of iguanas, lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodiles and other reptiles. Then we walked through The Petting Zoo where deer, miniature horses, apes, sheep, carabao, monkeys, and many other animals roam around in their wide cages. My children were having fun petting some of these animals as the tour guide explained about each animal.


We were also led pass some cages to see some of the Siberian and Bengal tigers, followed by a trip to the Savannah which is a sanctuary of exotic and farm animals like ostriches, wild boars and guinea fowls. The Croco Loco is another exciting activity as you have the chance to feed the crocodiles if you want to. Quarter chickens are available for 50 Pesos and you get to dangle the chicken from a rope attached to a long pole. Off my son threw the rope with the chicken close to the pond and dozens of crocodiles jumped at it. Just be careful not to drop anything else into the pond.


Finally before we left, we were entertained to some performances by some indigenous people. And they were kind enough to pose for photographs with the guests.


So the next time you are in Subic Bay and plan to stay a few days, make time to visit the Zoobic Safari to get your own taste of the wildlife. Information about the safari can be obtained from its website