Maasin City tourism office promotes zoo as unique destination in Eastern Visayas

June 2, 2015 5:19 am 

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 1 — Nature lovers here in Eastern Visayas should set time whenever they are in this city to visit Maasin Zoo, the first of its kind in the region.

The zoo is located within the 500-hectare City Tree Park at Camp Danao in Malapoc Norte village, 12.5 kilometers away from the city center.

City tourism officer Royen K. Segovia strongly encouraged elementary, high school and college students, teachers and nature lovers to visit the privately-operated Maasin Zoo.

It is now occupying about 35 hectares out of the designated area of 60 hectares for educational and entertainment purposes.

“Instead of just seeing them in pictures inside animal books, it is better to see them alive in flesh and bones,” Segovia said.

Segovia informed that Maasin Zoo, which is the only destination of its kind in Eastern Visayas, is now populated with variety of birds species, monkeys, pygmie horses, snakes, crocodiles, camels, lions and tigers.

“All of these animals are placed in cages,” he said. “But cages for birds have some spaces to fly in limited span. However, pygmie horses, which are considered as harmless were free to roam inside the zoo.”

The official said that Southern Leyte in its entirety, particularly in the hinterlands of Maasin is not deprived of tarsiers. "Our tarsiers here are much smaller in size compared to the tarsiers in Bohol,” he said.

Segovia said, however, that this kind of animal considered as the smallest monkey of the world is not compatible with caging.

“This animal is nocturnal like bats and owls. Putting them in cage for domestication and easy viewing for people is not compatible with its wild nature. Being a nocturnal, their sleeping time is daytime and their waking time is night time.”

“At daytime the animal will be viewed by many zoo goers and their sleeping period will be disrupted by their presence. This has a bad effect on their nature that will cause stress and eventual death.”

Because of this observation, Segovia asked the caretaker to release the tarsier back to the wild.

Students who are here for educational tour can negotiate for a group discount.

He stressed that negotiation for group discount should be made before going to Maasin Zoo by contacting the management at 0916-376-8377.

There’s also a daily car service for zoo goers at the Bus Terminal from 9 a.m. up to 3p.m.

For travel comfort in going to the Zoo and back, a visitor should set aside Php200.00 that also covers entrance fee. All zoo goers are likewise advised to bring their own provisions. A group of 20 to 25 has one guide. “A gap of 10 to 15 minutes is also imposed before another group can view the same cage of birds or animals. This is to avoid them from getting stressed.”

Moreover, for those who own cars they can go directly to Maasin Zoo. Camera owners can also bring their gadgets. But before taking photos, they should ask permission from their guide, according to Segovia. (PNA)

LAP/SQM/QUIRICO M. GORPIDO, JR./EGR

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