Monday, May 11, 2009

Once a Farmer had a ....

Paradizoo in Tagaytay is one of R's must see places whenever we are in the vicinity. The last two visits to Tagaytay we have decided to skip this, much to R's dismay. So this time around he wasn't going to take any of our excuses; he put his foot down - and begged. :)

Unlike its' sister zoo located at the Residence Inn, this place has farm animals in attendance. We were assisted by a guide who took time to tell us about the animals in the zoo. He first took us to a minimally fenced acreage housing the llamas and alpacas. If, like us, it's your first time to hear the word alpaca, you might wonder what it means. An alpaca is an animal that looks very much like a llama. To the untrained eye, it would be hard to tell the difference. But our guide pointed out to us that it is actually very easy to spot the difference as the llama is roughly twice the size of the alpaca. In addition, the llama has longer hair, with a very coarse outer coat over a softer inner coat as opposed to the alpaca which has a darker, very fine, single coat. It is for this reason that the alpaca has been carefully bred for over 5000 years as a luxury fiber producing animal, while the llama has been bred for the same amount of time as a pack carrying animal.

In the photos below, the alpacas are the ones with the dark brown hair and the llama is the one with the light hair.

At the next enclosure we saw a freak of nature on display, a five legged cow.

Over at the next fence, the guide proudly showed us some Wagyu cattle.
Still on the opposite fence, we saw some local water buffaloes.

And turkeys roaming free

We also had the opportunity to visit the inside of the goat's nursery where they kept the newborn kids (up to two moths of age) close to the nursing does.

We passed by a flowering garden, and this sign grabbed my attention

There were a lot of hydrangeas in bloom, locally known as milflores.

R trying his hand at fishing.

... and B dipping her hand where it doesn't belong...

C and R are rewarded for their patience. Their first catch was a minuscule fish which we quickly threw back into the water after a quick photo-op.

. . . . . only to be gobbled up by the waiting ducks.

They got luckier with the second fish they caught

The guide allowed us to take a peek inside their mushroom house where trays and trays of oyster mushrooms are growing. They also had their own vermiculture nearby. R, who is my budding zoologist, was captivated by the creatures moving underground he had to be reminded to move along, otherwise he would've stayed there for a few hours.

The strawberry patch is a recent addition

We didn't notice that we took a long time, but as we ended the guided tour and looked at our watch, we realized that it was time to head back home. And R gave a sad farewell to his favorite place. We have been there countless of times already, but the zoo keeps on introducing new animals and activities that there are always new things to see every visit. Surely, we will be back soon.