Behind The Negros Museum at South Capitol Road is the city’s former zoo. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly haphazard condition when seen from the street. The former zoo has now been converted into an ecological foundation that aims to rehabilitate and breed endangered Negrense animals.
I did not have high hopes for the zoo because Joel checked photos in the Internet and it did not look promising at all. However, I coaxed my sister to go to the zoo because my nephew’s lesson in school is about identification of animals and their habitat. He was learning to classify animals into pet animals, farm animals, and wild animals. I got alarmed when he said wild animals lived in the zoo (which was actually what his book was telling him) and I had to correct him.
The Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation is small but the animals they took under their care are important because they are found in the island of Negros and some of them are critically endangered. Based on their website, the zoo just recently merged (March 2018) with Talarak Foundation whose intention is “to set and provide the long-term protection of threatened and rare Philippine biodiversity through conservation programs.” Talarak is a non-government foundation that partners with animal conservation groups from around the world, private corporations, and individuals. Talarak has an “adopt an animal” program that costs P12,000 per year (or P1,000 per month). Because of the partnership between the Negros zoo and Talarak, we saw animals that were endemic to the Negros island, such as the spotted deer, warty pig, bukaws, and kabogs.
Entrance fee is P100 for adults, P50 for students with IDS, children, and senior citizens with IDs. They allowed my four-year old nephew to get inside for free. Did my four-year old enjoy the animal center? Yes!