June 1, 2023
Twin Amazon parrots are used to humans and remain perched on the tube.

The idea of holding an animal in your hand or allowing one to climb on your shoulder gives a sense of empathy or caring for the creature. According to psychology, this experience can help people to understand the behavior of other creatures, among other pleasures. But this is not something that delights everyone.
A few weeks ago, the sight of colorful birds, a Palawan bearcat, and a couple of snakes up close was exciting. This was a treat from the Baluarte Zoo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur that came to our location, instead of needing to go to their habitat.

The Palawan bearcat is on the shoulder and sniffing human hair.

The Palawan bearcat or binturong is said to have the face of a cat and head like a bear. This can grow to about four feet and has coarse brown hair. It is docile but it has sharp claws and teeth. This is a nocturnal animal that can sleep upside down while hanging on its tail. It looked heavy when it transferred from the shoulders of its handler to the shoulder of the willing stranger. It seemed used to this attention from other individuals. As stated in its name, this animal is endemic to Palawan and is among one of the protected species of the country.

Green-winged macaw is accustomed to human contact.

The albino ball python is said to be the best pet for anyone. These are said to be manageable and the most common pet snakes. This is seen almost anywhere there is some kind of zoo. Albinism is a genetic condition that causes these snakes to have very little melanin in their skin, according to Google. These are commonly bright yellow and pinkish-white. The average size is from three to five feet in length when fully grown. Do you know that they are fed dead rats while young because they are docile and can get hurt in the process of catching the live prey. These are nocturnal creatures too.
The Burmese ball python is like the much smaller ball python, these are known to be easygoing or timid creatures, which means that if cared for properly, they can easily adjust to living near humans. The name “ball python” refers to its tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened, according to Google. These are also fed rodents and fowl. These are among the threatened species in the world because they are also prone to diseases.

Albino Burmese python is photographed in a photograph.

The Amazon parrots were also used to humans. These are known as the feathered chatterboxes among the Parrot family. Most Amazons are vivid green in color with short wings. They possess the intelligence level as equivalent to a toddler, says Google. Amazon parrots have 27 species, and are known for their outstanding vocal abilities, playfulness, and comic antics. They are usually loyal and loving companions. These are held using the tube that they perch on.
The Green-winged macaw is among the largest macaw species. Its large beak can be intimidating, but this macaw has a reputation as a gentle giant, according to Google. Perched on a tube, this bird seemed to smile while photos were taken. Pellets as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy table foods are in the bird’s diet. If properly fed and cared for, a green-winged macaw is reported to have a life span of more than 70 years. These make for beautiful photos in the once in a lifetime photo opportunity. They weigh about two kilos.

The Palawan bearcat is ready for transfer to the shoulder of another person.

These were among the five animals brought from the Baluarte Zoo. There are tigers, lions, and Shetland ponies at the zoo too if one visits the area. Ten years ago, there were about five tigers that could be seen at Baluarte and a larger collection of birds.
The thrill of coming within a meter from these animals can be enough for many people like me. I do not want them to sense my fear. Dogs and cats are more than enough for me to pet. Compassion is expressed in diverse ways; I understand their behavior as well.

Young python is held in one hand during the encounter with animals at Baluarte Zoo.