Why it’s taken me nearly two years to visit the zoo, I have no idea! Nonetheless, over the holiday weekend, I finally made the visit. I actually used to live just around the corner from the zoo and during my walks to the beach, I’d hear the strange animal noises coming from the fenced area. I first visited the Guam Zoo website to see what kind of animal noises I’d been hearing. The website is very informational, easy to use and nicely done. I learned that the zoo is privately owned by the Cushing family and they have a surprising list of animals that call their zoo home.
Monday came and we headed down to the zoo in Tumon, which borders the Holiday Resort & Spa. We rang the bell for assistance and paid the entrance fee (if you ask for the local/military rate it is $10/person rather than $15 and bring cash). The first animal we spotted was the carabao/water buffalo. It was slowly drinking water from its pool. Next to him there was a white bird that sounded like it was saying, “Hello” every time we turned to walk away. In front of the carabao’s fence was a machine that dispensed animal food for $0.25. I was like, “woohooo!!” and bought a ton of food to feed the animals. Immediately, the carabao came over, recognizing the sound of the food dispenser. We fed him and proceeded on to the next animal’s area, the donkey! The donkey was one of my favorite animals. Peter fed him and I poured food down the pipe that led to his feeding bowl. He was so cute and his little legs were funny. “A donkey?” You’re probably thinking. Yes, remember that this might be the only donkey Guamanian children will ever see. Those of us from The States seeing a flock of geese fly by during their migration might be a normal thing, but in Guam normal animals that you see day-to-day in The States don’t exist here. This being the ONLY zoo on Guam, I’m glad they provided both endemic and nonendemic animals. After the donkey I saw the deer that roam throughout Guam’s hills. I’ve yet to see deer in the wild; although, I have seen their tracks in the red dirt. My most favorite animals were the sea turtles! They’re so majestic! I also saw a wild boar that didn’t do much other than lay in the dirt. I saw regular pigs, snapping turtles, emu, ostrich (which Peter yelled, “Hey I ate one of you in the Philippines!”), macaque, birds, sharks, goats, monitor lizards, back leopard, snakes and so many more. The moray eel was my least favorite, it creeped me out. And to think that they are in Guam’s beautiful waters! Yikes.
I was very impressed with zoo, especially as it is privately owned! It was nicely maintained and the zoo keeper was very friendly. Guam Zoo is unlike any zoo I’ve ever been to, it’s quite small and houses less animals. The pens, pools and cages are well taken care of, the animals seem happy and more domesticated than at other zoos. It’s nice to be in a zoo where it’s really all about the animals and not all about making money. There are no gift shops or restaurants and you’re pretty much free to walk around and be on your own, the zoo keeper is available for questions though. I like that I was able to feed some of the animals and I was pleasantly surprised that they had a variety of animals and not just animals found on Guam. The beautiful trees that provided shade to the entire park and the ponds (don’t forget your mosquito repellant), made me forget that just outside the fence was the hustle and bustle of Tumon’s most popular tourist area. I was so happy with my experience at the zoo and I’m thankful that the Cushing family gave this to Guam! Two thumbs up!