The Avilon Montalban Zoological Park is the largest zoological park in the Philippines to date. Located in Barrio San Isidro, Rodriguez (formerly known as Montalban), Rizal, the 7.5-hectare land area of the Zoo was once raw rice land.
Having had to decide a name for the wildlife sanctuary, the owners of Avilon Zoo thought of combining two French words: Aves meaning of or about birds, and Lon meaning land, to form the word Avilon or Land of Birds.
Avilon Zoo is home to the world’s largest pigeon, the Victoria Crown Pigeon which stands 29 inches tall and flies within a 17 meters high coop.
Birds of prey such as hawks, kites, eagles and vultures also resides in Avilon Zoo’s spacious cages. These carnivores are fed with live animals. Just like how they do it in the wild.
Avilon Zoo serves as a sancutary to endangered species of birds such as the large flightless bird native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and northern Australia called the Cassowary.
The National Bird of Australia, the Emu is also another endangered species of birds. They are harvested for their meat, oil and feathers. Known as the second-largest extant bird by height, it makes a distinct drum roll sound which we heard while it approached us from its coop.
Avilon Zoo has set up sanctuaries for these animal similar to their natural habitats. Nocturnal birds like the Owls are placed in shaded areas while the peahen and peacocks are placed in areas where plants are abundant.