CITY GUIDE: Way back 2015 in Cebu City Zoo, we took interest on this “FREE” exotic snake massage by no other than four of our very good friendly Burmese pythons namely Michelle, AJ, Walter and Daniel. Yes, all of these four big babies would give those willing and courageous spirits a massage, and of course, a memory to last. This gave a spice to our usual zoo visit, and definitely, it’s one of a kind in the country.
It was the only reptile service in the country which I know that will give you spine-thrilling experience, and I was so happy this zoo in Cebu once offered this service. The zoo’s entrance fee at that time was P25 for adults and P20 for children.
That’s the only fee you’d be paying. The rest would be free. One of them was to lay down on a bamboo bed and have these full grown pythons slither on your body for fifteen minutes. Yes, that’s for fifteen minutes. Would you dare?
I was able to try this. I didn’t feel the grip of these babies after all. What I felt was more of the pressure on my body due to their weight. Now, I am not sure if I was able to finish the 15-min duration because honestly, it was hard to enjoy while being massaged at the same time. It was a mixed with fear, but yes, trusting the process, I survived. Just like what I said, it didn’t feel like a massage just like what you have in Nuat Thai or wheresoever. Just imagine a more or less 250 kg of weight put on top of you, plus their skins were cold. That’s close to it! I also would like to commend the staff as well because they were informative and kind.
Was it safe?
From my experience and other’s experiences, my answer is YES. According to the zoo keepers, these snakes were fed with 10 or more chickens before they were set for their sessions. Besides, pythons are nonvenomous and they were bathed to keep them clean. It was said that two of the Burmese pythons were donated by a friend to the owner some years ago, and lived with the owner’s family for some time. They were brought to the zoo when the owner was assigned as the zoo manager. I was happy also to know that some of the visitors are donating meat for these animals.
Most of the animals found in the zoo were snakes, but the zoo also housed monkeys, birds, crocodiles and turtles.
Cebu City Zoo and Conservation Center was once located in Woolbright Drive in Brgy. Calunasan. Unfortunately, the operations already stopped. We went there one time last year, and sadly, the zoo was already closed. According to some source, the animals were relocated to Carmen, Cebu. The zoo was struggling with funds for their maintenance. I hope that all of the animals relocated are in still good conditions up to this day. Everyone deserves a good life! 😊
To summarize, everything was worth it. I am happy I got to try and experience this.
littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, M.S. student in Structural Engineering and a fur mom of four-legged babies. She writes about her experiences to inspire and educate.