Silliman University’s Center for Tropical Research is a refuge to the Visayan Spotted Deer and the Bleeding Heart Pigeon, in addition to 14 other species of indigenous mammals, reptiles and birds. CENTROP is a great place to visit while staying at Harold’s Mansion since it’s only a short walk away.
Both the deer and pigeon are endangered due to loss of habitat and over hunting. The Bleeding-heart is under threat, since it is trapped and used for meat. There is also a market for it in the illegal pet trade due to its striking appearance of blood dripping down its white front. A local guy from the mountains was able to figure out how to breed the birds in captivity. If you happened to visit on a day when he’s there you’re in for a real treat. He’ll show you around and take you in the cages. I pet a bat that was unbelievable soft:)
As for the friendly deer, who I also pet* deforestation has greatly contributed to the decline of the species. CENTROP is engaged in the deer’s captive breeding and the success of the program has led to some of the captive-bred deer to be released in the interior forests of Negros.
If you in town you should take a tour and leave a nice donation since it helps to feed the animals.
*By petting these animals in no way means I condone the petting of all wild animals everywhere, including the whale sharks nearby! Think of CENTROP more as a petting zoo than the wilds of the ocean