Monday, October 17, 2011

Manila Zoo

Manila Zoo is one of the places I’ve been yearning to visit since I was a child. However, since I grew up in the province, I never really had a chance. Last weekend, five years after I came and work in Manila I managed to see and visit the famous landmark of the city at long last - Manila Zoo!

Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden or commonly known as Manila Zoo was built on July 25, 1959. It covers 5.5 hectare of land in A. Mabini, Manila. This zoo is considered as the oldest and most popular zoo in the country.

Relevant Information

Mali, an Asian elephant that arrived at the zoo as an orphaned calf.
The zoo’s biggest attraction (donated from Sri Lanka)
Admission Fee
Adult P40
Children (4 ft above) P40
Children (below 4ft) P20
(Residents of Manila are charge P20 provided they present valid ID)

Hours of Operation
8AM to 6PM on weekdays
7AM to 6PM on weekends

Kinder Zoo
Entrance Fee P100
Free Entrance for Children below 2 years old.

The Experience

Manila Zoo is supposed to serve as one of the educational centers in the country where the viewing public can observe, discover and learn interesting facts about animals. Sadly the zoo is not good enough to provide proper education to the viewing public. Although there are aviaries in decent condition, most of the cages and infrastructure are in the state of deterioration. I believe its poor maintenance is due to lack of funding and resources.

There is nothing good about Manila Zoo. Most of the published materials about it are talking of the suffering, boredom, and isolation, of animals. It has nothing to be proud of. So I expected to see the worst when I visited the place. True enough, when I went to the zoo I saw how inadequate the place is for the animals.

My two-cent worth of thoughts

I still would not agree to animal welfare activist groups petition that the zoo should be closed. I don't believe it should. There are other zoos that are worse than what I saw in Manila Zoo. The caged monkeys in Ermita Hill, Baler and the dirty little zoo also in Crystal Cove; one of the islands in Boracay should also be given the needed attention.

some of the animals that can be found in Manila Zoo
Manila Zoo has a pretty good collection of different animal species with a relatively cheap entrance charge. I want my future children to see them. Instead of closure, we Filipinos should be more vigilant to improvement that the government and zoo administration must do in order to preserve the welfare of the animals in Manila Zoo and live with its role as an educational center. It needs to re-invent itself. At the moment the place is really not good, but I still believe it will be developed and become a better sanctuary for animals.

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