Friday, July 15, 2011

Manila Zoo's Potential.

Everyone on twitter seems to want to close down Manila Zoo. I heard that PETA held a protest to urge Mayor Lim to shut the gates permanently.

These demand by the public is triggered by how the animals are treated inside the zoo. It has been three years since my last visit and I do remember cringing when I saw how small, dirty and old the cages are. The garden unkept and the ponds or water holes for the animals excreted a very foul odor.

Last week Anne Curtis, Divine Lee, Victor Basa and I went to see what the real deal is. We wanted to check if the photos circulating in the net is really as bad as they show.

In all honesty, I don't want Manila Zoo to close down. It is a place where my family visited very often when we were kids. Anne even has a childhood photo of her with the ostriches. Divine remembers enjoying the site of the elephant. Victor tweeted how, despite the poor condition, he enjoyed visiting the zoo.

I told the gang yesterday that Manila Zoo has a very strong potential to become a wonderful place for families who want to see exotic animals. The trees are tall and strong and provide shade to almost the whole area.

For a Thursday afternoon, I have to say that there are still quite a number of people who visit the zoo.

I want it to remain open. I want my nieces and nephews to visit the zoo. I love the trees and if they close it down, I am afraid they will only use the land for another mall. All the trees that they will chop down will break my heart.

The Manila Zoo needs to be revived. The animals need to be treated for ailments. They need bigger and newer cages. They need handlers who know what they are doing. They need funds for better quality food, medicine and cleaner surroundings. The people who visit need to be informed and educated as to how to appreciate the animals.

Here's what we saw.

This crocodile seems to have taken a lot of beating. Perhaps from his fellow crocs inside the cage. I counted about 18-20 of them in an approximately 30 square meter enclosure. That's a bit too crowded if you ask me.

This small monkey was out of his cage trying desperately to go in! I think it must be the food inside which is why he wants in. My question is, why is he out in the first place? When we asked someone why no one is doing anything about it, we got this answer, "It's perfectly ok. He won't hurt anyone. He's too small which is why he can get out easily. Just be watchful of your belongings because he tends to grab them."

How is that perfectly ok again please??

I am not a vet but these birds look pretty unhealthy to me. One of them is almost featherless.

Hogs. Really?? Do people really need to see HOGS in the zoo? Anyway, if the answer is yes, they may be pigs but please don't make them sleep on rubble!

This snake lives in a very dirty glass cage. Right next to him is his RAT sized poo!! It's all dried up so I am sure it's been there for days.

In the Tiger's lair, I saw old bones, plastic bottles, plastic spoons and forks, probably thrown to get some kind of reaction from the Tiger. This is why I said people who visit the zoo also need to be taught how to treat the animals well.

Anne Curtis made sure she had photos of every animal in the zoo. At the same time, she was very kind to her fans that wanted a photo of her. What a darling.

Divine tweeted about our visit. She was kind enough to see the zoo with us even if she had an event waiting for her.

Victor was the boy scout who had a lot of information to share about how animals should be treated.

I am not sure if anyone will be able to get any useful information out of this information booth.

Mali the Elephant. I am really not sure how his health is but I did see a video about him. You be the judge.

I will keep you posted on what we will learn and what we can do to help. Stay tuned.


klariz said...

I hope Manila Zoo will be revived soon. Seeing all the photos esp the vid makes my heart break. :'(

Anonymous said...

yes! Finally, someone who doesn't want the zoo shut down. I vote for reviving the zoo. It's a lovely place that was just neglected, but with some attention I know it can be as amazing as I remembered it.

JoanneRK said...

The reality is really heartbreaking. But I think the condition of the animals at the Malabon Zoo (we went there last Father's Day) is the same, if not worse, because of the cramped space. :(

I hope the government, local or national, does something about it and not just shut it down.

Nikki said...

I don't want Manila Zoo to close down as well, its a part of my childhood that I also want my daughter to experience. It seems that the government is not doing anything to improve the condition of Manila Zoo.

I hope someone would step up and build a foundation that will help rebuild Manila Zoo. I'm sure there will be a lot of supporters and volunteers

Anonymous said...

how sad...i hope some1 will do something to improved on it...

Sacha Chua said...

Thanks for your compassionate blog post! =) Here are some more stories about Manila Zoo from my dad, who often takes care of the elephant. (Apparently, the way to an elephant's heart is through mangoes and watermelon...)

If one person can make such a difference, imagine what more people could do.

S. Gamboa said...

Thanks for sharing the photos. I do enjoyed cruising around the Manila Zoo, the last time I had visited the place.