Manila Zoo

Manila Zoo

Zoo History

According to The Manila News-Intelligencer

The Manila Zoo, formally known as the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, is a 5.5-hectare (14-acre) zoo located in MalateManilaPhilippines that opened on July 25, 1959.  The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is home to about a thousand animals from 90 species as of April 2015. The zoo’s most popular resident is Mali, an Asian elephant who arrived at the zoo in 1977 as 3 year old calf trans ported from Sri Lanka, after her herd abandoned her and saved by pinnawala elephant orphanage from the jungle. Other Animals residing in Manila Zoo includes a Bengal tiger, Malayan civet, monitor lizard and hippopotamus. Many of the animals of the zoo were born in captivity with three month-old juveniles recently born in April 2015. The zoo management is planning to transfer many of its animals to a separate breeding area or sanctuary outside Metro Manila due to over congestion in the zoo. The zoo is planned to be just an exhibit area.

Manila Zoo Today

According to The Manila News-Intelligencer

The administration of the Manila Zoo in Malate has come up with a self-sustaining way to feed its herbivore or plant-eating animals amid the uncertain times brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The zoo management converted an idle 200-square meter lot previously used for horseback riding into an urban garden. With the zoo shuttered to the public since January last year, compounded by a community quarantine that shut down public parks and hampered supply deliveries, the zoo management had to come up with a way to grow its own food for its animals and personnel.

According to Manila Zoo’s officer-in-charge Alipio Morabe Jr., the seedlings were provided by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry and uses the zoo animals’ manure as fertilizer. They started the project last April, and this month their labors bore fruit, with a bountiful harvest that supplied food for the herbivores – species of birds, carabao or water buffaloes, rabbits, zebras and elephants.

Manila zoo during the pandemic…

According to The Manila News-Intelligencer

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno supported the zoo’s urban garden during the pandemic, Morabe said. The mayor has also supported the renovation of the zoo, which first opened to the public on July 25, 1959. In January 2019, then Manila mayor Joseph Estrada ordered the temporary closure of the zoo to allow the Office of the City Administrator and the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works to conduct a “proper study and assessment.” This was after Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu tagged the zoo’s sewage as a major pollutant of Manila Bay, with the zoo’s untreated sewage being drained into one of the bay’s estuaries. The zoo has remained shut since then. When Moreno took over in 2019, he vowed to renovate the zoo and make it family- and animal-friendly.

The city government is working on improving the zoo with glass barriers to separate visitors and the animals when it reopens by late 2021, Morabe said. A fishing lake is also being developed. Part of the renovation blueprint of the city government is a thesis by University of Santo Tomas architecture student Kevin Siy for the redevelopment of the zoo to make it closer to the animals’ natural habitat. In Siy’s design, Mali will have a bigger pen with loam sand to cushion her feet. She is currently kept inside a concrete enclosure. Morabe said the renovated Manila Zoo will be open to the public next year with better and more spacious facilities for the animals as well as a sewage treatment plant.

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