Calls to ‘treat animals better’ raised amid sneak peek of renovated Manila Zoo

December 22, 2021 - 6:08 PM
Photo of the newly renovated Manila Zoo slated for soft opening on December 30 (Facebook/Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso)

“Better treatment for animals in Manila Zoo.”

This was among the wishes of some netizens after the Manila City government gave a sneak peek of the newly developed zoo on social media.

The Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila posted photos of its new features, exteriors and interiors on Wednesday, December 22.

“Munting pasilip para sa Bagong Manila Zoo! Sa mga Manileño at lahat ng Pilipino, you deserve the best. Sana po magustuhan ninyo at ng pamilya niyo ang aming simpleng Pamasko para sa inyo!” the department said.

“Sa lahat ng nagsumikap na maisakatuparan ang ating pangarap, maraming maraming salamat! Ang galing talaga ng manggagawang Pilipino!” it added.

Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden or Manila Zoo, considered the oldest zoo in Asia, temporarily closed in 2019 after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources tagged the site as among the major source of pollutants of Manila Bay.

It was first opened to the public in July 1959.

After two years of major rehabilitation, the facility is slated for a soft opening on December 30.

Based on the photos and videos released, some of the renovated attractions and additions are the following:

  • The Butterfly Garden
  • An elevated walkway in the Aviary
  • A sewage treatment plant
  • Newly designed enclosures for animals, including the home of the 49-year-old elephant named Mali
  • Sensor-powered restrooms

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso also announced that the families of 1,300 construction workers who worked for the project will serve as the first VIP guests in the coming reopening of Manila Zoo.

“Tiyak na magugustuhan ng ating mga kababayan ang mga bagong atraksyon sa Manila Zoo, madami sa atin ang ilang taon na ding hindi nakapasyal dito,” Moreno said.

Long-time visitors of the park and other Filipinos expressed excitement over the new look of Manila Zoo.

“Pang-international yung dating!” one Facebook user said.

“It was really renovated beautifully,” another online user commented.

Amid the praises, some social media users also hoped that the city government will treat the animals better this time.

“Sana lang priority pa rin ang welfare ng animals at hindi kaligayahan ng mga tao ang main purpose. Animals are never for entertainment,” one Facebook user said.

“I still remember seeing the skinny lion every time I went there before, f*** I hope the animals are treated better now,” another user said.

“Wow ang ganda! Tratohin din nila ng maayos ang mga hayop,” another user added.

The zoo animals will be moved to their respective new enclosures on Monday, December 27.