Masbate shuts down mini zoo after viral snake-feeding video

June 20, 2024 - 4:45 PM
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Masbate Mini Zoo
Gate of Masbate Mini Zoo in this photo posted by the Masbate City government on Facebook on June 19, 2024 (CityGovernmentOfMasbate/Facebook)

A zoo in Masbate was permanently shut down by the city government after a video of a cat allegedly being fed to a snake went viral.

The Masbate City government on Wednesday informed the public that it has closed the Masbate Mini Zoo “after a thorough assessment and collaboration with concerned agencies” was made following the incident.

The local government unit said a decision was also made to turn over all of the facility’s animals to the appropriate authorities.

It added that it has pledged “to enforce stricter regulations and conduct regular inspections to ensure that all facilities — not only the animal ones — meet high care standards.”

“This effort aims to prevent similar incidents and foster a culture of compassion and responsibility towards all living creatures,” the Masbate City government said on Wednesday.

A TikTok user previously posted a video of a wet cat inside a snake’s cage and claimed that the feline was being fed to the serpent.

“Sakit sa puso, bakit pusa [pinapakain] dito. I saw this [in Mini] Zoo,” user @casssyymi wrote.

@casssyymi sakit sa puso bakit pusa pina pakain dito, I saw this n mino zoo #catsoftiktok ♬ son original – Cat’slife

Some TikTok users claimed that it had been the “practice” of the zoo to feed cats to its snake.

“Matagal na nilang gawain ‘yan, sa mga bata po sila (Mini Zoo) bumibili ng mga stray cats para ipakain sa python nila,” a TikTok user commented.

“The exact location of the said mini zoo is in Crossing St., Masbate, near at Gaisano Capital Masbate, and also, meron ding instances na binibili nila sa mga bata ang pusa for 50 pesos para ipakain,” another online user claimed.

A Facebook user alleged that the uploaded of the video claimed the cat was wet because the caretaker had hosed the animal with water to prevent it from fleeing.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) condemned the incident and called it an “act of cruelty” and a “crime.”

It also commended the Masbate City government for its quick action on the situation.

“People responsible for this crime must be held accountable under The Animal Welfare Act. We are confident that Masbate officials are going to conduct a thorough investigation and file the necessary criminal complaints against the administrators of this zoo and the person directly responsible for placing the cat in the enclosure,” PAWS said in a statement.

“People who are cruel to animals are those who are likely to commit crimes against other human beings. Stopping animal cruelty means ending violence in our society,” it added.

The organization also shared ways in which people can report instances of animal cruelty.

The Animal Welfare Act prohibits people from torturing any animal and subjecting them to cruelty, maltreatment and neglect.