Manila Zoo Travel Guide – A Hell of an Enclosure
JimBry believes that bringing children to the zoo is one of the first steps in teaching them how to appreciate nature and the things in it. He convinced me that the zoo is one of the informative places where we can bring our daughter for educational and entertainment purposes. This was the primary reason why we visited Manila Zoo.
It was 2014 when I first visited Manila Zoo. It was a filthy, awful place back then. All the enclosures lacked fresh water for the animals, no grassy areas, no decent shelters to protect them from heavy rains and unforgiving rays of the sun. Non-biodegradable thrashes from visitors were scattered everywhere. It was noisy and crowded. Animal enclosures were so small. Being a nature-lover myself, it was heartbreaking to be in that place. Seeing all those animals in terrible situations and not able to do a thing to alleviate their suffering, made me feel ashamed to be part of the highest level of food chain.
So in 2015, I was elated to read this news – “The local government of Manila said the Manila Zoo, with a land area of 5.5 hectares, will soon be a “world-class” zoo after a major renovation. More attractions will be offered to visitors and top-notch services will be provided. The Manila government has signed a joint-venture agreement with (a newly-formed local company) Metropolitan Zoo and Botanical Garden, Inc. to renovate/rehabilitate the zoo for P1.5 billion with a promise of bigger and better enclosures for the animals, and even new species. This was the reason why they increased the entrance fee rate from Php60 to Php100 (non-Manila residents) in January 15, 2015. The promise of renovation was supposed to start in July, 2015. (Source: Inqurer.net)”
Two years after, nothing has changed.
The increase in entrance fee brought nothing good to the resident animals. They are still in their old abysmal state. Manila Zoo, until now, is in its old “rotting and disintegrating” stage. Most of the birds are in very bad shapes, their feathers are falling apart, and some of them have eye infections. The rabbits have mange. Mali, the elephant, looks stressed and miserable. It keeps walking around in circles. The reptile enclosures are dirty, the water so murky. The tigers’ situation is dreadful. The place still has the same foul smell, dilapidated structures, dirty surroundings, skinny animals, and murky lagoon water – nothing has changed. It still is a hell of a place. In fact, it looks more horrific now. The management’s claim of doing its best to improve the place is an outright lie! And if they are indeed doing something to make the place better, they failed miserably. It’s just really sad that one of its main attractions, Bertha the hippo, had died without seeing the promised “bigger and better enclosure”.
Manila Zoo must focus more on improving its facilities, upgrading their infrastructures, and modernizing their amenities than acquiring new animals. For heaven’s sake, do not take more than you can care for! I wonder where the zoo’s management is putting the hefty amount of money they get from the entrance fees. Visitors entering the place, especially during weekends are plentiful. From the gate, guests are almost shoulder-to-shoulder barging their way inside. It’s difficult to look for a decent spot to rest because of the crowd. The pond/lagoon where tourists are supposed to enjoy boating looks so unclean.
If you are an absolute animal lover, it’s best to stay away from Manila Zoo as the place will break your heart.
You can visit the place and see for yourself.
HOW TO GET TO MANILA ZOO
Manila Zoo is located along Adriatico St., corner Quirino St., Manila. It is near Manila Hospital and Harrison Plaza.
From the North:
- Ride LRT Roosevelt station.
- Alight at Quirino LRT Station.
- From there, you can ride a pedicab or a jeepney (bound for Mabini or Harrison) going to Manila Zoo.
From the South – (From Alabang or Cavite)
- Ride a bus going to Lawton and get off at Quirino LRT Station.
- From there ride a pedicab or jeepney (bound for Mabini or Harrison) going to Manila Zoo.
- Ride bus bound for Buendia LRT Station.
- From Buendia LRT Station, you can take a cab to Manila Zoo.
You can actually take a cab from any location in Manila and just tell the driver to drop you off in Manila Zoo.
It is open from Mondays to Sundays including holidays from 8AM to 6PM. For inquiries, you may call (632) 525-8157
MANILA ZOO RATES AND OTHER POSSIBLE EXPENSES
Non-Manila residents – Php100 per person
Manila residents – Php50 per person (you have to present a valid ID)
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MANILA ZOO
- Manila Zoo is the oldest zoo in Asia. It was first opened in July 25, 1959
- Bertha the hippo is Manila Zoo’s oldest inhabitant. She died at 65 last July 2017. She’s also believed to be the world’s oldest hippopotamus. (Source: ABS-CBN)
If you are looking for a place to stay near Manila Zoo, you can check this link.
OUR PLATE OF UNSOLICITED ADVICE
Please put a complain desk in the area where visitors can air out their concerns so the administration would know the best things to do to improve the place. Well, of course they knew what they must do, it’s just obvious that they chose not to work on it. We are just optimistic that having a complain desk would somehow make a difference.
We, as a family, think that Manila Zoo must be shut down. It doesn’t comply with the animal care and enclosure standards of a “good” zoo, if there’s such a thing. It is very apparent that the zoo is in very poor state. The grim and tiny enclosures and cages that house the wildlife are disgusting. It is not fair to see these once proud wild animals locked-up in rather pitiful cages. The animals in Manila Zoo must be sent to a sanctuary, maybe in Calauit Safari in Busuanga, Palawan, where they can roam around freely in a larger space.
Oh please, Maynila, Mahal Kong Maynila, do something about this!
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