Solving a problem like MANILA ZOO
The Manila government website touts the Manila Zoo -- formally known as the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, and maintained by the Public Recreation Bureau -- as a 5.5 hectare educational center housing around 500 animals of 106 species. While Young believes that the zoo is properly funded in terms of its food and medicine budget, he stated in a public Facebook post dated September 18 this year that the zoo lacks funding for the repair of its infrastructure. In 2015, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada announced the prospective signing of a P1.5 billion joint venture agreement “to make the zoo world-class, like [the one] in Singapore,” reported Nathaniel Melican for Philippine Daily Inquirer. Nothing has been written about the project since it was put on hold in 2016. Without the continuous support of the Manila City government, Manila Zoo has had to rely on the help of
Zoo Crew Philippines. Sevilla shared that her time with the volunteer organization helped change her initially negative perception of zoos into a positive one, after she realized that the volunteers did their best to improve Manila Zoo: checking on the animals in the morning, bringing the animals toys and treats, and repairing enclosures like the zoo’s Reptile House, among others.
Young advises the public to show their support for the Manila Zoo by “being educated on the purpose of zoos and help keep it clean, learn to read and obey signs.”
While it may take time for the government to approve budgets and projects, the fastest and surest way to ensure that the Manila Zoo is maintained well is to see and lead the change individually. Sevilla said, “Seeing an increase of people showing interest in volunteering for groups aimed at welfare and conservation like Zoo Crew gives me hope.”
1 1 Hebra eating a pumpkin
2 Maali the elephant playing with a tire (Facebook, Zoo Crew Philippines) 2