Blah Blah Blog RAINY DAYS: To Zoo or Not To Zoo?

TO ZOO OR NOT TO ZOO... That is the question.

Another trendsetter this week was the Infamous condition of the Manila Zoo posted in a post by The post showed the very poor condition of the animals with their nutrition and also their health and also untreated wounds. It is really a sad to see the animals at this conditions, especially it was my first zoo experience in my life. And I have been to several other zoos like Avilon and Malabon which takes good care of the animals. Though I prefer seeing animals in the wild but zoos can be a source of a sanctuary for animals that needs special care and not primarily for entertainment. 

Being the first Zoo in Asia, it shows that it really aged and unfortunately the treatment of the animals too. The big debate now is whether to close down the zoo or have it 'revived' to save the animals. The situation also trended on yesterday worldwide. Its looks like global exposure but it would make it image worse. I would say that we can still keep the zoo but as a rehabilitation place for animals especially those that wanders in the city like snakes and birds. Also a public zoo would face the same crisis after sometime as there are other priorities the city government is also attending. In this urban ecosystem, animals still have their place and we should always be open and not keep the lands for ourselves.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda gave their statement about the issue...

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:
On the Manila Zoo
[Delivered on July 14, 2011]

We share the concern expressed by concerned citizens over the condition in which animals are kept in the Manila Zoo. We have taken steps again to alert the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), which, under the provisions of Republic Act No. 8485, otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, places the animal welfare certification and regulation of zoos under the authority of the Director of Animal Industry and the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the DENR, pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 9147 (Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act). As a response, the BAI, through the Committee on Animal Welfare, said that it continuously engages in a comprehensive discussion with the animal advocates, particularly on the condition of Mali the elephant and other animals in the zoo. They made a plan of action to uphold the welfare of the animals that should be led by zoo officials.

We have also communicated with the office of the City Mayor of Manila and are confident that Mayor Alfredo Lim will dialogue with concerned citizens. The City Mayor has directed Public Recreations Bureau Chief Engineer Deng Manimbo to receive assistance and support from concerned citizens. Those who may wish to help in raising funds or otherwise helping to restore the Manila Zoo may call telephone numbers 468-9498 and 383-6862.

It is noteworthy that concerned citizens have expressed the willingness to assist in any way they can, to help the Manila Zoo improve its facilities and raise its standards. We are encouraged by this demonstration of public spirit on the part of our fellow citizens. It is a positive sign that the citizenry wants to be part of the solution and not just point out a problem.

And here is PETA's reaction on this statement

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been campaigning for years about the poor conditions in which animals are kept at the Manila Zoo. It is time for the government to recognize that animals should not be kept in captivity.

Animals kept in zoos are denied everything that is natural and important to them; every aspect of their lives is controlled and managed. They are housed in cages that don’t come close to the jungles, deserts, and forests that are their natural homes. They have no choice in their diets, mates, or living companions. What is a few fleeting moments of distraction for visitors means a lifetime of misery for the animals. The physical and mental frustrations of captivity often lead to abnormal, neurotic, and even self-destructive behaviors in animals, called “zoochosis.” This mental illness is marked by symptoms such as pacing, neck-twisting, head-bobbing, bar-biting, and other repetitive behaviors.

Precious government funds should not be wasted on imprisoning animals. The government should be embarrassed by their request that members of the public should donate money to the zoo. The government is making it clear that they cannot even uphold minimum standards at the Manila Zoo.

It is time for the Manila Zoo to close.

PETA’s campaign targeting the Manila Zoo – via protests, investigation reports, and education efforts – has reached countless Filipinos and tourists, resulting in thousands of letters and e-mails being sent to Mayor Lim calling for the closure of the Manila Zoo. Most people are appalled when they learn that Mali, the elephant at the Manila Zoo, was only three years old when she was torn from her home and family and shipped to the zoo. In the wild, Mali would browse and graze in home ranges of between 25,000 and 60,000 hectares. The entire Manila Zoo measures only 5.5 hectares. Mali has been in a barren and decrepit cement enclosure in the Manila Zoo for over 30 years.

And not too long ago, Sese, the lone orangutan, died of cancer that the zoo said they didn’t even know she had.

We are thankful and encouraged by the overflowing support of people who have tweeted and re-tweeted about the horrible conditions at the Manila Zoo. We are particularly thankful to Kim Atienza, Victor Basa, Anne Curtis, Karen Davila, Pepe Diokno, Denise Laurel, Rajo Laurel, Divine Lee, Xian Lim, Saab Magalona, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Bubbles Paraiso, Paula Peralejo, Sanya Smith, and Tim Yap, who are using their fame to draw attention to the suffering of animals.

For more information about our campaign, please go to Photos of Mali and other animals at the Manila Zoo are available upon request.

PETA will shortly be sending a news release on a protest outside the Manila Zoo gates to take place at 1 p.m. tomorrow, July 15th, 2011. For more information, please contact Rochelle Regodon on 0920-497-4679.

This is another thing that Social Media does to change injustices, I hope actions will be enforced for the welfare of the animals. Our country has the most diverse ecosystems in the world, its sad to see that we are not doing our part to help. Are we waiting for the Rise of the Apes?

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