Open Letter to Manila Zoo: It’s Not a Zoological Garden, It’s an Animal Prison

Famous Youtuber Lloyd Cadena posted a story from one of his followers about her recent trip with her son to the famous Manila Zoo. She tells the story of her rewarding her son to a trip of his choice, The Manila Zoo but they were both disappointed with the current situation:

  • Nobody was maintaining the surroundings, there were trash everywhere, even inside the cages of the animals.
  • Nobody was guarding the visitors, they were feeding the animals junk food even trash
  • Employee was smoking on duty while handing tickets
  • Employees without uniforms and even are dressed inappropriately

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Photo sent in by our reader MerveShine Constantino

Direct Quote:

Mataas ang grades na nakuha ng anak ko, kaya katulad ng kahit sinong magulang, bibigyan ko siya ng pagkakataon na mamasyal sa lugar na gusto niya. I was surprised na hindi niya pinili ang Star City or Enchanted Kingdom but he chose, yes, your zoo. Ayaw ko man, ang general average na 97% ay hindi tatablan ng “NO, anak”.

So dahil nasa Maynila naman na kami, minabuti kong dumaan na muna sa National Museum of the Philippines. He was skeptical at first, ano daw ba ang makikita niya doon? I assured, a lot. And hindi naman ako nabigo. On this photo, you can see that he is so happy. He discovered new things about the Philippines’ culture, seeing 300-500 year old artworks, unusual sculptures from artists he barely knew, and he learned from here. He was so amazed. Pero when we went to your zoo. Ang sakit, so hayaan niyo akong sulatan kayo dito.

Dear Manila Zoo,

Sa totoo lang, kung pwedeng maligaw na lang kami kunwari, ginawa ko na. But my son was patient, we’ll get there. Kinakabahan ako, ano ang aabutan namin dun? So sinabi ko sa kanya, na baka hindi na kasing-ayos ang zoo like how I told him “back in the day”.

And I was right. Manila Zoo broke our hearts. Yung “WOW!” niya sa museo ay napalitan ng “ay…”. It was the most heart-breaking trip I ever had and I know, sa anak ko rin. Hindi kami umalis kaagad, sinulit ko po ang entrance fee, P100 per head eh.

Ipapaalam ko lang po sa inyo ang mga bagay na dapat ninyong bigyan ng pansin. Unang una, hindi na po ito zoological garden, animal prison na po ito. Ang mga hayop, kawawa naman. Siguro naman ang entrance fee namin ay sapat na upang makapag-hire kayo ng animal handlers na alam ang kanilang ginagawa. Sa totoo lang, mas malinis pa ang Comfort Room niyo na may bayad. Walang nagbabantay sa ibang hayop na malapit sa mga turista na hindi nakakaintindi ng “Don’t Feed the Animals”. Nakita tuloy ng anak ko kung paano kumain ang unggoy ng Mr. Chips, at ang Ostrich na nakakain ng napitpit na plastic na takip ng hot chocolate. Wala akong picture, I was so busy shouting and distracting these animals para hindi isubo ang nakikita nila. They are totally in danger. After that, kitang-kita sa mukha ng anak ko ang pag-aalala.

Pangalawa, sige, kung walang pondo sa animal handlers, kahit sa Zoo maintainance na lang, napakadumi na po ng lugar. Hindi na po sapat ang mga signages ninyo na “Panatilihing malinis ang lugar” dahil wala na pong pakialam ang mga tao dahil nanlilimahid po ang zoo. Napaka-surprising nga po at buhay pa yung Hippopotamus kahit napakaraming basura na lumulutang sa man-made pond niya.

Lastly, I am calling the attention of all your employees. Saan ka nakakita ng female attendant na kukuha ng ticket mo sa entrance na may yosi na naka-angkas sa tenga? Mga hindi naka-uniform at may naka-sexy shorts pa? Zoo ba kayo o bar? We went there on a sunday, sure, pero hindi ba dapat mas presentable kayo kapag weekends dahil mas marami kayong bisita?

Nakakahiya. Ang sakit sakit po ng dibdib ko sa pag-pasyal namin sa zoo ninyo. And thank you for disappointing my son. I never took photos kasi I am never proud of what I saw. Sa lahat ng aspeto, bagsak kayo. Kung hindi niyo kayang i-maintain, magsara na lang po tayo. Kahit hindi na lang para sa kahihiyan, kahit para sa mga hayop na lang.

*The source of the story has remained anonymous, if you know the author of the said post, please let us know to credit her fully*

Have you been to Manila Zoo recently? How was your experience? How can the management improve?






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