A few weeks ago, I read several articles about the depressing state of Manila Zoo. I was so disheartened by the photos I saw and stories I’ve read: horses and donkeys with bones poking through their skin, monkeys eating plastic, and various animals living in their own filth. A lot of people called for the zoo to close down and I can’t say they overreacted. I myself wanted to close it down after seeing those horrible photos. And even after going there myself and seeing that it’s really not half as bad as it looked in articles I’ve read online, I still want it to close down.
I enjoyed myself very much and I don’t doubt that the people who went here also did. The last time I went here was about 15 years ago, and revisiting the place is an expressway back to my childhood. I don’t deny it: as I walked from enclosure to enclosure, I felt myself release the knots from my shoulders, felt adulthood slip away. Such is the therapeutic effects of being around animals, I guess. I was a kid again.
But that’s the point. Going there does me good, but how does the animals benefit from my visit? The first version of this entry got kind of depressing, and the gist of everything I want to say is that if we absolutely have to keep animals in captivity, we should at the very least give them the best quality of life that we can.
Done with the heavy stuff. Now, enjoy some photos. And if you ever want to visit the zoo, it’s very cheap (40 PHP, 20 PHP for Manila residents). Try not to tease the animals and if you want to feed them, bring food that’s safe for them to eat (no chips, please!)