SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2021 09:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 27 2021 02:02 PM

Newly renovated Manila Zoo

MANILA - Slabs of concrete and pieces of wood interlock at the entrance of the newly renovated Manila Zoo, giving visitors a preview of how Southeast Asia's oldest menagerie hopes to create a more natural experience in seeing wild animals in the highly-industrialized Philippine capital.

After nearly three years since it was shut in early 2019 over sanitary violations, the zoo is set to open in the first quarter of 2022 with the promise of better landscapes both for its animal residents and human guests.

"We have dreamed and aspired na ito ay maging pasyalan at tourist spot dito sa Manila," Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso told ABS-CBN News.

(We have dreamed and aspired for this to be a recreational and tourist spot here in Manila.)

"I am very happy for the people of Manila. Puwede pala gumawa ang gobyerno ng mga bagay na makapagpapasaya sa mga tao at, at the same time, puwede mag-compete sa mundo," he said.

(I am very happy for the people of Manila. The government can create something that can be enjoyed by the people, and at the same time compete with the rest of the world.)

Domagoso's administration invested P1.8 billion to create a more "child-friendly" and modern Manila Zoo.

Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 1
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 2
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 3

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

Among the most noticeable features of the zoo is a bigger living space for Mali, the Philippines' lone elephant that is now 49-years old.

"Ang elephant malamang hindi na tayo makakakuha dahil para bang pinagbabawal na," said Alipio Morabe Jr., director of Manila's Public Recreation Bureau.

(I don't think we can get another elephant because it seems it is banned already.)

"Pero ang mga hippo, bear at giraffe, zebra, mag-aacquire din tayo little by little," he said, noting that under Manila's 2022 budget, P50 million is earmarked for the acquisition of new animals for the zoo.

(But we are acquiring hippos, bears, giraffes and zebras little by little.)

Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 4
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 5
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 6

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

The new Manila Zoo also features a bigger aviary with an elevated walkway to give visitors a closer encounter with birds.

"Pinagsama na natin yung aviary, ginawa na nating 2,000 square meters," said Morabe, referring to the three netted domes in the old zoo.

(We merged the aviary into a 2,000-square meter facility.)

"Makikita niyo, para silang magkasama --- ang mga ibon at mga tao sa loob," he said.

(You will see that people and birds seem to be in one enclosure only.)

Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 7
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 8
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 9
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 10

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

A butterfly garden is a new addition to the zoo which now boasts of having 200 species and about 500 animals up for viewing.

"It’s not only zoological, it’s also botanical," Morabe said.

The local government of Manila is expecting to formalize a partnership with Cebu Safari so both menageries can feature and care for more animals, Domagoso said.

"This creates jobs, it generates jobs and that's what we are after," he said.

Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 11
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 12
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 13
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 14

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

Aside from its new animal attractions, Manila Zoo also hired four in-house veterinarians, and built its own sewage treatment plant to avoid sanitary violations.

With the new improvements in Manila Zoo, Morabe said the zoo administration is seeking an increase in entrance fees.

Under the proposed new ticket prices, non-Manila residents will be charged P200 per head, double the previous P100 door fee in 2019.

Residents of the capital city can enter the facility at the discounted rate of P100 per person.

"Kasi every month, tumataas ang bilihin, mga pagkain. Mine-maintain natin ang employees natin, nagtataas tayo ng suweldo," said Morabe, when asked why they proposed for a fee hike.

(Every month, prices of basic goods, of food increase. We are also maintaining some employees, we need to give them pay increases.)

"Kapag nakita niyo naman yung bagong zoo, matutuwa naman kayo. Hindi kami mapapahiya," he said.

(When you see the new zoo, you will be pleased. We will not disappoint.)

Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 15
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 16
Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in early 2022 17

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

SNEAK PEEK: Newly renovated Manila Zoo set to reopen in first quarter of 2022

Before the scheduled opening to the public in the first quarter of 2022, Manila Zoo will first open its doors on December 30 to families of staff who helped rehabilitate one of the oldest destinations in the capital city.

"Marapat lamang na makita ng mga anak ng construction workers yung ginawa ng tatay nila, something that they can enjoy," the Manila Mayor said.

(it is but right for the children of these construction workers to see what their fathers built.)

"I want them to be the first person to enjoy it."

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more News on iWantTFC