• Melo Acuna

Manila Zoo rehab begins


More zoo animals, better environment expected a year from now

MANILA – City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said Manila residents and guests from other parts of the country can expect a cleaner and better Manila Zoo as the city government launched a year-long redevelopment program Saturday morning.

In his remarks, Mayor Domagoso said the City of Manila was the first to build its zoo and botanical garden among the Southeast Asian countries after it was opened to the public on this day in 1959. He added the City of Manila was first to build its underpass and organize its tertiary education institution.

“Other countries have overtaken us as Singapore opened its zoo. However, we will do what we can to improve our facilities. The zoo is important to the children and the general public as Vice Mayor Maria Shielah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan, recalled her visits to the Manila Zoo and the playground known as Paraiso ng Batang Maynilaacross the street,” he said.

In an exclusive interview, Mayor Domagoso, more popularly known as “Yorme Isko Moreno” said he is grateful to the Manila Zoo staff who exerted efforts to keep the zoo animals alive and in perfect condition after the four-month lockdown.

Speaking of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city mayor said it is time to set aside differences in religious and political beliefs and work together to beat the odds.

“In our small way, we are trying to protect lives and boost the economy by providing jobs and income opportunities,” he said.

Asked if he would increase the animals at the Manila Zoo, Mayor Domagoso said they would welcome donations from private individuals and countries.

Told of the possibility China may donate pandas, Mayor Domagoso said they will certainly appreciate the lease and will ensure the famed mammals from China would have almost the same environment as in the wilds of Sichuan.

He vowed part of the redevelopment program is their compliance with the national government strict environmental laws.

“We will see to it we will not add to the pollution of the Manila Bay,” he added. (Melo M. Acuña)

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno being interviewed after the launching of Manila Zoo's redevelopment. (Melo M. Acuna)

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