What should be done to Manila Zoo’s decrepit state?

The decrepit state of the Manila Zoo was retweeted many times that it created a global trend on Twitter. Malacañang released an official statement expressing concern on the alarming condition of the animals in Manila Zoo.

Photo via kuro-akira.livejournal.co

We share the concern expressed by concerned citizens over the condition in which animals are kept in the Manila Zoo”, said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda as he delivered the official statement earlier.

He said the government is now taking steps to address the problem. “We have taken steps again to alert the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI),”

BAI, through the Committee on Animal Welfare, in response said that comprehensive discussions with animal advocates are now on the run. “They made a plan of action to uphold the welfare of the animals that should be led by zoo officials.”, Lacierda continued.

The Presidential spokesman also pointed out Republic Act No. 8485, known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 which places the animal welfare authorization and regulation of zoos under the authority of the Director of Animal Industry and the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Resources (DENR), pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act.

The Manila Zoo first spread out last Tuesday on Twitter when one netizen (internet user) shared a blog link showing photos of malnourished donkeys, and a rabbit and ostrich with untreated wounds. This was re-posted in Pro Pinoy which then caused their server to crash from the high traffic.

@luvmuffinnn says ” and i was right. The animals at Manila Zoo, don’t just appear unhealthy they actually are unhealthy”

Even Local Personalities displayed their worry over the matter.

@annacurtissmith is sad. “Just saw the link about the Manila Zoo. Something has to be done about this. It’s so sad 🙁 The poor animals. They don’t deserve to be there. They’re better off back in the wild. It’s so cruel.” 

Lacierda then added that they have communicated with Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim to act on the matter. Mayor Lim said to direct Public Recreations Bureau Chief Engineer Deng Manimbo to accept assistance and support from concerned citizens. They provided contact numbers for those who wish to help to restore the zoo: telephone numbers 468-9498 and 383-6862.

Spokesperson Lacierda ended the statement conveying his appreciation on the concerns raised by the citizens.

“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.”

The Manila zoo condition in March 2009 was already getting flak from PETA and other animal rights groups. “For years, PETA has been campaigning for the closure of the zoo due to the “poor conditions” of animals. It said the physical and mental frustrations of animal’s captivity often lead to abnormal, neurotic, and even self-destructive behaviors.”

The decrepit state of the Manila Zoo has been there for years. What should be done?