The entrance to Manila Zoo
|Date opened||July 25, 1959|
|Location||Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila, Philippines|
|Land area||5.5 hectares (14 acres)|
|Number of animals||~1000 (2015)|
|Number of species||90 (2015)|
|Annual visitors||480,000+ |
|Public transit access||
The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is home to about a thousand animals from 90 species as of April 2015. The zoo's most popular resident is Mali, an Asian elephant who arrived at the zoo in 1977 as 3 year old calf transported from Sri Lanka, after being poached from the wild.
Other Animals residing in Manila Zoo includes a Bengal tiger, Malayan civet, monitor lizard and hippopotamus. Many of the animals of the zoo were born in captivity with three month-old juveniles recently born in April 2015. The zoo management is planning to transfer many of its animals to a separate breeding area or sanctuary outside Metro Manila due to over congestion in the zoo. The zoo is planned to be just an exhibit area.
Wildlife Rescue Center
The Wildlife Rescue Center serves as temporary shelter and repository for confiscated, donated, retrieved, sick, injured and abandoned wildlife species. The Wildlife Rescue Center has been the subject of public scrutiny in regard to their animal welfare standards.
The Kinder Zoo within Manila Zoo was a result of a private-public partnership between Kinder Zoo, Inc. and the city government. Kinder Zoo, Inc. redeveloped 3,000 square metres (32,000 sq ft) of the zoo into an area named Kinder Zoo. The area was designed as a child-friendly area where children can interact with some animals of the zoo. The area featured a butterfly sanctuary, a hanging bridge, a flamingo pond, a barn for events, and a petting zoo upon its opening in June 23, 2000. 
The Manila Zoo by law must operate in accordance to the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 (also known as Republic Act 8485). The purpose of the Act is to ensure that all terrestrial, aquatic and marine animals in the Philippines have their physical and psychological needs met in ways that promote well-being. Inquiries have been made into the compliance of the Manila Zoo with this Act.
The zoo has been criticized due to its inadequate animal care and dirty surroundings. The zoo is responding with efforts to make the animal habitats as comfortable and natural as possible, such as by adding trees and vegetation, and expanding the enclosures.
Treatment of Mali the Elephant
Mali is the only Elephant in the Manila zoo, and the only captive elephant in the Philippines, and she is the subject of a campaign from animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA). A report issued by PeTA points out the numerous issues regarding Mali being kept in captivity.
Calls for the closure of the zoo
In 2007 PeTA called for the boycott and closure of Manila Zoo as part of its global campaign against zoos claiming that zoos are never beneficial to animals. The animal rights group supported proposals to convert the zoo into a sporting coliseum to be used by the Philippine Basketball Association. Some local vendors operating in the zoo opposed PeTA's calls citing its negative effect on their livelihood and then Mayor Alfredo Lim said calls to close the zoo, which he described as a city landmark, were unwarranted and claimed that the zoo's animals were well taken care of.
A total of 1.5 billion pesos will be allocated for the rehabilitation of the 5.5 hectare botanical park. The rehabilitation of the Manila Zoo will be implemented through a public-private partnership with a Singaporean firm. This rehabilitation project aims to make the park a world-class recreational spot, the project will start by July 2015 and it is expected that it will take six months to finish.
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- Melican, Nathaniel (22 May 2015). "P1.5-B rehab program to turn Manila Zoo into world-class attraction starts in July". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
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- Enriquez, Marge (4 August 2000). "A gentler, kinder zoo". Philippine Daily Inquirer - Lifestyle. p. 6. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
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- Santos, Tina (14 September 2007). "Peta presses campaign for zoo closure". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- Basco, Humberto (12 July 2007). "No to conversion of zoo into coliseum". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Manila Zoo soon to be world class after rehabilitation". Kicker Daily News. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
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