After our trip to Rizal Park (Check : Rizal Park) , my brother and I went to another notable destination in Manila but this one is actually catered for kiddos. Interestingly, the last time I went here is when I was in Kinder as part of our field trip and since then, I never got the chance to visit the place again. Yes, I am referring to the oldest zoo not just in Manila but in Asia, the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden or simply the Manila Zoo.Although it has been two decades since the last time I step my foot here, i can still visualize those moments my brother and I had here. I still remember Mali and those giraffes that we fed ( I know there were giraffes here before… err or maybe I was just dreaming). I remember how that silly monkey grabbed my brother’s hair haha.Manila zoo is indeed one of the oldest zoos in Asia. It was established in July 25, 1959. It covers an entire 5.5 hectare of land with over 1000 animals of 90 different species as of 2015. For non Manila residents like us, the entrance fee to the zoo is worth Php100 while Manila residents have the privilage to enter the premises for just half the price (Php50) . They just have to show a valid ID to prove their residency.
THE CURRENT CONDITION OF MALI
The most popular animal in the zoo is probably Mali (Maali). Mali is the only captive elephant in the country and thus made her the loneliest elephant in the world (that’s most people are claiming). She was transferred in the country from Sri Lanka since 1977. The elephant was confined to a barren, concrete enclosure of the zoo for 40 years which raised the eyebrows of different animal rights organization especially PETA.Several campaigns were built with the aim to free Manila from the zoo and to bring the elephant back to its natural habitat. Contrary to the reports though, Mali’s condition is seemingly not as depressing as what the news told us. Don’t get me wrong , I am not an expert here but Mali is not as malnourished as what we were being told. She looks really old though and yea, you can feel the sadness from her. If only the government will extend effort to improve her condition and bring another elephant on the zoo to be her companion. Elephants are know for socializing so it is really heartbreaking to see her in such solitude.You can only see Mali walking around in circle and is not engage with any other activities. You can also see those white spots around her ears and nose but I cannot tell if its just a sign of aging or some sort of skin disease.The fowl smell is very strong in her area too. Although it is painful to watch Mali in such condition, seeing the only captive elephant upclose is truly something to marvel.
OTHER ANIMALS OF MANILA ZOO
Red-eared Slider TurtleLong necked yellow turtleMonitor LizardBurmese PythonIguanasCrocodileHippopotamus (seriosuly it took me awhile but this is the only best shot I got… this hippo didn’t even move a muscle haha)A wide species of birdsJust look at her wonderfully patterned wingsMr Hippo’s companyCassowaryTamarawIt’s not a horse, not yet a zebra… it’s Hebra!Monkeys!!!Monkeys and their routineThis red face Japanese monkeyYellow Crocs. Sorry I lost the copy of their names 🙁
ZebuGuinea PigsBinturong or BearcatPeacockHelmeted Guineafowl
There is also an area in the zoo known as “Kinder Zoo” which features an educational tour and a lot of fun activities for kids including a bird show, a photo opp with large python , a boat ride and many more. There is , however a separate entrance fee for Kinder Zoo worth Php75 (excluding other activity fees).
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GOING TO MANILA ZOO
►The entrance fee to Manila Zoo is Php100 for non-Manila visitors and Php50 for Manila residents (valid ID should be presented
►The entrance fee to Kinder Zoo is Php75
►There’s also a fee of Php75 for Adventure Jungle Unlimited Wall Climb & Zip Line Ride
►Bundle Packages are also available ranging from Php100 to Php125
►Do not feed the Animals!
►It is also a Botanical Garden so expect to see a wide variety of plants and trees
►Souvenir shops are almost everywhere
►There is an area where you can buy foods and also an area where you are allowed to eat
►You can also avail the Boat Ride in Manila zoo for Php60
►Photo booths with Snakes, Monkeys and Tigers or Birds can range from Php100-Php150
►Manila Zoo is open Everyday (including Holidays) from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
How to Get to Manila Zoo
The Zoo is just located near the Manila Hospital and Harrison Plaza so if you are coming from South, simply ride a bus bound to Lawton and drop off to Quirino LRT Station. From there ride pedicab going to Manila Zoo.
Where To Stay in Manila
In case you are looking for more budget hotels, feel free to check our hotel recommendations via TravelBookPH and see which one suits your budget!
So after the Manila Zoo brought up the inner kid in us, we left the zoo in such glee. So if you think we’re done with Intramuros, well, we actually went back to this place to visit our next destination ~ The Baluarte De San Diego and I will post more details about this interesting historical part of Intramuros in my next #LetsExploreManila entry.
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By the Way , Cavite City also has their own Botanical and Zoological Garden – Check: Cavite City Zoo
In case you missed an entry, here are the rest of the entries you might want to read.
LET’S EXPLORE MANILA TRAVEL SERIES
►Let’s Explore Manila Prologue
►Journey to the Past – Intramuros Part 1
►Journey to the Past – Intramuros Part 2
►The Papier Tole Souvenir Shop
►Intramuros In Black and White
►Go Hotel Otis : A Traveler-Friendly Budget Hotel In the Metro
►Paco Park and Cemetery
►The Historical Rizal Park (Luneta Park)
►The Rizal Execution Site
►The Chinese Garden
►The Manila Zoo and the Current Condition of Mali
►Baluarte De San Andres and Baluarte De San Diego of Intramuros
►The Seven Great Churches of Intramuros
►The Manila Baywalk