Local famous tourist attraction Manila Zoo may soon attract more visitors as the local government sets its rehabilitation into a world-class recreational spot in July.
The rehabilitation of the zoo will be facilitated through a public-private partnership with Singaporean firm Metropolitan Zoo Incorporated.
In an earlier report by Manila Bulletin, Estrada said, “They have a really good proposal which is according to our standards. They will turn the Manila zoo into a world-class zoo.” He also said that the new face of the park would be pegged with the Singapore Zoo.
A total of P1.5 billion is allocated for the 5.5-hectare botanical park, which could hopefully address several concerns of the visitors.
In another report, GMA-7 asked some patrons and first-time visitors of their suggestions for the rehabilitation.
Foreign tourists Katie Nelson and Jason Pialick think there should be more endemic plant species in the zoo.
Pialick said, “We would like to see more like plants, like flowers, like Philippine flowers [sic].”
First-time visitor Marvin dela Cruz noticed several polluted sections in the zoo.
“Dapat may mga nakatoka na bantay para maiwasan yung mga pagtapon ng plastic bottle or pagtapon ng basura,” he said. (There should be workers focused to overseeing the cleanliness of the zoo to avoid trashes like plastic bottles.)
While animal rights group PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) wishes they would be consulted regarding the needs of the animals.
Spokesperson Jana Sevilla said, “Kasi talagang badly needed na itong renovation na ito… Sana mabigyan din ‘yung animal welfare or animal rights side na magbigay ng opinion nila tungkol dito.” (Renovation is badly needed. Hopefully, the animal rights groups may air their opinion regarding this.)
According to Manila Zoo Director Albert De Chavez, the project will make the 56-year-old zoo look modern.
De Chavez said, ” We are doing a complete overhaul.”
“After this project, the zoo will not look anything like it is today,” he added.
Aside from bigger animal cages, there will be added features such as a walk-in aviary where tourists could meet and greet a variety of bird species inside a large enclosed space.
Despite major beautification, Estrada ensures the public that admission rates would not increase largely from its current rates.
The rehabilitation will start by July and will take six months to finish. The zoo will not be closed during construction since the project will be done in phases.