PETA pushes for closure of Manila Zoo due to alleged animal maltreatment
(SPOT.ph) Animal rights group the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is once again appealing to the government to shut down the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden (Manila Zoo), reports GMA News. The appeal came yesterday, July 14, when a blogger posted photos of the zoo’s malnourished and wounded animals living in cramped spaces, sparking the concern of netizens.
PETA has been campaigning for the zoo's closure for years due to the poor living conditions of its animals. "They are housed in cages that don't come close to the jungles, deserts, and forests that are their natural homes. They have no choice in their diets, mates, or living companions," PETA said in a statement. They added that physical and mental frustrations of captivity may cause animals’ abnormal, neurotic, and self-destructive behaviors.
Netizens, meanwhile, took to Twitter to express their dismay over the photos, reports ABS-CBN News. User ageofbrillig suggested: "Close Manila Zoo. Construct on it low-cost urban mass housing." Other users, however, felt nostalgic and sympathetic. iLuvCyrusBieber tweeted, "Let us pray for all the animals in Manila Zoo that they will survive." Immonster17 said, "Tagal ko nang hindi nakakapunta ng Manila Zoo, but it was part of my childhood. Sana maayos 'to and the animals, sana mapangalagaan ng ayos."
The Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS) also released a statement yesterday and said that they have alerted the Bureau of Animal Industry and Manila Mayor Fred Lim. Lim, in turn, has already directed his chief of public recreations to coordinate with citizens who want to help raise funds or restore the zoo.
However, PETA told OPS that "precious government funds should not be wasted on imprisoning animals" and that the government should be ashamed for asking the public for money to fix the zoo. "This just shows that the government cannot even uphold minimum standards at the Manila Zoo," PETA wrote in their statement. Apart from holding an online petition pushing for the zoo’s closure, PETA is also planning to stage a protest outside Manila Zoo today at 1 p.m.
SONA’s report on Manila Zoo