Following its closure in January 2019, the formerly known as Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden opens its doors to the public for a ₱0 entrance fee.
After it was closed because of environmental issues, the now dubbed Manila Zoo underwent a major renovation to improve, well, everything!
A soft opening last December 30, 2021 revealed snazzy new paths, glass enclosures and viewing platforms, and a brand-new sewage treatment facility. It’s been 63 years since the zoo’s opening in 1959, and it’s been long due for an overhaul.
Renovated – what’s new in the zoo?
Almost everything in the 5.5 hectares of Manila Zoo received an upgrade. It’s back with a refreshing new look, more accessibility for guests and its beloved animals, and its first sewage treatment plant.
Manila Zoo now features a botanical garden and a butterfly garden with viewing lofts, a revamped animal museum, elevated viewing decks, glass enclosures for the animals, and dedicated areas for endemic animals and birds. Mali, the zoo’s resident celebrity elephant, has also been transferred to a bigger area more ideal for grazing and resting.
Pathways around the attraction are now wider and elevated to better accommodate more people when the doors fully open. Furthermore, accessibility is heightened with benches, food stalls, drinking fountains, and a larger parking area.
Manila Zoo is home to about a thousand animals from 90 species. A few exotic highlights giving life to the zoo are a Bengal tiger, a Malayan civet, a monitor lizard, and a hippopotamus. Features to be anticipated include new animal habitats, more gardens, more leisure amenities and dining options, a museum, and a veterinary hospital.
Soon the zoo will become a center of celebrating the Philippines’ rich and diverse fauna and flora!
Reopened after 3 years – why the wait?
In 2019, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu visited the zoo and discovered that it did not have its own sewage treatment facility; untreated sewage was being dumped into an estuary connected to Manila Bay.
Thus, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) identified it as a major pollutant of Manila Bay and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada ordered the indefinite closure of the zoo on January 23, 2019.
When Francisco Moreno Domagoso took over as mayor, he invested ₱1.74 billion of the city funds on the reconstruction project intended to “stimulate the city’s economy in the long term.” The result is a facility “at par with the world’s best zoological and botanical gardens”, as described by Mayor Domagoso.
At present, Manila Zoo has not fully opened in light of the pandemic. Their capacity is capped at 1,000 visitors a day to avoid overcrowding, a large difference from its original 16,000 capacity back in the day. On the bright side, that just means more space for you and your family when you do secure your visit.
- Open hours: Monday to Sunday 8AM to 8PM
- General admission is currently FREE. You can book your tickets through their official website: https://www.manilazoo.ph/book-appointment
- Email address: [email protected]
HOW TO GET THERE?
Exact Location: M. Adriatico St., Malate, Manila – in between Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center and Paraiso ng Batang Maynila.
BY CAR: Navigate with Waze or Google Maps and set your destination to “Manila Zoo” in Malate. Parking is available.