Got a chance to have a short visit to this zoo last January 3 as a treat to our kids. Of course kids love to see live animals especially those big ones like elephants, lions and tigers.  Among the Manila Zoo entry they love the most is Mali, the elephant.


Manila Zoo entrance on Quirino cor. Adriatico, Manila

Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is located along Adriatico Street, corner Quirino Avenue, Manila.  It’s main entrance is the front of the MMDA’s Children’s Road Safety Park formerly as the Paraiso ng Batang Maynila as indicated on the Google Maps. The zoo has a land area of 5.5 hectares.

Manila Zoo history

Manila Zoo was opened on July 25, 1959  and now cosidered as the oldest zoo in Asia. According to this link Manila Zoo has 832 animals and 100 species as of year 2007. The zoo’s most popular resident is Mali, an Asian elephant who arrived at the zoo as an orphaned calf. It serves as one of the educational centers in the country where the viewing public can observe, discover and learn interesting facts about the beauty of Philippine fauna and flora. Manila Zoo has a land area of 5.5 hectares and has a current population of about 500 animals. There are 106 species, among which are 30 different kinds of mammals, 63 reptile species and 13 types of birds. In addition to popular zoo occupants such as elephant, tigers lions and the hippos, Manila Zoo also houses several endemic and indigenous species of animals like the bearcat, long-tailed macaques and crocodiles.


Mali, the lonely elephant

Who is Mali?

According to site that campaigning Mali’s freedom, Mali, the female elephant which was transferred from Sri Lanka to the Manila Zoo when she was just a baby, Mali has lived a life of deprivation since 1977.

Mali is the only Elephant in the Manila zoo, and in fact the only Elephant in the Philippines, and she is the subject of a campaign from animal rights organization, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).  A report issued by PETA points out the numerous issues regarding Mali being kept in captivity.

Some celebrities joins the PETA advocacy campaign that urges their fans to join them for the call to Free Mali such as former Eraserheads’ band vocalist Ely Buendia, singer actress Geneva Cruz, couple Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera-Dantes and the band Parokya ni Edgar.

I just noticed that the Zoo has a very foul smell, not sure if that is because of lack of maintenance and zoo keeper. I also once noticed the irresponsible visitors throwing empty mineral water bottle to the hippo who don’t want to emerge from the swamp. I also noticed some group of students trying to awaken the tigers in sleep through shouting and throwing small stones. And some kids throwing pop corns to the animals to feed them and probably get some attention.

Manila Zoo entrance fee, a new rate under ordinance 8331

Non-Manila Residents
Adult and Child ………………………… Php 100.00
Child Above 4 feet …………………… Php    60.00

Manila Residents
Adult and Child ………………………… Php   50.00
Child above 4 feet ……………………. Php   30.00

Just prepare and present valid ID’s with picture and address in Manila like Barangay ID, Driver’s License, TIN ID, School ID, SSS ID before buying tickets to avail discount.

It is open everyday including Holidays from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

If you’re a first timer visiting Manila Zoo I guess pretty much you will enjoy it but if you’ve been to a zoo from other countries you will be totally disgusted ~ one blogger writes

Animals we see

Here’s some list of animals that we see in the zoo. Catalina macaw, Bengal Tiger, Asian elephant, Multicolored stork, Cassowary, Egret, Rufous hornbill, Indian blue peafowl, Black-crowned night heron,  Rhea, Hippopotamus, Zebra, Cloud rat, Guinea pig, Rabbit, Philippine monkey, Palawan bearcat, Stump-tailed Macaque, Philippine crocodile, Goat, Ostrich and Silver fox among others. The Giraffe has died already.


Some of the animals can be seen at Manila Zoo

Truly, the love for the animals of kids cannot hide. They are truly amazed on the large animals such as lions, tigers, hippopotamus and their become favorite Mali, the elephant which only can be seen alive at the Manila zoo here in our country.

You, what is your stand to Mali? Do you want her to be freed? Is the Manila zoo a den for such like animals? Or hell?