The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is a 5.5-hectare (14-acre) zoo located in Manila, Philippines that opened on July 25th, 1959. The Manila Zoo and Botanical Garden receives millions of visitors every year, and is especially popular with visitors on weekends.
The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is home to more than 800 animals from nearly 100 species as of 2007. The zoo's most popular resident is Mali, an Asian elephant who arrived at the zoo as an orphaned calf donated from Sri Lanka.
Wildlife Rescue Center
The Wildlife Rescue Center serves as temporary shelter and repository for confiscated, donated, retrieved, sick, injured and abandoned wildlife species.
The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is home to many plant collections, from the botanically rich and diverse Philippine Islands and South Pacific region.
- Botanical garden
The zoo has been criticized due to its inadequate animal care and dirty surroundings. The zoo is responding with efforts to make the animal habitats as comfortable and natural as possible, such as by adding trees and vegetation, and expanding the enclosures.
Mali the Elephant PETA campaign
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 huge 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. It talks of the loneliness Mali must be facing, seeing as in the wild Elephants travel in close knit herds, constantly surrounded by family and friends. The report says that even if Mali's enclosure was doubled or tripled in size, it would still be inadequate for an Elephant.
It is also pointed out, in the report, that Mali appears to be suffering from Zoochosis - zoo visitors see Mali repeatedly walk up to the edge of her enclosure and stretch her foot out over the empty space, hoping to go further. In 2012, the Office of the President issued a directive stating that Mali's health should be evaluated and she should be transferred to a sanctuary.