I went to Manila Zoo, Manila, The Philippines on Sunday 21 October 2018. This article is a review of Manila Zoo where I will explain a lot about the zoo, show many pictures, and give my review.
Entering the Zoo – Prices And Entrance
The zoo’s entrance price was 100 PHP (Philippine pesos) for a foreign adult. The prices are slightly less for foreign kids and for local Manila people. Though as a foreigner, likely you just need to know 100 PHP per person.
The Zoo closes at 6 PM and may be open 7 days a week but you should check to make sure before going.
Appearance of the zoo
Unfortunately the zoo is quite dilapidated. But there are some interesting animals there.
I was a little disappointed to see a few domesticated animals there, kind of like a petting zoo. There were goats and rabbits one could see. Also in other areas of the zoo, there are places where people were raising chickens and also there were a few stray cats in the zoo. But the stray cats I’d maybe understandable because there.
The Animals At The Manila Zoo
There is a large range of animals at the zoo. Besides the domesticated animals, there are monkeys, different kinds of apes, turtles, snakes, at least one elephant, tigers, some kind of oxen, crocodiles, birds, and more. So, mainly mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
My favorite animals were the Hebra ( offspring of a male Horse and a female Zebra), Philippine Crocodiles, Asian Elephant, tigers, and a talking bird.
Playgrounds All Over
I was a little disappointed in that there were really a LOT of playgrounds for kids there. I specifically went here to see animals, not to see kids’ playgrounds. So there could have been a lot more animals there if there weren’t so many playgrounds.
Safety Concerns By Dangerous Animals
Although there are signs warning you, there is a tiger cage where you can basically walk right next to the cage, and in theory you could put your arm in there and have the tiger bite you.
And even bigger concern though was for the crocodile enclosures. Basically there are very short walls between you and the crocodiles. I am 1.83 meters tall (or about 6 feet tall), and the walls were only about half my height. So actually it would be very easy either to just jump into a crocodile enclosure or possibly fall in by accident and then later likely get killed by a crocodile.
There really are some amazing crocodiles there but some are monstrous in size and could easily eat you for dinner. So all that being said, I definitely think the crocodile enclosure should be much safer for humans.
Signs and labeling
Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed at the signage. Some of the animal enclosures did not have signs so I didn’t know what kind of animals there were. Also, while there are English signs in many places, there are many signs only in Filipino or Tagalog.
When I first saw the Hebra, I didn’t see any signs about it. My first thought was that it looked a little like a bird and a Zebra, and that maybe it was some other species related to both kind of like how wolves, coyotes, and dogs are related. I only found out later by finding a sign to learn that the animal in fact was called a Hebra, and was a mix between a Horse and a Zebra.
The Philippine Crocodiles
I am quite fascinated by crocodiles in part for their evolutionary success. Crocs have been around for millions of years and are master stealth hunters. Years ago I went to Australia Zoo close to Brisbane, Australia, which I believe is owned by the family of Steve Irwin. Seeing some of these crocs reminded me of my experience at Australia Zoo seeing the crocodiles there. But at Manila Zoo, they had Philippine Crocodiles which I had never seen before. Some of the cross were absolutely massive and could easily devour a human, so I was simultaneously terrified and also fascinated. But I did like seeing them regardless of the safety concerns mentioned above.
There were actually several different enclosures of tigers. There was one which was basically just a big cage but there were others which had good enclosures and built in ways that kind of simulate what the tigers’ own natural environment would look like. I’ve loves tigers my whole life and definitely enjoyed seeing the tigers.
The Asian Elephant(s)
I only saw one Asian elephant but there may have been more. I also love elephants and really enjoyed seeing the elephant. Elephants are one of the smartest animals on the planet and even have bigger brains than humans, but their brains aren’t as complex as ours. The elephant was elegant, but at times it was annoying to be around so many people trying to get a picture of it.
There was a white talking bird which I was really amazed at. I saw the bird by itself with no trainers around.
The bird, as far as I know, knew only 3 phrases: “What’s your name?, How are you?, And finally Hello”. The bird would repeat those phrases randomly but I was still very impressed they could teach a bird such phrases.
Cute Artwork – Flower Pots With Artwork Etc
My Overall Score For Manila Zoo
My overall score for the Manila zoo would be a 3 out of 5.
The negatives as I mentioned are:
• Too many playgrounds
• Dilapidated appearance of the zoo; looking quite run down
• Bad signage
The positives are:
• Fairly inexpensive. 100 pesos is between 1 and 2 USD or between 1 and 2 Euro.
• Interesting animals including: tigers, Asian Elephant, Philippine crocodiles, Hebra, and a talking bird.
• Cute artwork
Overall I’d say if you have 1 to 2 hours to spare, the zoo is interesting to visit. Other countries likely have better maintained zoos, but seeing the unique animals made it worth it for me.
I also made 3 videos of my visit at the Manila Zoo which you can see below.
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