After the closure of Manila Zoo, there had been a lot of talks about it being turned into a mall or a casino, but Manila Mayor-elect Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso rejects those and assures everyone that he will keep Manila Zoo and its animals.

Earlier this year, incumbent mayor Joseph Estrada ordered for the closure of the Manila Zoo to be assessed and studied after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Roy Cimatu called out the facility’s management for being a major pollutant of Manila Bay. He also planned to turn the park into a gymnasium.

Domagoso says it will stand by its name “Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden.”

“We will try to make it na talagang parang pasyalan ng tao,” Domagoso says during an interview in a radio last May 8. “We guarantee you that all animals will be protected.”

In an interview with Manila Bulletin last week, Domagoso says he wanted to add more animals to the zoo.

“Andun pa rin ‘yung mga hayop pero dadagdagan ko, ‘yung something na pwedeng mapag-aralan ng mga estudyante para maging mas kapaki-pakinabang,” he says. “Tsaka kailangan merong bago like plants, birds, and flowers.”

The park, located beside the Pasig River, is covered by about 1,500 trees and is home to 26 resident and migratory bird species.

Related stories:
– Isko Moreno vows the preservation of Arroceros Forest Park and Manila Zoo
– The future of zoos: Is there one?
– Erap’s team eyes conversion of Manila Zoo into first vertical animal park in the world