Manila Zoo Zoo Review

Manila Zoo – Zoo Review

The RIGHT-tourism Zoo Review is a quick but informed guide to the quality of places where the public can see animals, including zoos, dolphinariums and other attractions.

We’ve used a range of measures, taken from information available online, to judge how well the animals at the particular zoo or animal attraction are looked after. More than just a ‘review’, the results are actually a Quality Index which will allow tourists and the attractions themselves to judge how well the attractions are performing.

Please note, the information we use is taken from what we assume to be genuine and factually correct comments from reviews, blogs and news stories. If there are factual inaccuracies, please let us know and we will make the relevant changes.

RIGHT-tourism Zoo Review Rating for: Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden

Zoo_Review_Stamp_Poor

Summary

Manila Zoological and botanical garden, or just Manila Zoo, was opened in 1959 and is the oldest zoo in Asia. This city-run zoo with 5,5 hectares is the home to around 500 animals from 106 different species according to the City of Manila’s official website. Within the zoo you can also visit Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle, a privately owned part where the visitors can interact with different animals.

Manila Zoo’s most famous resident is the 40 year old elephant Mali. She came to the zoo when she was only 3 and has lived alone in a small concrete enclosure since then. International appeals led by “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” (PETA), with support from many celebrities and animal lovers around the world, to give Mali the chance to be relocated to a sanctuary in Thailand has been rejected by the Mayor of Manila and Mali will have to stay at Manila Zoo. From the zoo’s point of view they were concerned that the transport might be harmful to the elephant because of her old age, while PETA, who sent an elephant expert to examine Mali, says the risk is higher staying put, because being isolated causes her mental suffering and being confined to a small concrete enclosure has led to a severe foot problem. The Mayor has announced that they want to find Mali a friend or two, but can the little space Mali have really accommodate two or three elephants?

The conditions aren’t any better for the other animals at the zoo based on the general reviews from visitors, but hopefully a change is around the corner. Two online articles in Philippines Daily Inquirer during the spring and summer of 2014 states that the Mayor aims to improve the zoo’s facilities and has gone into collaboration with private investors to make it happen.

Mali the elephant, c PETA

Section One: Social Media and News

This section looks at how the attraction is rated by people on key reviewing sites, and in blogs/the media. The reviews are often not concerned with animal welfare, so this section has a lower influence on the overall mark than other sections. However, it is an important measure of the way the attraction is viewed by visitors.

Number of negative TripAdvisor reviews

For the most recent 20 reviews which appear on the official TripAdvisor page for the attraction, how many mention animal welfare in a negative way. The score is worked out as a percentage (see method below).

Number of negative reviews:  14/20

Score: 1 Point

Out of the first 20 reviews, 14 mentioned concerns about animal welfare. Even people giving a medium or a high overall score were concerned about the welfare of the animals. Small cages, dirty enclosures, animals looking tired and thin were mentioned several times. Many of the reviews were pleas for freeing the lonely elephant Mali and it was uncertain whether or not they had actually visited the zoo, for this reason these reviews were not counted, but their views are taken seriously and have already been pointed out in the summary of the zoo.

Number of negative Google reviews

For the most recent 20 reviews which appear on the Google search page for the attraction, how many mention animal welfare in a negative way. The score is worked out as a percentage (see method below).

Number of negative reviews:  5/9

Score: 1.5 Points

Out of the 9 Google reviews five were of a very negative character, commenting about small cages, miserable looking animals and horrible conditions – even injured animals.

Number of negative news articles and blogs
For the most recent 10 independent blogs or news articles for the attraction, how many mention animal welfare in a negative way. The score is worked out as a percentage (see method below).

Number of negative mentions:  6/10

Score: 2 points

The story of the lonely elephant Mali is the main point of discussion in many of the news articles and blogs. Some blogs were negative to the news about the zoo acquiring some new animals, arguing that they should improve the conditions for the animals they already have before adding to the herd.

Total Score for Social Media and News Section:  4.5/10

Section Two: General Quality of Life

This section looks generally at how the animals, as a whole, appear to be treated. It is based on the internationally recognised Five Freedoms, which focus on key aspects of animal welfare including feeding, housing, health, behaviour and protection from fear/distress.

Each item is scored as either two points for a Yes, zero points for a No or one point for Possibly. (The Possibly category also includes situations where the answer would be Sometimes; or if the answer is unknown).

Absence of prolonged hunger and/or thirst

Score: Possibly  1 Point

Being fed an appropriate diet based on their wild diet

Score: Possibly   1 Point

Ease of movement within living quarters

Score: No   0 Points

One of the more common comments from visitors, even from people that have given a good score to the zoo, is that the enclosures and cages are small, too small.

Enrichment in living quarters (eg climbing frame, toys etc)

Score: Possibly   1 Points

Absence of injuries or disease

Score: No  0 Points

Several pictures of injured animals, as well as comments by concerned visitors.

Absence of pain (eg being not being chained, or not being hit by staff)

Score: Possibly   1 Point

Comments about the staff banging, tapping and shouting at the animals to get a reaction or to get them to look the right way.

Ability to express natural and social behaviours in living quarters

Score: Possibly   1 Point

Good human-animal relationship with staff

Score: No   0 Points

Absence of general fear/distress/apathy

Score: Possibly   0 Points

Ability to seek privacy/refuge from humans and other animals

Score: No  0 Points

 

Total Score for General Quality of Life:  5/20

Section Three: Interaction with the Public

This section focusses on the way the attraction allows the public to touch, play with, photograph, feed or otherwise interact with the animals. The focus is on whether or not the interactions are causing harm or stress/discomfort to the animals, and if they could be dangerous to the public.

Each item is scored as either two points for a Yes, zero points for a No or one point for Possibly. (The Possibly category also includes situations where the answer would be Sometimes; or if the answer is unknown).

The interactions are not harmful in any way for the animal’s welfare

Score: Possibly   1 Point

The interactions are not harmful in any way for the public’s welfare (any previous history of dangerous incidents)

Score: Possibly   1 Point

The animals are not forced to interact with the public – they can refuse

Score: Possibly   1 Point

The public are not allowed to handle the animals and touch them

Score: No   0 Points

The interactions are supervised by staff and in an educational context

Score: Yes   2 Points

Total Score for Interaction with the Public:  5/10

 

Section Four: Conservation and Education

This section looks at whether or not the attraction has a focus on conservation – for example does it support animals in the wild through breeding programmes, research or donations; and education – are visitors informed about the animals so they are not simply seen as objects for human amusement/entertainment.

Each item is scored as either two points for a Yes, zero points for a No or one point for Possibly. (The Possibly category also includes situations where the answer would be Sometimes; or if the answer is unknown).

Are some of the animals part of international breeding programs?

Score: No   0 Points

No evidence found

Is there evidence of them having released animals into the wild?

Score: No   0 Points

No evidence found

Do they actively undertake scientific research into conservation/behaviour of their animals?

Score: No   0 Points

No evidence found

Does the attraction give money to conservation or animal protection programmes?

Score: No   0 Points

No evidence found

Does the attraction provide educational talks or written displays to inform visitors about the animals?

Score: Possibly   1 Points

The signs are old and the written info are weathered away.

Total Score for Conservation and Education:  1/10

Zoo Review Final Score for Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden:  15.5/50

Rating: Poor – it appeasr that significant improvement is needed in order to meet welfare standards

Do you agree or disagree with this Zoo Review? Please let us know in the Comments below.
If you are from this attraction and would like to comment on this Zoo Review, we’ll be happy to publish your response. Please email info@careforthewild.com or click
here

Notes

  1. This report was compiled on: 11th of November by MBP. Find out more about our Zoo Review campaign here.
  2. Zoo Review Final Score is given out of 50 as a sum of the four sections, then a RIGHT-tourism Zoo Review rating is awarded based on this score:

0-10: Unacceptable – the animal welfare at this attraction appears to be of a very low standard and a cause of great concern
11-20: Poor – it appears that significant improvement is needed in order to meet welfare standards
21-30: Average – the attraction scores well in some areas but improvements would be welcome
31-40: Good – Public opinion and animal welfare measures suggest that the animals here are looked after well
41-50: Best in Class – the welfare of the animals appears to be of a very high standard

  1. TripAdvisor and Google scores are worked out by dividing the number of negative welfare reviews by the total (20) and multiplying by 100 to give a percentage, then giving a score out of 2.5 as follows:

0-19% negative 2.5 points
20-39% 2 points
40-59% 1.5 points
60-79% 1 point
80-89% 0.5 point
90–100% 0 points

  1. News and blog scores are worked out by dividing the number of negative welfare reviews by the total (10) and multiplying by 100 to give a percentage, then giving a score out of 5 as follows:

0-19% negative 5 points
20-39% 4 points
40-59% 3 points
60-79% 2 point
80-89% 1 point
90–100% 0 points

 





Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message







Leave a Reply