'No more animals in Manila Zoo, please!'

Posted at 03/18/09 12:15 AM

Ten animal protection groups based in the Philippines joined forces to ask Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim to stop bringing more animals to the Manila Zoo.

According to the website of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia-Pacific, Lim recently announced his desire to “acquire more animals for the Manila Zoo—and even requested an elephant from Thailand Ambassador to the Philippines Kulkumut Singhara Na Ayudhaya.”

In response to this, the animal rights organizations, led by PETA, co-signed a petition urging Lim to abandon plans to import more animals.

"The Manila Zoo is a tiny, decrepit, and outdated facility and has nothing to offer animals except a life of deprivation, misery, and loneliness," said PETA Director Jason Baker.

The animal protection groups hope they can stop the planned importation of animals, following PETA’s successful stoppage last year of the transfer of elephants and giraffes from Tanzania to the Manila Zoo.

The petition states, "Animals belong with their families and communities in the wild, where they can run free, roam across long distances, and live as nature intended."

As opposed to the vastness of the wild, animals in zoos are relegated to having limited space and privacy. The Manila Zoo, which houses hundreds of animals, only measures 0.055 square kilometers.

"Animals in zoos are confined to tiny enclosures, where they suffer from acute boredom and stress," reads the petition.

Internationally criticized for housing animals in cramped cages and giving substandard care, the Manila Zoo gives visitors a distorted view of wildlife, just like all other zoos, it said.

Even the largest zoos worry about how to provide for the needs of animals confined in their premises.

The other animal protections groups that signed the petition are Animal Kingdom Foundation Inc., Animal Welfare Coalition, CARA Welfare Phils (Compassion And Responsibility for Animals), International Wildlife Coalition Trust, LovePets.com, Network for Animals, Palawan Animal Welfare Association Inc., the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and SAFE International Monitoring Program. -- by MA. ROSANNA MINA, abs-cbnNEWS.com