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Mayor Honey Lacuna and PRB chief Roland Marino lead a tree-planting activity within the Manila Zoo. (JERRY S. TAN)

MANILA ZOO TO TOLENTINO: HE IS ‘OUTDATED’

By: Jerry S. Tan

“Mukhang hindi pa po nakapapasyal ang ating mahal na senator sa bagong Manila Zoo kaya medyo outdated na po ang kanyamg komento.??,.”

Roland Marino, head of the Manila public recreations bureau, said this in reaction to Senator Francis Tolentino’s statement regarding the Manila Zoo which said:”Maliit lang po ito kaya hirap na hirap yung ating mga giraffe…yung ating elepante nga namatay…mainit yung semento. Hindi po kasi natural habitat ng mga hayop na nabanggit ko yung kalungsuran, kung saan mainit, maingay, at mausok.”

Marino said it is obvious that the senator has not visited the zoo recently as he corrected: “una, early 2000’s pa po wala na po tayong giraffe, pangalawa napaka lawak na po ng ating mga enclosures and at par na sa mga international zoo ang ating Manila Zoo.”

“Pangalawa, yung elepante po natin ay umabot na sa kanyang lifespan which is 40-45 years in captivity. So namatay po ang ating elepante sa old age at hindi po dahil sa kanyang enclosure,” he said, adding that Manila Zoo also has a very diverse flora so that pollution in the metro area is never a problem.

Meantime, an official from the Manila social welfare department also corrected Tolentino when he said: “a similar case – the transfer of the Manila Boys Town also to the province of Rizal… He pointed out that the institution remained under the management of Manila city government. So the name ‘Manila Zoo’ can be retained,”

The DSW official reacted: “ang Boystown na nasa Marikina ay hindi transferred. Donated land ‘yun for the City of Manila.”

It will be recalled that Mayor Honey Lacuna countered Tolentino by stressing that transfering Manila Zoo to the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal is not an option because the zoo is part of Manila’s heritage and rich history.

“The city wants Manila Zoo’s future to be a well-planned, realistic roadmap based on sound science and zoo management, and “with due sensitivity to the cherished place of the Manila Zoo in the hearts of Manileños and the childhood memories of many Filipinos,” the mayor said.

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