MANILA ZOO MANAGEMENT
Adriatico St, Malate, Manila
Metro Manila 1004
Dear Manila Zoo,
We wish to bring to your attention the alarming viral video of “Raffy”, the lion, a resident of Manila Zoo, caught-up in what seems to be a seizure fit which concerns us greatly as this appears to be a serious case of health condition, yet there seems to be no proper care present. This further puts Raffy in a serious risk. We are left to wonder if how many resident animals in Manila Zoo are exposed to risks and serious dangers due to lack of precautions and proper care. In fact, these recent months, numerous posts in social media about Manila Zoo have gone viral on Facebook showing emaciated animals and their appalling conditions.
We strongly appeal to the management of Manila Zoo to investigate this serious case of “Raffy” and all the resident animals. Please make sure that they are fully protected and given proper healthcare and that they are not being endangered or their welfare compromised. It is already an immense inconvenience for them being confined and restricted in cages, the least the Manila Zoo management can do is to look after them and ensure that they are well maintained and treated humanely.
We strongly insist on the strengthening and improving of animal health care, improving facilities and the general welfare of all the resident animals of Manila Zoo. Your failure to address these issues will not only jeopardize the welfare of the animals but you are likewise putting at risk the Management and its officers for violating the Animal Welfare Act, particularly Section 9 thereof, which states as follows:
"However, regardless of the resulting condition to the animal/s, the penalty of two (2) years and one (1) day to three (3) years and/or a fine not exceeding Two hundred fifty thousand pesos (P250,000.00) shall be imposed if the offense is committed by any of the following: (1) a syndicate; (2) an offender who makes business out of cruelty to an animal; (3) a public officer or employee; or (4) where at least three (3) animals are
Your swift action will be greatly appreciated.
Animal Kingdom Foundation Inc.
1. This letter is posted in this page with the permission of Atty. Heidi Marquez-Caguiao, AKF program director.
2. THE OTHER SIDE: In a shared post, an animal lover posted this comment from a zoo volunteer (this is not an official report from the zoo management): "Raffy came to the Manila Zoo 5 years ago and has always been in good health. This is the first time it happened to him so the vets need to run a series of tests (blood chem/MRI)to determine what is really wrong with him and the cause. he showed no signs of illness when we visited him last Saturday and even allowed us to scratch his back. When this incident happen last Sunday afternoon, it must be noted that (name removed by editor) just took a video but did not bother to inform anybody at the zoo, the vets' office is located just a few meters away. Zoo staffs only found out about this when his post went viral yesterday. Upon learning this, Raffy was immediately put in quarantine for observation even if he showed no signs of illness and had a healthy appetite yesterday."
3. As of press time, there is no official report yet on the results of the test and the diagnosis of the vet as to the cause of the seizure. Atty Caguiao also has not received a response from the zoo management.