Senator Grace Poe has extended financial help to the Malabon Zoo Foundation which has closed its doors to visitors for the first time in 31 years since the COVID-19 lockdown started.
“The pandemic has affected all of us, including the countless numbers of animals which have gone hungry and have been forgotten,” Poe said.
She stressed that she shares a deep love for animals like those at Malabon Zoo founded by Manny Tangco.
“I think we always remember our first visit to the zoo where the guide educates us on how animals around the world should be looked after,” she said.
The zoo is known for its minimal entrance fee, just enough to feed the animals and pay the salary of its housekeepers.
“Malabon Zoo has always made sure that it remains accessible to everyone, especially students. This time around, it’s our time to take care of them when they need help,” Poe said.
Tangco started the zoo as a passion project in response to the rapid deforestation he witnessed while he was flying around the country where he would see a particular island that had a forest one day and was gone the next.
“I decided to open this zoo as a leading classroom for children to learn to love nature by giving them a first-hand experience like looking into the eyes of a tiger,” Tangco said.
The privately-owned zoo relies on admissions as its source of income. Since the lockdown, Tangco has been using his own savings and even borrowed money from his relatives to sustain the animals’ food requirements and the zoo housekeeping.
Given the unfavorable conditions amid the pandemic, Tangco implored others to help people first, while also hoping that they would remember to show compassion to the animals.
“Throughout the year, nature provides us with food, clothing and shelter. If you happen to have extra funds, kahit barya lang po, please consider donating it to the animals of Malabon Zoo,” he said.
Tangco welcomed the senator’s timely assistance to Malabon Zoo via the nongovernment organization Panday Bayanihan.
He also made the assurance that all the animals housed in the zoo are doing well.