Manila Zoo - Manila


With heavy hearts, I would like to announce that Mali, the lone elephant of Manila Zoo, died at 3:45 PM today (November 28, 2023).

As of January 23, 2019, Manila Zoo was closed to the public to improve its sewerage system and water treatment facilities. It was reopened to the public last November 22, 2022. I have yet to revisit it.

Located in the heart of Manila, Manila Zoo is the oldest zoo not only in the Philippines but also in Asia.

Manila Zoo

Manila Zoo history

Formally called Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden. This 5.5-hectare zoo opened to the public on July 25, 1959. It is home to hundreds of animals belonging to more or less 100 different species. 

Manila Zoo

Check out the NHI Marker of Manila Zoo

Mali - the lone elephant

The most famous (and controversial) of these animals is Mali, the lone Asian elephant. Mali was only a 3-year old calf when it was brought to Manila Zoo from Sri Lanka. At present, Mali is the only captive elephant in the Philippines. She is the subject of campaigns from the animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Somewhere in that man-made lake is the Loch Ness monster

Other notable animals in Manila Zoo include the macaques, crocodiles, Bengal Tiger, and the hybrid Hebra (a mixed breed from a horse and a zebra). A long time ago, the zoo also had a pair of giraffe and an ill-mannered orangutan.

This guy belongs to the House of Congress

An albino python...

...and a normal one

I'm a rhea

As its name suggests, Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden are not only home to numerous species of animals but also to many plant collections too. As a matter of fact, it is home to hundreds of different native plants and also plants found in the South Pacific Region.

Wow, an Hebra... what a beauty!


There is also a Kinder Zoo within the vicinity of Manila Zoo. It is a result of a private-public partnership between Kinder Zoo, Inc, and the city government. It occupies 3,000 square meters of the zoo and is known as the animal interaction area of the zoo. This child-friendly area features a flamingo pond, a butterfly sanctuary, a hanging bridge, a petting zoo, and a barn for events.

I'm a cow... err a bison

Meeeeehhhh I belong to the farm master!

at least the tiger looks healthy

Sadly, Manila Zoo seems to have fallen into despair. It reeks of foul odor and a few empty rusty cages. It is depressing to look at the algae-filled man-made mini-lake that looks like an annex of Pasig River. News about a 1.5 billion rehabilitation brought joy to some but that was way back in July 2015. What's new about the zoo on the other hand is the price hike for its entrance. Non-Manila residents would now pay P100 for the entrance and P60 to residents (make sure to bring an ID).

Me, wondering who to recruit among the turtles to be part of my elite ninja team

I have been to Manila Zoo countless times since my childhood. Regardless of its state now, Manila Zoo would always be close to my heart. What I like about the zoo are the memories that were born there. Pleasant memories with some family members that are long gone.

Manila Zoo Admission Fee:

Manila Zoo charges a 100 pesos admission fee for non-residents of Manila. For Manila residents it's 50 pesos

Manila Zoo Opening Hours:

Manila Zoo is open from 8AM - 6PM every day.

Why visit Manila Zoo?

It is a given fact that Manila Zoo is the oldest zoo in Asia. You may want to visit to see how the oldest zoo in Asia looks like. However, if you dislike seeing animals in cages then I highly suggest that you skip this zoo.  

Getting to Manila Zoo:

Taxis can bring you directly to Manila Zoo. Jeepney with Mabini will also pass it by. The zoo is just beside Harrison Plaza.

Overall rating


  1. Mali :(

    I used to work near (walking distance) Manila Zoo but i never visited it.

    1. Sad to say that a lot of people want to close down this zoo due to the poor animal welfare.


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