A trip to the zoo always brings delight to city folks and animal lovers in general, as the experience sparks much interest in animals and helps in conservation efforts. But during this time of pandemic, zoos are forced to close down because of quarantine measures. With no income, they’re finding it hard to maintain the operations of the park and keep the animals fed.

The Avilon Zoo in Rodriguez, Rizal, and Malabon Zoo in Malabon City have sought public help and people are heeding their call of assistance. On April 30, the Avilon Zoo launched a simple call for support on its Facebook page inviting people to avail of prepaid tickets (priced at P600 each) which can be used in the future when quarantine restrictions are lifted.

The zoo announced on its Facebook page recently that help has been coming. “We greatly appreciate all the support we got from all of you, our friends! Rest assured that, while still under quarantine, we will maintain providing good quality care for all life in Avilon Zoo.” “Our utmost priority, in any situation would always be the provision of proper welfare and veterinary requirements for all life under our care. Sustaining this is especially challenging in this extraordinary time due to loss of income from the decline of visitors and tours. Regular delivery of supplies and food prove challenging as well due to quarantine travel restrictions. Another serious concern we are experiencing right now would be to sustain good quality care due to personnel issues as a number of our zookeepers and animal care specialists either cannot physically come to work or are on an adjusted work schedule.”

The Avilon Zoo sits on a 7.5-hectare facility located in Rodriguez, Rizal. It houses more than 3,000 specimens of exotic wildlife representing more than 600 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fishes and invertebrates. Donations for the Malabon Zoo, which is located on Gov. Pascual Avenue, Potrero, Malabon, has also been coming since they posted a donation drive poster at the entrance of the zoo. A photo of which has gone viral and major media outlets have picked up the story. In an Inquirer report, the zoo’s owner Manny Tangco said they opted to ask for cash donations because they’re running out of resources.

The zoo’s two months operations since the start of thequarantine were financed by Tangco’s savings and loans from friends. Malabon Zoo is a private collection of exotic and Philippine endemic animals. Tangco started the collection in the late 1960s in the back garden of his house and it expanded out from there. It is home to bears, deer, Royal Bengal Tigers, lions, and reptiles, among other animals.

To help Avilon Zoo, you can avail of the zoo admission tickets online using your credit card or via DRAGONPAY at https://avilonzoo.ph/buy-tickets/event/2-avilon-zoo-ticket-celebrate-life- with-us. You may also avail of admission tickets via online bank transfer. To help Malabon Zoo, you can donate via bank deposit. Donations can be deposited to Malabon Zoo Foundation’s BPI account number 4641000332.