The Manila City government is starting a partnership with the Cebu Safari and Adventure Park for future exchanges of wildlife and animal medicines, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said on Tuesday last week.as he wrapped up his three-day Cebu Listening Tour.
Moreno, accompanied by Deputy Speaker and Cebu 3rd District Congressman Pablo John Garcia visited the Cebu Safari and Adventure Park last Sunday as part of his itinerary during his third visit to Cebu province in a span of six weeks.
Moreno was warmly welcomed by the Cebu Safari vice president and chief operation officer Eduard Loop. The Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet also had a warm reception from some 300 employees, some of whom came with their families.
With the Manila Zoo expected to finish with its redevelopment and general renovation, Moreno said there is a need for the zoo to acquire additional wildlife before its scheduled re-opening sometime in February 2022.
Moreno pointed out that Cebu Safari and Adventure Park can easily supply the Manila Zoo with wildlife since several species have been successfully breeding in the 170-hectare animal reservation.
The Manila Zoo, the first zoo in Southeast Asia which opened in 1959, was closed temporarily for upgrade and renovation in January 2019, especially after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called the attention of the zoo’s management due to lack of proper sewage system.
“Itong Cebu Safari hindi lang siya basta zoo. Initially nag-angkat sila nga mga hayop but they developed. Dumating na sila sa stage na nagpro-produce na sila ng sarili nilang animals. Nag bre-breed sila ng maayos.
Syempre sisikip itong zoo na ito pag marami na silang na bagong wildlife. Welcome naman sa Maynila ‘yung hayop nila. Di lang tao ang welcome, we are willing to receive some donations,” explained Moreno.
Located atop the beautiful and scenic hills of Carmen, the 170-hectare Safari Park is a brainchild of hippophile and orchid collector, Michel Lhuillier, together with his business partner, Eduard J. Loop who became the catalyst and the driving force that opened successful ancillary businesses to support the passion of Lhuillier.
Opened to the public in 2018, The Park’s main features for now are the African Savanna, Michelle’s Garden, Gardens of the World, the White Lion Safari and a flora walking trail that showcases 1 million different variations of orchids.
The Park also caters to adventure seekers with its very own Adventure Park which features one of the longest and highest Ziplines in the country at1.3 kilometers long and 671 meters above sea level.
The Park’s future plans include bringing the arctic regions to the country with penguins and other winter animals; and a 60-room family style hotel for those who would like to spend extended days inside the safari and finally seven adventure park rides that will need physical stamina to endure.
During his visit, Moreno and Loop exchanged T-shirts bearing the logos of their respective zoos. Congressman Garcia was also given a Manila Zoo T-shirt.
“This exchange of T-shirt is symbolic. This symbolizes the start of a relationship between Cebu Safari and Manila Zoo. Hopefully magtagumpay sila na mapalaganap ‘yung maraming hayop para mag enjoy naman ‘yung mga bisita at the same time kami na magre-recover kasi pag gawa na ‘yung pasilidad, so luluwag na at kailangan namin ng extra animals,” Moreno pointed out. ANDI GARCIA
Photo: Daily Tribune