Thank you, Joshua, for writing such a nice letter!
Sri Lanka is to gift a baby elephant to Philippines’ Manila zoo to mark 50 years of bilateral relations between the two countries, the government said Thursday.
Government spokesman and Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said Thursday that the Cabinet has approved a proposal presented by the Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne to donate the baby elephant from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to the Manila zoo.
In addition, Sri Lankan Embassy in Philippines has organized a series of events to mark the golden jubilee celebrations to be held in Manila on the 3rd week of September.
Things are happening at the Zoo! Here’s what people are planning:
- Zoo bicycle patrol: Volunteers will go around on bicycles to keep an eye on zoo visitors and stop them if they are abusing the animals (throwing rocks, littering, etc.) Donations of bicycles will be much appreciated. Please contact John Chua (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Manila Zoo to work with National Architect Bobby Mañosa and his family to redesign Manila Zoo.
- Official volunteer liaison: Abbey Miranda (Manila Zoo vet) will be working closely with volunteers.
Maali’s new roof will keep her dry during typhoons. Thank you, Union Galvasteel Corporation!
UPDATE: The meetup is on Sunday, not Saturday.
Faith Salazar (@p0yt) is organizing a volunteer meetup this Sunday, July 31, 2011, from 9 AM to 10 AM near Maali the elephant in Manila Zoo. Join her and other volunteers to feed animals, clean up the surroundings, and plan how volunteers can help Manila Zoo become even better. Coming? Add your name to the Facebook event!
Over on Suman Latik:
Because we had gotten to know the trainers and caretakers, I was able to go around back to see the tigers and lions. Not just see them as they were being fed, but see a tiger nuzzle its trainer (who took care of him since he was a cub), including close its mouth on her hand (or was it her neck????). Scary… but the tiger was really very gentle.
When you speak to the handlers and trainers, you know they’ve grown attached to the animals. It is no longer just a job for them. Being with the animals has become their life. Yes, there is always danger because no matter how you try to “domesticate” them, they still have the instincts of the wild. But for as long as they do not feel threatened, for as long as they know the humans around them mean no harm, they are not going to demonstrate “beastly” behavior.
Because they do serve a purpose. While it may not be their natural habitat, to see a real live tiger, hippo or elephant is an eye-opener. Children and even adults are often in awe even when they just see these animals at a distance. But they are real, living and breathing. And the opportunity is there to educate humans about animals. How they live. What they eat. How they behave. And how they relate.
Read more over at Suman Latik: Manila Zoo Memories!