December 8, 2022

The zoo being proposed to be built in the city may further boost tourism and provide a venue for educational purposes in the city.
The P360-million worth facility, which is offered to the city as a public-private partnership project by Avilon Wildlife Conservation Foundation, is proposed to be put up at a 3.5-hectare portion of the 11-hectare Botanical Centennial Park or Botanical Garden, which used to house wildlife animals in its early years.
The non-profit organization, which operates the Avilon Zoo in Rodriguez, Rizal, made the proposal in 2019, which is now being reviewed and awaiting action of the city council.
Joaquin Gaw, the foundation’s president, said the planned enclosed modern zoo aims to house a variety of wildlife that suit and will be able to adapt to the climate of Baguio.
It will have its own sewage treatment facility and a hospital that will assure the animals will be well taken care of, monitored, and preserved.
“The facility will allow the animals to freely roam in the enclosed area. They will not be caged,” Gaw said, who added the zoo will perfectly complement the natural state of the Botanical Garden, which also has an arboretum among other park features.
He said the zoo could become an added tourist attraction and will also provide a closer venue for students who will no longer need to travel to Manila or Vigan City for educational tours or wildlife research purposes.
Entry to the facility will be regulated as visits shall be made through pre-booking.
The facility shall be located at the inner portion of the park, and entrance is via South Drive, which according to Gaw will minimize or avoid traffic congestion at the Teachers’ Camp area.
The facility will also provide parking spaces for clients.
Avilon also offers to handle the maintenance of the entire park for free.
“We hope the city officials and the public see the benefits of having the zoo. Aside from requiring no costs from the city, it will also generate income for it in the form of rent and taxes, and help boost the city’s tourism,” Gaw said
He said being committed to contribute to wildlife conservation efforts, no trees will be cut in the construction of the zoo, and the animals and the area will be properly managed and preserved once allowed to operate. – Hanna C. Lacsamana