The nearly 300 animals and fishes at the Cebu Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Office (CWRCPO) are now virtually abandoned with no personnel left to care for them after Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña decided against renewing the work contracts of zoo personnel.
Pilar Romero, the city’s former veterinarian who assumed as officer in charge of CWRCPO on July 28, said yesterday the zoo had 28 workers, but their contracts all ended on Aug. 31, leaving the zoo with no one to even feed the animals.
She said some personnel of CWRCPO, formerly known as the Cebu Zoo, decided to keep on working at the facility located in Barangay Kalunasan even after their contracts ended. Yesterday, however, the remaining three workers stopped coming altogether.
The zoo has 117 birds, chicken and turkey; and one Philippine Brown Deer, four civet cats, 14 saltwater crocodiles, 30 turtles, five alligators, 5 hammerhead sharks, six pythons, six goats, a sheep, 34 rabbits, a monitor lizard; and numerous ornamental fish.
“Wa nay tig lawog diri (Nobody is feeding the animals now),” Romero told Cebu Daily News by phone yesterday.
Osmeña, during his press conference yesterday, said he has no plan to shut down the zoo, but at the same time would not say what he intended to do with the facility.
“I have not gotten that far yet,” he said. But then he added: “We will donate it to (Cebuano businessman) Michelle Lhuillier. I do not know. I will discuss it when we get to the point. Maybe the province wants it. I don’t know. I’m just gonna give it to them,”
Romero, who yesterday fed the animals with two volunteers, did not know how long long they can keep the zoo open.