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Albay zoo bolsters wildlife inventory

By Manly M. Ugalde LEGAZPI CITY --- The only Bicol wildlife sanctuary here is expecting additional heads of exotic animals that will more than double the present inventory of 200 exotic and non-exotic species being maintained by the provincial government of Albay here. A total of 250 exotic wildlife of various species will be donated to the Albay Park and Wildlife located at Barangay Bogtong here after the city government of Cavite decided to close its 3000 square-meter mini zoo to give way to a school campus being run by the Cavite City government, according to Dr. Florencio Adonay, the Provincial Veterinarian Office head who is manning the Albay Park and Wildlife operation. In an interview, Adonay clarified that the Memorandum of Agreement for the donation of the 250 exotic species, however, has yet to be signed between Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara and the mayor of Cavite City who personally offered the donation. The Cavite City mini zoo is located inside a subdivision within the city proper, the report said. Established in 1995, the 5-hectare Albay Wildlife was a project of Gov. Al Francis Bichara when he was first elected provincial governor. Adonay said they welcome donations of any wildlife species from interested parties. Adonay disclosed that Bichara and the Cavite City mayor are close friends which was the reason why Albay Wildlife was chosen as the lone recipient of the 250 wildlife species. According to a list received by the Albay provincial government regarding the animals to be donated, the shipment will consist of two heads of tigers, several pythons, and different species of exotic and non-exotic birds. So far, the Albay wildlife sanctuary has only one tiger. Albay Capitol spokesperson Danny Garcia said Gov. Bichara was extremely elated by the wildlife donation from Cavite as it will attract more visitors from the region’s six provinces and those outside of Bicol. The provincial veterinarian disclosed that for animal feeds and medicines, the province has allocated an annual budget of P2M. He said this budget will surely be doubled once the donated animals are transported and resettled in the Albay wildlife sanctuary.

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