World Animal Day 2020: Meet our national pet keeper

Yesterday was World Animal Day which is celebrated this year within the circumstances of a pandemic facing mankind. Instead of muzzled animals we see face masked people who are limited in their freedom to move around. Is Mother Earth telling us something? Can we imagine for a moment how millions of animals must feel in their daily life: limited in their freedom and slaved to serve mankind? On Aruba it is not different from the rest of the world: we unfortunately have animals that are treated badly and left to suffer or die. Luckily for us we have a man who is concerned with their fate: meet our national pet keeper.

Philip Merryweather is an animal lover who rescues animals that are mistreated, neglected and abandoned. He is our national pet keeper and his place is heaven to animals and animal lovers. Visit Philip’s Animal garden and you will meet snakes, lizards and iguanas, donkeys, more than 200 bird species and an abundant marine life. They are the natural inhabitants of our island, but when you take a visit to Philip’s Animal Garden you will also see wild species like the ocelot, the python, monkeys and caiman too.

The place is a sanctuary for all types of creatures, from horses to peacocks, kangaroos to turtles, monkeys, goats, and many, many more different species. Philip’s Animal Garden was founded in 2009 and it is the only organization rescuing and rehabilitating exotic animals in Aruba, which has resulted in an amazing collection. They provide a suitable living environment for all the rescued animals. Up until now owner Philip has built this shelter with his own efforts; building all the cages from scratch, designing all structures and welding them with his own bare hands. His goal is to upgrade the facilities to a world-class animal shelter with veterinary care and round-the-clock staffs. With the input from the Aruban community and visitors they provide the best care for these animals.

Last month Philip and his crew found a wounded pelican at the Divi Phoenix. “As you can see she was in a bit of discomfort with this fish hook stuck through her month. Fortunately the hook did not have enough time to cause too much damage only making it very uncomfortable for her to eat. She is a bit skinny, but otherwise in fair condition. We will feed her a good meal today and keep her for observation for a couple of days and she should be just fine, at which time she will be sent back home.” This is what they do and they are good at it but more important: they are needed. Visit the garden, you will not regret it. Support our animals while enjoying a day in a wonderful place.

Philip’s Animal garden will be open from 9am to 6pm respecting the social distance rule and no groups allowed. Please check out their Facebook page Philip’s Animal Garden and website for more information: www.philipsanimalgarden.com.

Aruba Today’s video Ask Pilar – Philip’s Animal Garden is worth looking at because it will tell you Philip’s story and show his amazing place. Our Pilar, an animal lover first rank herself, will guide you around: #Aruba #ArubaToday #AskPilar #PhilipsAnimalGarden.