Today is a difficult day. As compassionate animal lovers around the world march for animals, light a candle, or celebrate in their own way, our thoughts are turned to one animal in particular. Mali the Elephant.

As many know, Mali is the star attraction of Manila Zoo. Yet devastatingly, she hasn’t received the star treatment she deserves. For 37 years, she has languished in a concrete enclosure, with almost no stimulation: a life of confinement, loneliness and misery.

In years gone by, many organisations including Network For Animals have campaigned so strongly for Mali, that the man controlling her freedom, the Mayor of Manila appeared to have become tired and even angered by ‘western’ complaints.

In fact during the last six months, to combat this ‘western-phobia’ Network For Animals created a grassroots organisation within the Philippines called ‘Warriors For Mali’, aiming to generate a local voice for her freedom. It again fell on deaf ears.

Today, we are relaunching the Network For Animals campaign for Mali. We begin with animal welfare talks in Filipino schools and an art competition based around freedom for Mali. We will be joining the worldwide marches for Elephants and Rhinos, we have set a new team member to work on the Filipino political system, and we will shortly launch a new petition for Mali’s freedom.

Network For Animals won’t stop campaigning for Mali until she is free. Today, on World Animal Day, please spare her a thought.

If the Mayor of Manila feigns deafness again, we will simply shout louder.