We recently received a number of emails about the situation facing Mali the elephant at Manila Zoo and are now asking our supporters to get involved in ending her suffering. Here is the background.
At the age of three Mali came to reside at Manila Zoo. Since then she has spent 35 years – in other words, most of her life – in a concrete pen that offers her none of the things that elephants need to fulfil their complex psychological and emotional needs. She has spent the vast majority of those years without the companionship of others of her own kind, which is detrimental to elephants, especially females, who, in nature, always live in supportive groups.
In addition to the emotional suffering that Mali endures every day, the Manila Zoo has proved that it is unable to care for her health. We have learned that during the entire time that Mali has been at the zoo, she has not had adequate foot care or blood work. In the wild, elephants roam vast territories over a variety of substrates, but Mali has little room to walk in her concrete pen. As a result, her cuticles have become overgrown and the pads of her feet have become cracked, which could lead to infection if they continue to be left untreated.
Since PETA began campaigning for Mali’s release seven years ago, a number of well-known figures have joined the call for her freedom. Musician Morrisey, veteran conservationationist Jane Goodall and the Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee have all petitioned President Aquino on the issue. Although the President announced an evaluation and campaigners secured a space for Mali in a sanctuary in Thailand, no progress has been made and she remains in Manila.
Our Executive Director, Andrew Plumbly, recently wrote to the Philippine Ambassador in London on this issue and we will continue to pursue avenues via our colleagues in the Philippines to assist in facilitating her release. We are asking supporters to write to President Aquino, to gain his help in bringing an end to Mali’s suffering.
*image courtesy of elephantadvocacy.blogspot.ca