Thanks to the support of thousands of NFA supporters the campaign to transfer Mali the elephant to a sanctuary in Thailand is gaining momentum.

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 – alone in a concrete pen that offers her none of the things that elephants need to fulfil their complex psychological and emotional needs.

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.

Earlier this month we joined the campaign to try and retire Mali to a sanctuary in Thailand where she can live out her days in peace.  PETA Asia have already secured a place for her and offered to pay for her transfer, but despite increased international interest the zoo is dragging its feet.

We asked supporters to write to President Aquino requesting action on this issue – which they did in their thousands.  Our contacts in the Philippines inform us that zoo officials are becoming increasingly open to the idea of transferring Mali to the sanctuary and we want to make sure it happens.

As a result of the generosity of our supporters we have been able to:

– offer to pay for officials from Manila Zoo to visit the sanctuary in Thailand so they can see the benefit of allowing Mali to retire there and get them on side

– set aside funds to help with the costs of transferring Mali to the sanctuary PETA have secured

– continue to lobby in the Philippines and work with sympathetic MPs in the UK to generate UK diplomatic pressure

Our Executive Director, Andrew Plumbly, will be in the Philippines in March to check on Mali’s wellbeing and push forward plans for her safe removal from the zoo. We will continue working with animal welfare partners in the Philippines to ensure we succeed.

Want to do more for Mali? Why not visit the Mayor of Manila’s Twitter page and ask him to get involved in the campaign?