Charice And Aiza Seguerra Join The Deafening Call To Free Mali

In Advance of Duet Concert, Musicians Star in PETA’s ‘Mug Shots’ to Push for Lonely Elephant’s Transfer to a Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:

August 16, 2013

Manila — Before they hit The Big Dome for their buzzed-about duet performance in September, music superstars Aiza Seguerra and Charice are demonstrating the “power of two” by joining People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia’s campaign to transfer Mali—the solitary and ailing elephant languishing in a barren enclosure at the Manila Zoo—to a lush sanctuary where she can finally be treated for the potentially fatal foot ailments that she has suffered from for years. The musicians are the latest stars to pose for “mug shots”—they hold signs reading, “Charice Wants Mali Freed” and “Aiza Wants Mali Freed.” Charice’s and Aiza’s brand-new photos are attached.

In addition to starring in the new print ad, Charice also stars in a video public service announcement (available here, and a broadcast-quality version available here) in which she calls for Mali’s freedom. “I just can’t imagine how it feels for Mali to be alone and not getting [the] attention that Mali deserves”, she says. “And not only that, she’s not getting some serious and important care that she actually really needs.”

“Mali has been sentenced to a life of loneliness, misery, and neglect,” says Aiza. “When people all around the world are calling for Mali to be freed, in light of the suffering she has endured at the hands of the Manila Zoo, the proposal to bring in more elephants to the zoo is outrageous. They would have to endure the same cramped, concrete conditions; lack of exercise; and improper veterinary care as Mali has for the past 36 years.”

Mali has received essentially no veterinary care for more than 36 years, leaving her to endure constant pain from debilitating foot problems. In addition, elephants are highly social animals who naturally live in herds and suffer greatly in the absence of other elephants. Mali is all alone, making her transfer even more urgent.

Even if the elephant exhibit at the Manila Zoo were to be doubled or tripled in size, it would still not be adequate to house one elephant, never mind additional ones. While zoos around the world have spent up to US$56 million (the equivalent of 2.4 billion pesos) on attempts at more appropriately sized elephant exhibits, more and more zoos have recognized that the needs of these complex and intelligent animals cannot be met in captivity. These facilities are transferring elephants to sanctuaries and closing their exhibits. The Detroit Zoo, the ZSL London Zoo, the Greater Vancouver Zoo, and the San Francisco Zoo are just a few of the zoos around the world that are closing their elephant exhibits and transferring the elephants to sanctuaries. 

For more information, please visit PETA Asia’s website FreeMali.com.

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