Erap Joins Call To Free Mali

Joseph Estrada Offers His Assistance to PETA in Campaign to Transfer Lonely, Ailing Elephant From Manila Zoo to a Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:

May 10, 2013

Manila — Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada has sent a letter to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia in support of the group’s campaign to transfer the elephant Mali from her shameful enclosure at the Manila Zoo to a lush sanctuary in Thailand that awaits her arrival. Although elephants are highly social animals who live naturally in herds, Mali is all alone and suffering from untreated foot ailments, which can be fatal—making her transfer even more urgent. In the letter, Estrada condemns the conditions in which Mali has been forced to live.

“It is not right for people, especially children, to see lonely, ailing, and depressed animals living in deplorable conditions,” writes Estrada. In a meeting with PETA, he stated, “I care about everyone in the Philippines. Mali is an example of how we can right some of the wrongs of the past and teach compassion and understanding to a whole generation. She may be seen as ‘just an elephant’ to some, but she symbolizes so much more.”

Despite a congressional resolution supporting her transfer and the backing of international celebrities, thousands of school students, and religious leaders, the Manila Zoo is delaying Mali’s transfer.

In addition, more than a dozen renowned veterinarians and other animal experts have called for her transfer, including Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Dr. Henry Richardson, who has more than 40 years of experience working with elephants. Dr. Richardson has stated, “To put it simply: Mali may die from the lack of care she is receiving if left at the zoo.” Experts point out that transferring elephants is safe and routine.

Estrada joins other high-profile figures who have called for Mali’s transfer, including French film legend Brigitte Bardot, music sensations Ely Buendia and Morrissey, and Nobel Prize–winning author J.M. Coetzee.

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