Bollywood Superstar, Beauty Queen Makes Heartfelt Plea to Bring Long-Denied Peace Into Life of Fellow Sri Lankan
For Immediate Release:
14 March 2013
Colombo – On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia, screen star Jacqueline Fernandez has sent a letter to William John T Perera, Philippine consul general to Sri Lanka, urging him to do everything that he can to expedite the transfer of an ailing and lonely elephant named Mali from the inadequate Manila Zoo to a lush sanctuary. Mali has been confined to a small enclosure at the zoo since she was transferred to Manila from Sri Lanka 36 years ago and has spent most of that time in solitary confinement, which to highly social elephants amounts to extreme cruelty. She is also suffering from a potentially fatal foot condition that constantly causes her pain and that the zoo has not treated. In the letter, Fernandez makes a plea for Mali’s freedom, both as a concerned person and a fellow native of Sri Lanka.
“I feel a genuine kinship with Mali since we were both born in Sri Lanka. This proud native daughter has come to symbolize oppression and cruelty, things that compassionate Sri Lankans and Filipinos condemn”, writes Fernandez, who, in addition to being an award-winning actor is also a former model and beauty queen who was crowned Miss Universe Sri Lanka in 2006. “I hope you agree that Mali should not have to suffer any longer. Let’s give our girl a second chance at life.”
In addition to being in pain, Mali is denied everything that’s natural and important to her at the Manila Zoo. In a sanctuary, she would have hectares of land in which to roam, rivers and ponds to bathe in and the crucial company of other elephants. Elephant experts, including Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Philip K Ensley and world-renowned veterinarian Dr Henry Richardson, are calling for Mali’s relocation. Also, a growing number of Philippine and international celebrities as well as prestigious organisations worldwide – including the Earth Island Institute, the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, Embark Sri Lanka and the World Society for the Protection of Animals – have come out in support of relocating Mali.
Jacqueline Fernandez’ letter to Ambassador William John T Perera is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAAsiaPacific.com.