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The mayor had given an earlier statement saying that he believed the safest place for Mali was in the Manila Zoo, rather than moving her to a sanctuary.
PETA is urging the mayor to reconsider sending the 50-year-old elephant to a sanctuary, where she would get 24/7 care, as well as be introduced to several other elephants from similar backgrounds. They have suggested that the zoo does not have the proper veterinarian care to watch over Mali’s foot issues which can cause death in captive elephants. PETA even offered to cover the cost of transporting Mali to the Thailand animal sanctuary.
Rochelle Regodon, PETA’s Policy Manager, said, “In nature, female elephants stay in close-knit, extended groups for their entire lives. These complex social animals need to be with others of their kind in order to lead happy, fulfilled lives. Many elephants who are transferred to sanctuaries have histories similar to Mali’s, but sanctuary caregivers find that these intelligent animals are highly adaptable and welcome new situations, especially those that greatly improve their welfare, as a sanctuary environment would for Mali. To suggest that we shouldn’t give her a chance at being healthy and happy in the company of other elephants shows a lack of understanding of the nature of elephants and does her a disservice.”
The mayor stated that more elephants may be introduced to the zoo so that Mali is no longer alone. However, it’s cruel to force more wild animals into captivity. This is not a solution, but rather just an expansion of the suffering that humans have already caused to Mali. All captive elephants deserve to live out the rest of their lives in sanctuaries where they will have proper care, other elephants to socialize with, and room to roam around.
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