Mali was just a baby elephant learning how to swim and find her own food, when she was taken away from her mother and sent to the Philippines, as a gift for the President at the time, Ferdinand Marcos. Her home was once the grasslands of Sri Lanka but now she is forced to live in a barren enclosure of concrete walls and floors at the Manila Zoo in the Philippines. For forty long years, Mali has lived alone at this zoo, never allowed to see her mother or another elephant.
Understandably, Mali’s mental well-being has suffered greatly from this life of solitude. She appears clearly depressed and spends her days pacing back and forth in her concrete enclosure. In the wild, elephants can roam up to thirty miles a day over grasslands and various terrains, Mali walks back and forth on a hard surface, day after day. This has caused her to develop a painful foot condition and arthritis. She can be seen leaning against the walls of her enclosure during the day, likely to relieve some of the pressure on her feet.
In 2012, the elephant expert Dr. Henry Richardson examined Mali. His report cites cracked pads, cracked nails, and overgrown cuticles. Richardson states, “I am absolutely certain Mali has pain in her front limbs and feet.”
The zoo, however, has done nothing to help and continues to ignore Mali’s health problems. And if her condition is left untreated, there is a high likelihood that she will go lame and no longer be able to support her own weight. This is a leading cause of death among elephants. When they collapse and cannot get back up, their body weight crushes their internal organs, ultimately leading to death.
Mali is so lonely at the Manila Zoo that she holds her tail for comfort and security. The 500 acre Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) in Thailand has agreed to accept her – sign this petition now to transfer Mali to the sanctuary in Thailand immediately!
Experts recommend Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) as the best place for Mali. Filipino officials, however, have refused to let her go. The government is denying Mali of any hope of a better life and of surviving. PETA has even came forward and offered to pay for the transportation fees and care, so the only thing standing between Mali and her freedom is her captors.
The Boon Lott’s Sanctuary in Thailand offers everything Mali needs. Hundreds of acres of grasslands, banana plantations, and rivers. Unlike Mali, the elephants here can roam for miles, forage for food, swim and play. Mali does not even have grass beneath her feet or surrounding trees.
Time is desperately running out for this poor elephant. She doesn’t have long and she needs your help. Please, urge officials to transfer Mali to the sanctuary in Thailand, by signing this petition. Share her story with others and ask your friends and family to act too!
To show your support and to stay updated, like the Free Mali Facebook page.
Image source: Care2