Erap rejects transfer of elephant Mali to Thailand

Agence France-Presse
The new mayor of Manila, ex-President of the Philippines, says sending Mali away would be 'embarrassing' and 'means we are not capable of taking care of one animal'

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, former President of the Philippines, on Thursday, July 18, rejected calls by animal welfare campaigners to transfer the country’s sole elephant from Manila’s rundown zoo to a Thai sanctuary.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been leading a campaign for nearly a decade to have Sri Lankan-born Mali moved from the zoo, insisting the 39-year-old elephant is lonely and being poorly treated.

However, the recently elected mayor of Manila said transferring Mali would be a humiliation for the country.

“Mali is just one elephant and sending her to Thailand would be embarrassing. It means we are not capable of taking care of one animal,” Estrada told AFP.

Mali is the star attraction at the 54-year-old zoo, but PETA says she is suffering in a small, concrete enclosure and without any other elephants for company.

PETA wants her moved to a sanctuary in Thailand. Its campaign has attracted the support of the country’s powerful Catholic bishops association, as well as international celebrities such as British pop star Morrissey. –

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