Transfer Manila Zoo elephant, Jane Goodall says

By Helen Flores, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 21 2012 02:17 AM | Updated as of Sep 22 2012 12:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A world-renowned animal conservationist urged President Aquino to order the transfer of a 38-year-old elephant from Manila Zoo to a wildlife sanctuary.

Jane Goodall, a Dame Commander of the British Empire and a United Nations messenger of peace, has joined the growing clamor to transfer the old elephant Mali from Manila Zoo to a sanctuary.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said the elephant is suffering without veterinary care at the Manila Zoo.

“I am heartened to learn that you agree that action must be taken for this ailing elephant,” Goodall said in a recent letter to Aquino.

“Elephants need the company and companionship of other elephants. Even if Mali were in a sound state physically, keeping her alone in a cramped, barren pen is still ethically indefensible,” she said.

“The Manila Zoo has failed Mali. Not only is she suffering from isolation and captivity-induced foot problems, I’ve also learned that she has not even had basic blood work conducted in the three and a half decades that she’s been at the zoo,” Goodall said.

“The demonstrated lack of preventive care and prophylactic treatment is indicative of the inadequate expertise available to Mali. This elephant has suffered long enough,” she added.

Goodall joined a growing list of animal experts – including elephant veterinarian Henry Richardson, who recently diagnosed Mali with potentially fatal foot problems – in calling for Mali’s transfer to a sanctuary, where she could receive the care that she needs and live among others of her own kind.