Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mali the elephant

Mali became an instant celebrity the moment she was transferred from Sri Lanka as an orphaned white elephant to Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden in 1977. This amazing elephant is well celebrated since she's one of the few main attraction in the zoo, nonetheless she is now sick and elderly. Great animals that aren't local to the Philippines brings interest among tourist but to what extent can we allow this kind of entertainment? 


Mali, the elephant
Mali, the elephant


When I visited Manila Zoo, I asked the zookeeper what happened to all the giraffe that once lived there, according to the zookeeper the last one died few years ago due to choking (a tetra pack was stuck in the throat) but at least there's a life-size replica found in the premise for picture taking - not cool at all. The zookeeper added my disappointment when she said Sisi, the famous orangutan died 2009 after denied the opportunity to get proper care and due to imprudent handling.


During our visit last 2012

Last January, PETA - Asia Pacific, approved to secure a place for Mali in a decent 200-hectare elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Even the Philippine President Benigno Aquino, agree to take the said action for the elephant's betterment. However, some Manila officials and even some Manila Zoo management themselves are again thinking twice whether to keep Mali in the zoo or to bring him to Thailand. 

Manila Zoo sure is the oldest zoo in Asia but can they afford another hapless circumstance? It is evident how the Zoo's condition is way different than what our grandparents observed it ages ago. So what's your stand on this?

Check out PETA's petition here.


29 comments:

  1. I guess we have to allocate more funds to zoo to better manage the animals there and it would be better to let go of the zoo than to keep it in this state.

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    1. I agree, and i think the government should help.

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  2. As far as I can remember, I still haven't been to the Manila Zoo. I hope to see this one there soon.

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    1. I hope Mali will be transferred the soonest, his condition is getting worst.

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  3. Elephants are quiet animals and often they don't respond to visitors in the zoo. That's why I prefer seeing tigers, giraffe and other wilder animals. Haha.

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  4. I'd like Mali to get the proper care but Im worried that if we travel this elephant abroad it just may die due to stress. So I guess my stand is to keep her here but with a big improvement with care and facilities.

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  5. Isn't this self-defeating? :) I mean, on one hand, the article seem to promote elephant welfare, i.e. "don't use them for entertainment" yet the author has a picture featuring the elephant :) That's exactly how zoos make money, whether or not they take care of the animal(s) in question.

    Nothing against the spirit of this post. I just find the whole situation ironic and a little confusing. Just to know where my strong opinions are coming from, I'm an avid nature hiker and a former sustainability officer at an academic institution.

    To answer the question: My stand is stop promoting them as sideshows, i.e. condoning poorly-managed and -financed zoos through pictures and articles.

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    1. My stand in putting Mali in better care is genuine, nothing more nothing less. Thank you for sharing your side... I was just wondering though, PETA showing videos about dolphins being slaughtered may not defeat their purpose of calling for animal rights, would you agree?

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    2. Personally agree, the problem is that most zoos think of PROFIT only. We've become capitalist who don't care about the things we're capitalizing on, if it makes sense. LOL!

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  6. I agree, there should be funds to help the animals live a bit good!

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  7. Funds appropriation alone is a big issue in the Philippine politics, more so when you delve into the realm of spending. Our zoos are just some of the preys that we get entertainment from by visiting them just to set the record of "I've been to that zoo.." thing.

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  8. The government should take a look on this issue. Manila zoo may not have enough funding but with sponsorship, it can actually thrive.

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    1. The condition there is severe. Plenty of trash everywhere and animals looks sickly..

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  9. When I went to Manila Ocean Park, I realized that there's a BIG issue regarding animal captivity and have them displayed for commercial purposes. The same way here with Mali. The natural habitat of animals should not be deprived from them.

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  10. As far as I can recall, I've seen an elephant when was 3 years old in Manila Zoo but I will be seeing one again next year in Singapore.

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  11. Why don't we just close Manila Zoo altogether? I mean, we can't honestly say we care for these animals and at the same time use them for commercial purposes. These animals need to live in the wild, not in captivity.

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    1. Agree, especially the condition of the animals there? terrible.

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  12. I've never been to Manila Zoo but I've seen Mali on 1 television program several months ago. I was actually touched of her condition as a lone elephant in the zoo, worst is, she's seem not treated well. That condition would stress her so much.

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  13. i do believe that animal like Mali should be transfer for sake of their health physically and mentally. .

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  14. Mali should have a companion. And elephants need to be handled like the way thais do. I love elephants to be here in Manila but bigger space should be allotted.

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    1. exactly sir Orly, and better cage probably good enough for the condition of their feet.

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  15. I urge that we need to have a zoo rehab or zoo face lift. Our zoo is the oldest in Asia? That could be historic but we need to update and innovate it. Proper handling of animals is a must too.

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    1. It needs to be renovated not for beautification, at least better confines for the animals according to their needs, if they cannot let go of the entire zoo itself...

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  16. I wish the city can bring back the beauty of this ZOO. I have lots of childhood memories at that place.

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  18. I guess 36 years of entertaining the visitors were enough. Kinder pa lang ako nandun sa Mali. Its high time na ibalik na siya sa totoo niyang "home". Kung ang mga artista nga na kumikita ng pera nagreretire, how much more yung isang animal na proper care ang kailangan pero hindi pa maibigay completely. Before we knew it natulad na siya dun sa giraffe, black panther, lion and other animals na namatay na lang dun. :)

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    1. I think months nlng bibilangin if the management will not find a way to provide Mali with the right care. :(

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