MANILA, Philippines - US TV and film star Pamela Anderson has asked President Benigno Aquino III on a date to discuss the immediate transfer of Mali, the 39-year-old ailing elephant in Manila Zoo, to a sanctuary in Thailand.
"Thank you for taking a strong, serious stance on her behalf by issuing a directive to consider moving her to a sanctuary. In a world filled with political self-interest, your character and integrity are inspiring," Anderson said in a letter to President Aquino.
"Gandhi once famously said, 'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.' I know that the Philippines is a great nation," she added.
Anderson, a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that "[S]hould you (President Aquino) find yourself in Los Angeles, I'd love to take you to dinner and talk more about how we can help Mali."
PETA has long been campaigning for the elephant, urging the Philippine government to expedite the transfer of the animal from Manila Zoo to a more reputable sanctuary.
"She endures intense confinement, loneliness, boredom, and isolation in an area a tiny fraction of the size of her natural habitat. Decades without proper veterinary care have left her with painful and potentially fatal foot problems, which the zoo is still failing to treat," Peta said.
"Because of the conditions at the Manila Zoo, Mali is likely to die young. The best way to save her life is to send her to a place that provides proper vet care and is more like an elephant's natural habitat. Transferring elephants is safe and routine," the group added.