Paul McCartney writes to PNoy: Free Mali now
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2013 - 12:07pm

MANILA, Philippines - Music icon Paul McCartney of the legendary band The Beatles has joined the call to free Mali the elephant from the Manila Zoo, after writing a supposed letter to President Benigno Aquino III to voice out his cause.

In his supposed letter to Aquino circulated by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), McCartney urged the President to transfer Mali from the Manila Zoo to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

"I am writing to add my voice to the many others who are supporting the transfer of Mali, the lonely elephant currently being held at the Manila Zoo, to a sanctuary in Thailand as soon as possible. I respectfully urge you to use your good offices to expedite the transfer as, with every single day that she remains in the zoo, Mali suffers," the music icon said.

McCartney lamented the reports that Mali's health is deteriorating in the Manila Zoo.

He described a video footage of Mali as "heartbreaking" while pointing out the elephant's "debilitating foot problems and the unimaginable loneliness of a herd animal kept alone."

"Action must be taken for this ailing elephant, and you hold the key," McCartney told Aquino in the letter. "With the stroke of a pen, you can bring an end to her suffering, and I urge you, with all my heart, to direct that Mali be given that joy now.

Earlier this year, Baywatch beauty and PETA member Pamela Anderson, also reportedly sent a letter to Aquino, asking him to have dinner with her to discuss Mali's transfer to the Thailand sanctuary.

Aside from McCartney and Anderson, local and international celebrities have also joined the clamor to free Mali, including the US rock band Smashing Pumpkins; models Julia Sniegowski, Ornusa Cadness, Isabella Gonzalez and Sanya Smith; and OPM icon Ely Buendia.
Actress Marian Rivera and her boyfriend-actor Dingdong Dantes have also joined calls for Mali’s transfer.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who had said that Aquino turned down Anderson's invitation, claimed on Wednesday that citizens sending letters to the Chief Executive is "not a big thing."

"It's a normal process where a lot of people, citizens, would write letters to government. And this is not a special issue," he said.

Related story: Palace: Citizens sending letters to PNoy not a big thing

Erap bucks call for Mali's transfer

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has rejected calls to transfer Mali to a sanctuary in Thailand, saying the government of Sri Lanka will be giving two elephants to serve as Mali’s companions.

The former president said the two elephants would be provided to the Manila government after the zoo’s repair and renovation this year.

Mali’s enclosure, which according to PETA is too small, would also be renovated along with other facilities of the zoo.

Related story: Mali to get companions, but not trip to sanctuary

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