Moreno wants Mali to stay in Manila Zoo

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Moreno wants Mali to stay in Manila Zoo
Photo provided by the Manila public information office shows the entrance of the newly refurbished Manila Zoo, which will reopen on Dec. 30.

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno promised the proper care of Mali at the Manila Zoo even as an animal rights group yesterday sought the elephant’s transfer to a sanctuary.

Mali, the zoo’s resident elephant since 1977, was given a bigger enclosure in the renovated facility, which reopened last night.

Rochelle Regodon, policy manager of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), in a letter to Moreno, said Mali deserved to stay with other elephants in a wildlife sanctuary in Thailand.

PETA said it is willing to shoulder Mali’s transfer.

Moreno, however, said transferring Mali would be risky because the elephant has lived all her life in the zoo.

“It might not be ideal to bring her back to the wild because she grew up in that environment. Maybe it’s more harmful to transport her. We will give the best services for her,” Moreno said.

PETA described Mali as one of the “world’s saddest elephant.”

Moreno vowed to bring in more elephants to the Manila Zoo to keep Mali company.

Reports said that Mali has been offered a place at Boon Lott’s elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

The renamed Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden reopened to zoo personnel last night. 

It will soon be open to the public after it was renovated by the city government, with its sewage treatment system overhauled.- Evelyn Macairan

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