Filipinos: Send elephant to Thailand
- Published: 22/01/2013 at 08:47 AM
- Online news:
MANILA - Activists in the Philippines have escalated their demands that Mali, the lone elephant in the Manila Zoo, be sent out of the country, to Thailand.
There is one problem, however: Mali isn't Thai, and there is no known case of non-local elephants being inserted into local herds. (Story continues below)
Mali is the only elephant most Filipinos ever see - because she is the only elephant in the country.
The latest group to join the clamour for the "extradition" of Mali is Pilipinas Ecowarriors, a well-known environmental group with friends in high places.
"Assuming Mali is fit to make the trip to Thailand, she would be better off in a designated sanctuary, rather than kept in a zoo here," said former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, the convenor of Pilipinas Ecowarriors, in a statement to local media printed Tuesday.
Mr Zabiri proposed sending Mali to The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang province, to be with an estimated 50 elephants in a forest setting.
Efforts to 'deport' Mali have increased in recent weeks as more groups have joined the campaign, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Mali came to the Philippines in 1977 as a gift to then-president Ferdinand Marcos by Sri Lanka. Environmental groups say Mali is too lonely in Manila. Last week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) joined the clamour to get Mali out of the Philippines.
President Benigno Aquino personally entered the debate last week. He issued orders to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau and the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Industry to see if Mali could even travel.
The groups have begun asking about animal quarantine in Thailand, and whether Mali could even make the trip. The media reports said the elephant has been diagnosed with potentially fatal foot conditions.
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