Philippines' only elephant wants to go to Thailand

Mali the elephant lives alone in Manila's zoo but if she could travel to Thailand & live with other elephants, she would be a much happier elephant.

Mali the elephant stares out from her small living area. (Photo: PETA)

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Wildlife

Filipinos: Send elephant to Thailand

22 Jan 2013

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.

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

(Source: Bangkok Post, Local News, Filipinos: Send elephant to Thailand, 22 Jan 2013, link)


Elephant Vocabulary

Mali the elephant - a famous elephant at Manila zoo and the only elephant in the Philippines, the focus of worldwide attention and efforts to move her to a place where she is more comfortable (See Wikipedia & PETA Blog)

Filipino - a person whose country is the Philippines (See Wikipedia)
Filipina - a woman whose country is the Philippines

Filipinos: Send elephant to Thailand

sanctuary - a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from hunters or dangerous conditions

escalated - 1. increase activity, do more of something; 2. when a conflict gets worse and worse, perhaps ending in war
demands - the things someone is asking another person to do
escalated their demands - asking more strongly for something to be done 

lone - single เดี่ยว หนึ่งเดียว
lone elephant - one elephant alone without other elephants
the lone elephant in the Manila Zoo

lonely - to be sad because you are alone (no one to be with and talk to) เหงา
the elephant is too lonely in Manila

activist - someone who organizes events for social and political change or someone who joins in these events นักกิจกรรม, นักทำกิจกรรม
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

local - living in your country
local elephants - elephants living in your country
non-local elephants - elephants living outside your country (in other countries)

herds - a group of elephants living together
inserted into local herds - put in a group of elephants in the country

there is no known case of non-local elephants being inserted into local herds.

extradition - send someone out of the country (legal meaning: to send someone accused of a crime back to the country where the crime was committed for trial or punishment การส่งตัวผู้ร้ายกลับประเทศเพื่อดำเนินการทางศาล)

clamour - making a lot of angry noise (because you want something to happen)
join the clamour - join together with other people (who want the same thing) and get your voice heard and get some action

join the clamour
for the "extradition"
the NGO joined the clamour to get Mali out of the Philippines.

well-known - famous, many people know about it
environmental group - a group of people doing environmental activism, trying to get action on environmental issues 
environmental groups
say Mali is too lonely in Manila

friends in high places - has famous and powerful friends, has friends who are VIPs
environmental group with friends in high places

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

fit
- healthy; having no diseases or medical conditions 
fit to make the trip
fit to make the trip to Thailand

designated - formally chosen for something แต่งตั้ง แต่งตั้งให้เป็น ที่ได้รับการแต่งตั้ง
designated country

better off - when someone has a better life now than they did in the past 
would be better off in a designated sanctuary

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

convene -
to arrange a formal meeting, to bring people together for a meeting
convenor  -
the person who arranges a meeting, brings people together for the meeting
the convenor of

media - radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ
local media

statement - an announcement to the public (by a company or organization about something important)
a statement to local media

said the convenor of Pilipinas Ecowarriors, in a statement to local media printed Tuesday.

proposed - suggested (but not yet chosen or decided upon)
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.
campaign - a series of actions intended to produce political or social change การรณรงค์, การกระทำการหรือวางแผนเพื่อให้บรรลุตามเป้าหมาย
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).

Ferdinand Marcos - the president of the Philippines from the 1960s through the mid-1980s when he was thrown out by street protests (See Wikipedia)
Sri Lanka - a country that is an island south of India and the place where the early development of Buddhism happened  

Mali came to the Philippines in 1977 as a gift to then-president Ferdinand Marcos by Sri Lanka.

debate - a discussion or formal argument on an issue between people with different views (See Wikipedia)
enter the debate

personally - to do something yourself (not have other people do it for you)
personally enter the debate
the president of the country personally enter the debate

issue
- made available ออกใหม่
issue orders - officially tell people to do something
the president issued orders

quarantine - a situation in which a person or animal that might have a disease is kept separate from other people or animals so that they do not catch the disease กักบริเวณ จำกัดบริเวณ

animal quarantine - the place in the airport or port where animals have to wait before entering a country (to make sure they do not spread any disease in the country)

fatal - causing someone to die ถึงตาย
potentially fatal - may kill, may cause death

potentially - possibly เป็นไปได้
potentially fatal foot conditions

diagnose - when a doctor determines or decides that you probably have some disease or medical problem
diagnosed with potentially fatal foot conditions

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

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer