Elephant's Thailand transfer nearer
- Published: 1/02/2013 at 09:21 AM
- Online news:
MANILA - A committee of the Philippines parliament voted Wednesday to transfer the country's only elephant to a sanctuary in Thailand.
Mali is the only elephant most Filipinos ever see - because she is the only elephant in the country.
The House Committee on Natural Resources adopted several resolutions which would clear the way for 38-year-old Mali, a Sri Lankan elephant at the Manila Zoo, to Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary in Sukhothai, according to a report on Thursday in the Manila Standard newspaper.
At the same time, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) group said it would pay for the transfer of Mali.
The elephant wound up in the Philippines as a gift to then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos from the government of Sri Lanka in 1977.
The House action included a resolution that there is no sanctuary in the Philippines that can take care of Mali.
Efforts to 'deport' Mali have increased in recent weeks as more groups have joined the campaign sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The case is complicated by the fact that Mali is not a Thai elephant, and is aling, with severe foot problems that threaten her overall health.
That has become an issue on whether to send Mali to Thailand, with the House committee member Rufus Rodriguez pointing out the Manila Zoo has veterinarians with the expertise to care for an elephant.
"Mali has not been treated with anything more than topical ointments for superficial wounds and laxatives in the past 35 years," Mr Rodriguez said.
And, "There is no suitable sanctuary in Sri Lanka that will be able to provide the best possible care for Mali."
PETA Asia Campaigns Manager Rochelle Regodon said the elephant has been held "in what amounts to a prison cell".
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