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URGENT! Help Save Lonely, Bored, Miserable Elephant

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Free MaliEveryone knows Mali. Many of us remember her from class trips to the Manila Zoo as far back as 35 years ago. Mali is the Philippines’ only captive elephant – and perhaps one of the world’s saddest. In the wild, elephants roam territories of up to 50 kilometers every day, but Mali is confined to a very small enclosure at the Manila Zoo, which itself covers an area of only 0.055 square kilometers.

Every minute of every day, Mali is confined to her barren, concrete enclosure. She has lived this way for about 35 years. She had been denied the opportunity to engage in activities that elephants need for their physical, mental, and emotional health, such as grazing, plucking fruit and leaves from trees, taking mud baths, and spending hours a day swimming and playing in the water. She hasn’t seen another elephant in over 30 years. That’s just sad.

But Mali has an opportunity for a second chance at life. A sanctuary would be able to provide Mali with vast spaces to roam, ponds to bathe in, fresh vegetation, foraging opportunities, and the company of many other elephants. President Aquino has issued a directive stating that Mali’s health must be evaluated and she must be considered for transfer to a sanctuary. But, we still need your support – this is a critical time to keep the pressure on to ensure Mali is transferred without delay.

Please take a look at the following list of suggestions on how to help Mali and do everything that you can to share Mali’s plight with friends and ensure that Mali gets a second chance at enjoying life:

  • Take a minute of your life to watch a minute of Mali’s. Watch and share PETA Asia’s powerful public service announcement on YouTube and Facebook.
  • Check out PETA’s “Free Mali” photo album on our Facebook page. Repost the album to your Facebook page so that your friends and family can see the conditions that Mali endures every single day. If you want to help further, post the photo in this blog as your profile photo, or create your own photo or video telling your friends why Mali deserves freedom.
  • “Like” the Free Mali page on Facebook to stay updated on the campaign.
  • Sign the petition to urge the government to expedite Mali’s transfer.
  • Send a letter to the editor of a local newspaper educating others about Mali’s plight. If published, you could reach thousands of readers. Check out PETA US’ letter-writing guide for tips on how to write an effective letter. Write to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine Star, or the Manila Standard Today. Don’t forget to include your address and phone number for verification purposes.
  • If you’re currently living outside the Philippines, write to the ambassador of the Philippines to your current country and ask that he or she do everything possible to intervene in behalf of Mali. You can find contact details here.
  • If you’re a teacher and want to involve your students in this campaign, please e-mail us.

Thank you in advance for taking action for Mali.

Posted by Jason Baker


  1. Allan Yorkowitz...
    May 21st, 2012, 2:53 am

    For goodness sake, move this animal to a happier environment.

  2. Jerry Bailey...
    May 21st, 2012, 12:46 pm

    Treat this animal with the respect she deserves!

  3. Liza Knowles...
    May 21st, 2012, 8:02 pm

    This Big one needs a second change in live please, its not to late to HELP please !!!! Please save this big hart please !!!!

  4. michele belin-benhamou...
    May 22nd, 2012, 4:14 am

    I think Mali gave enough to the people and children during 35 years ! now gave her a nice rest in a beautiful place …

  5. Janet Brown...
    May 22nd, 2012, 5:12 am

    Play some music! Frank Sinatra! Glenn Miller! Smooth Jazz! Lena Horne! Something! Make her feel better!

  6. Joanne Clarke...
    May 22nd, 2012, 6:29 am

    Poor elephant needs saved NOW!

  7. Robert Ford...
    May 22nd, 2012, 8:23 am

    Free this poor little Baby!!!

  8. dianne lynn elko...
    May 22nd, 2012, 10:06 am

    hope he will be free soon

  9. Ester Bredenhand...
    May 22nd, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Please get this beautiful animal to a proper care facility

  10. Gabrielle Sekuterski...
    May 23rd, 2012, 3:14 am

    Please stop!

  11. Ann...
    June 23rd, 2012, 7:14 pm

    Mali needs to be in an appropriate environment for her needs. This is very cruel.

  12. Dale Gauldie...
    July 5th, 2012, 10:25 pm

    This ele has ‘done her time’ for the people. She really needs a more interactive, caring, appropriate environment – let her go to the Sanctuary. Janet Brown – would you feel better having been in isolation most of your adult life, if someone played you music??? Elephants need the company, sight, smells and sounds of her natural habitat!

  13. Tiburcio Hornicio...
    July 10th, 2012, 7:47 pm

    Is the elephant really bored? How do you know? Can you speak the language of elephant?

  14. Tatjana...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:12 am

    Treat this animal with the respect she deserves!

  15. Joyce Reynolds...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:20 am

    She should be with other elephants.Elephants are very social animals!

  16. melody...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:20 am

    you already earned from him…pls let him/her go, its time for him to be with other elephants, have mercy!!!

  17. Pascale Kirchen...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:33 am

    Please give older Elephants a chance to be retired!

  18. Sue Tabwe...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:50 am

    This is so cruel. Please get this poor elephant to a sanctuary where she can live out her life in peace.

  19. Barbara Tierney...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:58 am

    Mali should not have to live a solitary life…..please send to a proper sanctuary where there are other elephants. Elephants are intelligent and social beings and need social interaction with other elephants.

  20. Reegan...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:59 am

    My god please help this poor animal :(
    Every living creature deserves compassion!
    Poor, poor beautiful animal. Breaks my heart
    How cruel humans can be sometimes.

  21. Shawn Cockrill...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:59 am

    Please help Mali get to a nice sanctuary!!! She deserves to spend the rest of her life happy with other elephants!! Pleae help her!

  22. ALEJANDRA...
    July 12th, 2012, 2:32 am

    Por favor libertad para Mali, debe estar con sus congéneres en libertad !!!!!! favor tengan presente que los elefantes no son una diversión ni una atracción para la gente, respeten su vida !!!!!!

  23. jean tew...
    July 12th, 2012, 2:46 am

    Please allow this poor lonely elephant to be moved to a sanctuary. She needs the company of her breed.

  24. Paula Preedy...
    July 12th, 2012, 2:47 am

    Let the elephant go to the sanctuary with other elephants, it’s the right thing to do, please.

  25. Renee Mulder...
    July 12th, 2012, 3:46 am

    Please use your eyes and let your heart speak… Everyone can see that Mali is very unhappy.
    Please let this poor elephant go to a sanctuary where she will be with other elephants.

  26. Jean Psolka-Zalek...
    July 12th, 2012, 4:32 am

    It’s about time we as humans do something for animals instead of abusing them and using them. What the hell happened to the human race? Put this girl in the beautiful environment that she deserves. You know, like the one I’m sure you live in.

  27. cindy long...
    July 12th, 2012, 4:36 am

    Elephants need to be with other elephants,so please remove her from the zoo and to an sanctuary

  28. Alfonso Loforte...
    July 12th, 2012, 4:52 am

    I have written to Manila mayor Alfredo Lim, and encourage others to do the same. I wrote:

    Dear Mayor Lim,
    I have become aware of the plight of Mali, the lone elephant who lives in a zoo in Manila. I am saddened to know that she leads such a lonely and solitary life, deprived of the opportunity to roam, forage, and live according to her natural instincts. May I appeal to your sense of compassion for other living things, as I join many others in urging you, indeed pleading with you to allow Mali to live out her remaining years in a sanctuary.

    Respectfully yours,

    Alfonso Loforte
    Montreal, Canada

  29. Kayokk...
    July 12th, 2012, 5:06 am

    “I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter…the cast-offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry. “God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t you do something?” God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly. I have done something,” He replied. “I created you.” ~The Animals’ Savior Copyright Jim Willis 1999

    Please, please, please … free Mali. I beg you to. AMEN
    May GOD give you all the strength to do the right thing by this beautiful GOD’s creature.

    “Animals cannot speak, but can you and I not speak for them and represent them? Let us all feel their silent cry of agony and let us all help that cry to be heard in the world.” ~Rukmini Devi Arundale

  30. Tania...
    July 12th, 2012, 5:24 am

    Tiburcio Hornicio are you kidding me? You don’t have to speak elephant language to know she is bored!!! Have you never watched a documentary about elephants? They are social creatures who need the company of other elephants, their family group is the most important thing to them. To keep her isolated like this is a form of torture and I am surprised she hasn’t just given up and died of lonliness. This zoo needs to finally do the right thing for Mali and send her to a sanctuary where she can finally have some happiness.

  31. Alfonso Loforte...
    July 12th, 2012, 5:27 am

    Alfonso Loforte…
    July 12th, 2012, 4:52 am
    I have written to Manila mayor Alfredo Lim, and encourage others to do the same. I wrote:
    Dear Mayor Lim,
    I have become aware of the plight of Mali, the lone elephant who lives in a zoo in Manila. I am saddened to know that she leads such a lonely and solitary life, deprived of the opportunity to roam, forage, and live according to her natural instincts. May I appeal to your sense of compassion for other living things, as I join many others in urging you, indeed pleading with you to allow Mali to live out her remaining years in a sanctuary.
    Respectfully yours,
    Alfonso Loforte
    Montreal, Canada

  32. Liz...
    July 12th, 2012, 5:55 am

    Please let this poor elephant to go in a caring environment!

  33. Vera Alfheim...
    July 12th, 2012, 6:13 am

    God created every living creature to share each others joy and sadness within their own species…………please release the elephant and do what is right ………Many thanks

  34. Georgina Wartner...
    July 12th, 2012, 7:55 am

    Please allow Mali to spend the remainder of her life in the company of other elephants.

  35. Ron Maskell...
    July 12th, 2012, 8:15 am

    This is just pathetic! How hard is it for the Philippines government to put the elephant in a truck and take it to a sanctuary? Their president has said it must be done. Why is the Philippines government asking for an animal rights organization to do a simple job?

    This is as bad as the Australian government giving the Indonesian government the technology to combat people smuggling, a task they have no intention of undertaking.

    How is the job going to be done if PETA gets enough money?

  36. Ron Maskell...
    July 12th, 2012, 9:38 am

    Here’s the letter I wrote

    Dear Mr Mayor

    I am writing to you to appeal to you to expedite the release of Mali, the Manila Zoo elephant, to a sanctuary.

    It is obscene that this intelligent animal has had to endure 35 years of solitary confinement and I am asking that you provide the facilities to bring her suffering to an end.

    Humans have the power of life and death over powerless animals and it is our duty not to abuse this power.

    Please show your compassion and let Mali enjoy the rest of her life.

    Yours Faithfully

    Ron Maskell

  37. Kathy P...
    July 12th, 2012, 11:02 am

    Mali may you be removed from this place and find a new home where you can enjoy life and many of your elephant friends.

  38. asha...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:01 pm

    plz help her becoz she had given her 35yrs to amuse people, now its her turn to enjoy herself in nautral environment.plz take a step ahead so that she can enjoy her rest of her life in freedom

  39. debbe smith...
    July 12th, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Elephants need to be left alone, where they belong, with their pack. It is so cruel I will not let my grandaughter attend a circus or zoo. I am about to go postal on this subject. FIND THAT WONDERFUL MAMMAL A GREAT HOME AND SOON or ?????

  40. nima...
    July 12th, 2012, 2:03 pm

    please free her.you are waiting for what?

  41. Cecilia Engelbrektsson Persson...
    July 12th, 2012, 2:53 pm

    It is sad to hear about a fate like this.Animals are also like humans worth to be respected and cared for.It is not natural for an elephant to live like this.

  42. susanne...
    July 12th, 2012, 4:01 pm

    elephants should be free and so i ask you to stop it

  43. Jean Hay...
    July 12th, 2012, 4:42 pm

    Dear Mayor Lim

    I was saddened and appalled to hear of the plight of Mali, the only captive elephant in the Philippines. Elephants are very social creatures and to deprive Mali of any interaction with other elephants for so long is cruel and heartless – can you imagine what it would be like having no contact with other humans for 30 years? Wild elephants also roam for many kilometres a day and to keep Mali confined in such a small, unnatural space is cruel.

    Please do what you can to ensure Mali can live out her remaining years in the company of other elephants, with fresh vegetation and a large area in which to roam.

    Yours sincerely
    Jean Hay

  44. Louise Bradley...
    July 12th, 2012, 6:38 pm

    I am amazed the poor animal has been allowed to live like this for so long, that poor elephant MUST be taken to the sanctuary as soon as possible, they need other elephants, they are very sociable animals. It’s nothing but animal cruelty, this must not continue. I have writen today to Manila mayor Alfredo Lim and signed the petition, I would ask others to do the same, and I can’t wait to hear news that Mali has been sent to a better home that knows how to care for it’s needs.

    Louise Bradley

  45. pinar cam...
    July 12th, 2012, 7:08 pm

    every animal has a right to live,no matter how old it is!!!!!
    stop animal cruelty!!!!

  46. Irena Franchi...
    July 12th, 2012, 9:28 pm

    Please, save this lonely, bored, miserable Elephant.

  47. DIMITRA...
    July 12th, 2012, 10:14 pm

    The only way to make these people stop torturing animals is to treat them as they treat to animals.

  48. Tiffany...
    July 12th, 2012, 10:47 pm

    Tania, i am so with you. People who don’t think animals suffer just like we do are just plain ignorant.

    I really hope Mali gets the freedom she deserves soon. Being confined in solitude for 35 years is just deplorable. No living creature should have to go though this. Please release her and bring her to the sanctuary!

  49. liu wai ling...
    July 13th, 2012, 7:48 am

    Please ! protect and save Elephants.

  50. Ariel Cottrell...
    July 13th, 2012, 9:19 am

    Please give Mali the retirement she deserves. Elephants are not suited to life in captivity. They are extremely social herd animals that need plenty of room to roam. We should be teaching our children and fellow humans reverence for all living things, not that it is OK to subject them to an unnatural prison sentence for our entertainment. This creature is a living sentient being, with possibly more capacity for emotions than humans. Do the right thing, set an example by giving her a fitting retirement.

  51. flor...
    July 14th, 2012, 12:56 am

    Dear Mayor Lim

    Mali should not have been allowed to stay in that tight enclosure in the first place for 35 years, without any contact with other elephants. You cage a bird, is like clipping their wings for freedom. Elephants are such an intelligent creatures, why impose her in 35 years of living hell in captivity. Where are these people who are meant to protect her from this miserable life with hardly a space to manouvre. If a human being is treated the way Mali is treated or any other creatures, they would have certainly gone completely off their head/completely metal without a trace of a doubt. FREE MALI PLEASE. GIVE HER THE FREEDOM SHE DESERVES PLEASE!. FREE MALI! FREE MALI!> FREE MALI!!!

  52. Dora Hardegger...
    July 14th, 2012, 1:03 am

    Free Mali. Send her to a sanctuary so she can be with other elephants. She is SO deserving of a better life than in a small, concrete pen.

  53. alicejean boness...
    July 14th, 2012, 4:49 am

    Please let .this beautiful animal.be free. To be with other animals .they need to be free ..

  54. chander kumar soni...
    July 15th, 2012, 1:34 am


  55. jener23...
    July 16th, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I emailed our honourable Mayor Fred Lim. I’m a Manila resident and I promise if I see him in our baranggay or anywhere in the world, I’m gonna ask his help to speed up Mali’s transfer.

    Ever since we were little, Mali’s presence at the Manila Zoo had brought my brothers and sister immeasurable joy, every time my Tata and Mommy would take us there. It’s high time, Mali experience joy herself together with her fellow elephants; enjoying freedom to roam and explore. Animals too, have souls. And it is the soul’s purpose to expand, to be free. Let’s not deprive Mali of that, please.

    Special mention to Morrissey for bringing this up during his Manila concert last May 13, 2012. We wouldn’t have known about Mali’s plight if he didn’t send a letter to President PNoy.

  56. Devorah Abrams Farmer...
    July 16th, 2012, 11:20 pm

    Free Mali now!

  57. Sri Durga...
    July 17th, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Yes mali shold be saved.Freedom is her birth right.Please help her

  58. Alexandria...
    July 27th, 2012, 9:26 pm

    One day humanity will look back at this current human consciousness and its continued exploitation of the planet resources and animals and severely condemn those who were in positions of influence and decision making.

    You are in a position to make humane choices that will affect the well being of millions of defenceless and innocent creatures, non of which asked to be exploited by humanities greed and total indulgence of everything that humanity can manipulate and control for humans selfish greed.

  59. kin pan...
    September 3rd, 2012, 11:42 pm

    why not give her a chance?

    September 13th, 2012, 2:20 am


  61. Patricia Wicker...
    September 13th, 2012, 4:04 am

    PLEASE HELP THIS POOR ELEPHANT. Just give her a chance, She has been in Solitary long enough.

  62. Doris Cutler...
    September 13th, 2012, 4:49 am

    Please save Mali NOW–she deserves a life of happiness!

  63. Bonny...
    September 13th, 2012, 6:01 am


  64. Kathleen Simmons...
    September 15th, 2012, 12:09 pm

    If you want to respect Mali then set her free to be with others of her kind. Hopefully you will give her back part of the life she has missed over all these years. The world now knows what she has been subjected to and we are watching to see if you are going to do the humane act of mercy and allow her freedom from solitude. We will be watching. Listen to the people. Give her what her inner soul has been lacking.

  65. Margarita L. Galias...
    October 18th, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Let’s help Mali’s transfer to sanctuary the soonest possible time. She’s already sacrificed 35 long years in “prison”.

  66. elaine...
    October 31st, 2012, 8:05 pm

    Everyone please support….FREE MALI ASAP!

  67. chetna bhatt...
    November 6th, 2012, 2:56 am

    please..please release Mali at once

  68. Sam...
    December 17th, 2012, 10:46 am

    Who ever who has done this to this most amazing animal will have the same impact from natures natural forces.

  69. Jill Seifert...
    January 8th, 2013, 12:08 pm

    This is horrible, tears run down my face, Let this animal run free and let it live out the rest of it’s life the way God intended.

  70. Vicky de Jager...
    January 8th, 2013, 3:04 pm

    Please free her or get her a friend and make her enclosure nicer. She needs space and company!! This is cruel :(

  71. maggiz kristmark...
    January 9th, 2013, 2:32 am

    Free Mali Now!!!!

  72. Carla Dinnewet...
    February 27th, 2013, 9:54 pm

    No living creature was made to spend it’s entire life in confinement and solitude merely for the instant satisfaction of ‘human’ to be able to look at it for a minute or two! ‘Humans’ can kill themselves when depressed an no way out. Keeping her in these conditions is killing her very very slowly which is so much more cruel. FREE MALI! Let her breath some freedom and experience some affection with her peers!

  73. Jodi Bowman...
    March 6th, 2013, 3:11 am

    Have written emails and will keep writing them until we get nearer to a positive result. It is barbaric and cruel how Mali (& others) have been allowed to be treated this way! Just pray & hope that all of our voices combined will be heard some time soon before its too late for her!!

  74. John Shafer...
    March 22nd, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Save the elephants, lets show are self that humanity is not just for humans but for all animals – all creatures great and small.

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