Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick, appointed Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, has joined the call to free Mali. Sheldrick has been intimately involved with elephants for the past 58 years and is now calling on the Manila Zoo to release Mali to a sanctuary in Thailand. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which she heads, has rehabilitated more than 150 orphaned elephants. Currently, more than 40 of them are fully grown and live among the wild herds of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, and 39 others are in the process of being reintroduced to the wild.
“[T]he most important thing in [an elephant's] life [are] friends, and family, as it is for us humans”, writes Sheldrick, who in 2005 was named by the Smithsonian Institution one of 35 people worldwide who have made a difference in animal husbandry and wildlife conservation. “To separate an Elephant from others for life is immeasurably cruel and counter-productive to both the emotional and social wellbeing of the animal, with possible adverse physical damage as well. I therefore appeal, on behalf of Elephant Mali, who cannot speak for herself, to afford her access to others, and in so doing heal her lonely soul.”
Sheldrick joins a number of notable elephant experts who are also advocating for Mali’s transfer as well as Philippine and international celebrities, wildlife conservationist Dr Jane Goodall and Nobel Prize–winning author JM Coetzee, who have all rallied to Mali’s cause.
You can help Mali today by signing our petition to urge authorities to take immediate action. We also encourage you to write to your local embassy and encourage officials there to do everything possible to secure Mali’s transfer to a sanctuary.
Posted by Edwina Baier