News Releases


Pressure Mounts on Philippines to Relieve Ailing Sri Lanka–Born Elephant's Suffering

For Immediate Release:

29 November 2012

Kotte – The Sri Lankan Wildlife Conservation Society and Embark have joined more than 50 prestigious animal protection organisations from around the globe that have added their names to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia's call to transfer Mali – a 38-year-old solitary elephant suffering at the Manila Zoo – to a spacious sanctuary where she can enjoy the company of other elephants. The list also includes such iconic names as the Earth Island Institute, Animals Asia, the Humane Society International, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the International Veterinary Society and the European Elephant Group. The following comments to various government officials come from just three of the 50-plus organisations:

  • "Elephants are social animals, and female elephants stay in their herds for their entire lives. … [T]he suffering that [Mali] endures on a daily basis is incomprehensible", writes the Asia for Animals Coalition on behalf of 10 different organisations.
  • "Keeping a single female elephant in limited space in inadequate captive conditions is also severely damaging to the animal's mental health", writes WSPA. "For such social animals to be deprived of social interaction with other elephants clearly causes the animal acute suffering."
  • "In addition to the emotional suffering that Mali endures every single day, the Manila Zoo has also proved that they are unable to care for her health. We have learned that in the entire time she has been at the zoo, Mali has not had adequate foot care or blood work", writes the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society. "In the wild, elephants roam vast territories over a variety of substrates, but Mali has little room to walk in her concrete pen. This means that her cuticles have become overgrown and the pads of her feet have become cracked, which could lead to infection if they continue to be left untreated."

In her current environment, Mali is denied everything that's natural and important to her. But in a sanctuary, she would have acres in which to roam, rivers and ponds to bathe in and the crucial company of other elephants. The world's leading elephant experts have been speaking out about Mali's mental and physical health problems and are calling for Mali to be transferred to a sanctuary.

The list of all the organisations supporting Mali's transfer and their comments are available upon request. For more information, please visit and