Manila city dads ask firm to guarantee Mali’s return to zoo
Manila officials have asked a firm that has offered to take care of Mali to guarantee that it will return the 39-year-old elephant upon completion of the city zoo’s rehabilitation.
The condition was set in a resolution authored by Councilor DJ Bagatsing and adopted by the city council last week. It was in response to Zoomanity Group’s offer to look after Mali at its Zoobic Safari attraction in Zambales province.
According to the resolution, Mali should remain in Subic only “for an approximate period of one-and-a-half years.”
Mayor Joseph Estrada earlier said that Mali would have to move temporarily to another home once Manila Zoo undergoes renovation with the help of foreign investors.
“Mali’s permanent home is and shall always be the Manila Zoo and that will forever be the city’s policy; not even Sir Paul McCartney nor Pamela Anderson and… topless models can change that,” Bagatsing said.
McCartney, Anderson and other foreign and local celebrities have expressed support for a call made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to transfer Mali to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.
According to the animal welfare group, Manila Zoo’s most well-known resident was sick and suffering from loneliness.
But Estrada maintained that Mali, a gift from the Sri Lankan government, would remain in the country. Two more elephants would be donated by Sri Lanka after the zoo’s renovation, he said.—Erika Sauler
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