Legendary rocker Paul McCartney has sent an urgent letter on behalf of PETA to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III asking him to press ahead with the transfer of Mali, the 39-year-old solitary and ailing elephant held captive at the Manila Zoo, to a lush, spacious sanctuary in Thailand.

“I have great regard for governments that intervene on behalf of animals, just as yours did with the May 2012 directive ordering that Mali be evaluated and considered for transfer. That said, time is passing, and it has been more than a year since that directive was issued – yet Mali seems no closer to enjoying her well-deserved retirement at an approved sanctuary”, McCartney writes. “I have heard from my friends at PETA that various government authorities are continuing to deny that Mali’s welfare should be within their jurisdiction.”

McCartney adds, “With the stroke of a pen, you can bring an end to her suffering, and I urge you, with all my heart, to direct that Mali be given that joy now”.

Studies have revealed that keeping a solitary female elephant is extremely detrimental to her mental health and well-being. In their natural habitats, female elephants spend their entire lives with their herds. Every daily activity – from foraging for food to playing and bathing in rivers – is carried out in the presence of their extended family group. Logistically, the zoo can never offer enough space for elephants, and Mali’s veterinary care has been virtually ignored for more than 36 years, resulting in foot problems, which veterinarians have said are causing her constant pain.

The list of internationally recognised experts calling for Mali’s immediate transfer include world-renowned veterinarian Dr Henry Melvyn Richardson, legendary anthropologist Dr Jane Goodall and Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who raised and rehabilitated orphaned elephants in Kenya and reintroduced them into the wild.

For more information, please visit FreeMali.com.

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