Mali is perhaps one of the world's saddest elephants.
Mali was still a nursing baby when she was taken from her home in Sri Lanka, where she was just learning how to swim, roughhouse with her cousins, and find her own food. For more than 40 years, Mali has been confined to a barren, concrete enclosure at the Manila Zoo.
Wild elephants engage in activities for up to 20 hours every day, moving about and socializing with other elephants. The entire Manila Zoo measures only 0.055 square kilometers, and Mali's enclosure is one small piece of that. For her physical well-being, Mali needs grass to cushion her aching joints and room to move, not a cramped pen. For her emotional health, Mali needs the company of other elephants. She hasn't seen another elephant in more than 40 years.
Mali has been denied proper veterinary care. In the entire time she has been at the zoo, she has never received proper preventative foot care—something every reputable zoo in the world provides—or even basic blood work. Joint and foot problems are the leading cause of death in captive elephants, and elephant expert Dr. Henry Richardson, who flew to Manila to examine Mali at PETA Asia's expense, determined that Mali already suffers from potentially fatal cracked nails and foot pads, which are open to infection, and overgrown cuticles. Since PETA Asia alerted the zoo to Mali's problems, the zoo hasn't brought in a single elephant expert to help her.
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. Please urge authorities to take immediate action to transfer Mali to a sanctuary. Her health and her sanity depend on it.