Former Beatle and music legend Paul McCartney joins the list of influential celebrities calling for the transfer of Mali, the only elephant held in the Manila Zoo.
In a letter dated July 19, the Beatles member urged President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to expedite the transfer of the Sri Lanka-born elephant to a sanctuary in Thailand.
“I respectfully urge you to use your good offices to expedite the transfer as, with every single day that she remains in the zoo, Mali suffers,” McCartney said.
McCartney reminded the chief executive that it has been over a year since President Aquino issued a directive to study transfer of Mali, who still stays at the zoo.
He also expressed concern about the failure of veterinarians to address Mali’s “debilitating foot problem and the unimaginable loneliness of a heard animal kept alone.”
“The video footage of Mali is heartbreaking. You only have a heart to see what so many experts have already pointed out: that the way she continuously favors one leg is a sign of constant pain,” he said.
“I was shocked to learn that Mali has never even received proper preventive food care when foot and joint problems are the leading cause of death among captive elephants kept on hard surfaces,” he added.
McCartney’s letter arrived after former President and Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada rejected calls to transfer Mali, saying it would only be a source of humiliation for the country.
“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 (of retirement) now,” McCartney wrote.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Malacanang still needs to check with Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala the results of the study regarding Mali’s transfer.
Earlier, Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson also wrote a letter asking President Aquino out on a date to talk about Mali’s possible transfer.
The Philippines is to upgrade a navy base facing disputed South China Sea waters to serve the extra ships being acquired to protect its territory, the military said Thursday. Navy spokesman Lieutenant-Commander Gregory Fabic said the military would build a 500-million-peso ($11.2 million) port at Ulugan Bay, the Philippine military base nearest to the Spratly Islands. President Benigno Aquino is set to visit the base on May 20 to launch the upgrading, Fabic added. In recent years, the …