#ReleaseTheCaptive: Build Sanctuaries, Save Wildlife

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Objective: This petition aims to gain advocates to support the establishment of animal sanctuaries instead of animal parks or zoos throughout the country.

Zoos and animal sanctuaries are places that confine wild animals. However, both differ in means of acquiring and treating animals.

Zoos are created specifically to exhibit animals to the public. They also buy, sell, trade, borrow, loan out, and breed animals (Shea, 2014). In zoos, animals are kept in an artificially made environment, and are not free to roam around as they please.

While zoos argue that animal parks were built with the aim to educate and convey information about wild animals, their processes involve forcing animals away from their natural habitats to confine them in cages and pens.

On the contrary, animal sanctuaries take in and care for animals that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned while keeping them in their natural habitats. It is a place for animals to retire—where they are respected, and not treated as a prop or an object (Shea, 2014).

The Manila Zoo located in Malate, Manila City currently holds captive a 43 year old female elephant named Mali. Mali does not receive veterinary treatment and paces daily in her small captivity area. She has lived a life without other elephants for company (France-Presse, 2017).

Thousands of people around the world have already petitioned to have Mali moved to Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand for rehabilitation, and multiple animal organizations have tried to purchase Mali to release her. Nonetheless, the Manila Zoo continues to refuse to let Mali live a natural life along with other elephants (Knightly, 2017).

The world is in the middle of the sixth mass extinction, and is losing animals at a terribly rapid rate. It is crucial to keep in mind that the best way to save endangered and soon-to-be endangered species is by protecting and keeping them in their natural habitats.

Remember: Animals are not ours to use for entertainment. Sanctuaries rescue animals, while zoos exploit them. #ReleaseTheCaptive