Help save Maali the elephant from PETA's publicity stunts. Don't let PETA take Maali away from her home and friends.
Maali may be the lone elephant at Manila Zoo, but she is far from being the lonely, psychotic elephant PETA makes her out to be.
The truth is that while the zoo may not be as well-funded as the other zoos that everyone looks up to, they are doing a remarkable job with what they have. Unfortunately, they're surrounded by people who like putting it down without having been there / or trying to help.
My family and I been volunteering with Manila Zoo for the past 12 years. In those years, we've seen their drive for constant improvement. Maali, in all the years that we have known her, is actually quite happy. She's very socially enriched and loves to interact with visitors.
She's got an amazing bond with a volunteer elephant keeper named John K. Chua, who has spent a lot of his time and his resources to learn as much as he can about these pachyderms. Theirs is a relationship built on trust and on love. Maali listens to him, and he does the same to her. Its like she has her own mahoot who gets trained using positive reinforcement. You heard me, Maali actually does the training - she's taught him where and how to clean her, what she likes and what she doesn't like. :)
We believe we can all pitch in and help make her life better here. We've spoken with other zoo experts, particularly those for environmental enrichment - they've all said it is possible to keep her happy, even if she's by herself. At her age, it's also better that way. All we need is a good enrichment plan and lots of social interaction.
In the last few months, PETA has been campaigning to ship Maali off to a "sanctuary" in Thailand. A move that can potentially kill her. Maali is no longer a small, young elephant... and the transport of such large animals over great distances can be fatal. But PETA will never tell you that. If they're sincere about wanting to help - there's any easier (and safer) way to make her life (and the lives of others) better here, now. We keep offering to let them help here, but they're more interested to fund-raise for a transfer.
Even if she managed that slim chance of surviving the trip, there's also a great possibility that Maali will not be accepted by the herd that they're planning to introduce her to. Thailand also has enough problems with elephants, if they didn't then you wouldn't see them begging in the streets of Bangkok. And if sanctuaries there were so fantastic, why are there reports of elephants being tortured to perform for guest in order to drive revenues?
PETA might cite the example of Tina, an elephant who was transferred from the Vancouver zoo to a Tennessee sanctuary 3,000 miles away in 2004. But Tina DIED ONE YEAR AFTER she was transferred. She was only 34. Maali on the other hand has never been sedated - and probably won't stand a chance.
Maali's home is here, Maali's heart is here... She's surrounded by people who know her, who love her, who will move heaven and earth to make her life better.
We've asked PETA repeatedly for their Animal Management and Transfer plans, or even the name of the sanctuary they're proposing.... They have never given us that information.
We want to make sure she's safe - and with PETA's reputation for having a strong stance for Euthanasia (they've killed at least 85% of animals in their care) we're terrified that this is just a ploy to put her down. We also fear that their plans aren't solid enough to keep her safe - they haven't exactly been known for telling the truth (only their grossly exaggerated or fabricated version of it). We're afraid that they'll harm her even here. PETA has strong associations with Animal Liberation Front, a known terrorist group.
PETA is also fund-raising in her behalf without evidence of a plan or accounting for the funds. Maali is a victim of their bid for publicity (and donations).
PETA has a long drawn out media campaign. They are extremely well-versed in this kind of tactic - and their half truths (and sometimes complete and outright lies) seem easy to believe. I guess you owe it to yourself to learn about the different facets before passing judgement.
We live in a poor country, simple as that. But if people stop grandstanding and start helping earnestly then it's not just the zoo that will get better, it's also the Philippines.
We hope you'll help us FREE MAALI from the GREED of PETA.