has come to the aid of an elephant in the Philippines as part of cause started by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA
). The letter was written just prior to a tour by the former front man of The Smiths
in the country.
notes that the letter was in relation to an Asian elephant called Mali, resident to the zoo in the Philippines capital. The elephant was reported as having been ill for some time. This was attributed to a combination of loneliness, boredom and isolation. Originally named Vishwamali, the elephant was born in Sri Lanka in 1974. She was brought to the Manila Zoo when she was three years old, and has lived in an enclosure since then.
Morrissey wrote a letter of support for the elephant to President Benigno Aquino III, requesting that Mali be moved to a sanctuary. The British pop icon has said that Mali deserved to retire at a sanctuary after spending a lifetime in a cramped enclosure.
Prompted by a letter from English singer and lyricist Morrissey, Malacañang has ordered the Bureau of Animal Industry to evaluate if the Manila Zoo's 35-year old Asian elephant, Mali, should be transferred to a sanctuary.
According to GMA News
, Morrissey wrote "On behalf of PETA Asia, I ask that you send Mali to a sanctuary, where she would have room to roam and be able to be among other members of her own species."
Morrissey went on to say:
“Mali's enclosure at the zoo is a fraction of the size that her natural habitat would be. A sanctuary would give her the opportunity for enrichment and companionship that she has been denied for many years."
PETA has stated that the ideal place for the elephant is the Elephant Sanctuary in the U.S.A.
states that a presidential spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, has responded by saying that action will be taken.