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Revolt in the Manila Zoo


When it was time to leave the zoo I sat near the giant aviary that is close to the entrance, waiting for my wife, Alice and our coworker Ivy to come back from the comfort room. I was close enough to the aviary to hear a group of eagles, flamingos and storks talking. They don’t move their lips or bills, but you can hear them if you listen closely.

Posted: November 10th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Mali’s life in zoo worse than stint in POW camp

I am writing to you today concerning a matter that is very close to my heart—the plight of Mali, the lone elephant at the Manila Zoo. I am an American citizen and have never visited the Philippines, yet elements of Mali’s life bear stark similarities to my own.

Posted: September 25th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Adopt a zoo


Or, well, a bit of it. I’ve written on this matter many, many times before (six columns since 2008), and I’m gratified to see that the new mayor of Manila agrees with me: He’ll keep the Manila Zoo.

Posted: August 7th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Aquino’s directive on Mali ignored for past 14 months and counting

PETA’S phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from veterinarians around the world who, like us, are outraged by the inaccurate and ambiguous statements that Dr. Nikorn Thongtip has made to media about Mali, the elephant at the Manila Zoo. Thongtip’s area of specialization is in elephant reproduction. He is not qualified to [...]

Posted: July 15th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

‘Lim has done nothing for Mali’

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim portrays himself as a defender of justice, yet right now, he is one obstacle to righting a wrong. Ignoring the recommendations of experts around the world, Lim refuses to approve the transfer of Mali, the ailing and depressed lone elephant at the Manila Zoo, to a sanctuary.

Posted: April 10th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Free Mali now!


It’s a good thing that the makers of the film “Life of Pi” didn’t attempt to give human traits or a personality to “Richard Parker,” the adult Bengal tiger who shares a life boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with Pi Patel, a teenage Indian boy who survives a shipwreck where the rest of his family dies.

Posted: January 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Tina and Mali


Of all the stories that came out over the last weekend or so—the Olympics opening ceremonies and the initial victories; the conclusion of the Judicial and Bar Council vetting of the nominees for chief justice; the release on bail of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; and Typhoon “Gener” that turned the weekend into a wet and windy two days—there is one, quiet and yet heartbreaking, that captured my heart and my imagination.

Posted: July 31st, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

No place for Mali

Laudable was the editorial on Mali, the 38-year-old elephant caged in Manila Zoo for more than 30 years (Inquirer, 6/24/12). I agree: Mali should be kept there no further.

Posted: July 5th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Transfer suffering zoo elephant to sanctuary


There is now a raging controversy between animal welfare groups and the veterinarians of the Manila Zoo over the fate of Mali, the lone zoo elephant. The animal welfare groups want the elephant transferred to a sanctuary in Thailand because its zoo enclosure is too small and Mali cannot roam as elephants do in the [...]

Posted: July 3rd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Creature comforts

For decades, countless families have visited the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, better known as the Manila Zoo, for a treat: to see in the flesh some of the creatures they would not otherwise see in the workaday world. The zoo’s biggest attraction is its sole pachyderm: the 38-year-old and 7-ton Mali, born in Sri Lanka in 1974, and a resident for the past 35 years. Visitors flock to her enclosure to take photographs and admire the majesty of the elephant. But according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) Asia, Mali has to be relocated for her own good.

Posted: June 23rd, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Manila Zoo can’t be home to baby elephant

This is in reaction to Jaymee Gamil’s article (“New elephant for Manila zoo, says official,” Inquirer, 10/10/11) about the orphaned baby elephant to be given to the Manila Zoo by Sri Lanka. I pity the elephant. It would just be in for a life of disappointment and heartache. Elephants in the wild are used to [...]

Posted: October 13th, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

A lonely, barren existence for elephant

Does the elephant in question, a 34-year-old female from Sri Lanka, really look that curious? To me she looks malungkot (lonely). You would be too, if you were taken from your home, kicking and screaming, to be later confined in a small space with little or nothing to do for the rest of your life. [...]

Posted: August 2nd, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »



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