As a first-time visitor to the Philippines, I arrived in Manila with high expectations of a kind and compassionate nation. My predictions proved to be spot on, with the exception of my visit to the Manila Zoo.
I am a college student from the United States visiting the Philippines for the first time. Upon arriving here, I heard a lot about an elephant named Mali. I decided last June 5 to check her out and see what has made her a local celebrity.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Mali is a 40-year-old elephant from Sri Lanka who made international news when Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) launched a campaign to transfer her from her sorry quarters at the Manila Zoo to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. I remember seeing Mali during a school field trip many years ago, and now wonder if she deserves some rest especially in this unusually hot summer. She is probably the only live elephant a Filipino child will ever see in the country today, and it is hard to imagine a time when elephants roamed in the Philippines.
By Denis Murphy
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.
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.