Ely Buendia joins calls to release elephant

Posted at 01/13/14 6:49 PM

MANILA – Filipino rocker Ely Buendia has joined other local celebrities in expressing their support for the release of an elderly elephant in the Manila Zoo.

Holding his guitar, Buendia is seen in the newest ad of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia, which had the caption: “Let Mali Live in Harmony.”

In a statement released by PETA Asia on Monday, the former Eraserheads vocalist urged his fans “to raise their voices to help free Mali.”

“She has been lonely for more than 36 years. If you can’t imagine how that feels, just try to remember what you were doing in 1979. That’s the last time Mali saw another elephant. A sanctuary can give her the kind of life that she needs and deserves,” Buendia said.

“I hope people can join me in calling for Mali’s transfer to a sanctuary where she can finally be free to act like an elephant and engage in the behavior that comes naturally to her. Mali deserves to live a harmonious life in the company of others of her own kind,” he added.

PETA Asia has tapped a number of local celebrities to join its campaign for Mali’s transfer to a sanctuary. Among them are singers Aiza Seguerra and Charice, actors Gerald Anderson, Xian Lim, Sam Milby, Enrique Gil, Piolo Pascual and Dingdong Dantes, and actresses Kim Chiu, Maja Salvador, Shaina Magdayao and Marian Rivera.

The animal rights group noted that Mali “has been confined to a small, sterile enclosure at the Manila Zoo for 36 years,” adding that the elephant has been suffering from foot problems and profound loneliness.

Last week, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said Mali will stay at the Manila Zoo and will be given two companions courtesy of the government of Sri Lanka.

The former president added that the Manila Zoo will be turned into a world-class facility for animals with the help of foreign donors.