Aussie Musicians join Jane Goodall and Other Scientists With PETA to Demand Ailing Animal’s Transfer to a Sanctuary – Now

For Immediate Release:
15 April 2014

Canberra – The fast-growing call for the transfer of Mali, an aging, ailing and lonely elephant held captive at the Manila Zoo in the Philippines, has spread to Australia and is emanating from some high places. Musician John Butler, whose band recently toured the country promoting their new album; ARIA Award–winning singer/songwriter Missy Higgins, who has three number one albums; winner of The Voice Harrison Craig; triple ARIA Award–winning blues/roots band The Audreys; successful solo singer/songwriter Katie Noonan and Chris Cheney, Scott Owen and Andy Strachan, who make up the recently reactivated band The Living End, are among the music celebrities who have signed PETA’s petition demanding that the zoo immediately transfer Mali to a sanctuary where she can be in the company of other elephants and receive care for her painful foot problems, which, if left untreated, can be fatal.

“The call for Mali’s release from the pitiful Manila Zoo is spreading among celebrities from the Philippines to the US – and now it’s reached Australia, too”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “About the only people who are oblivious to that call are Philippine government officials, who apparently don’t care how much she suffers.”

Mali has been confined to a cramped enclosure since she was taken from her home and family in Sri Lanka in 1977. The concrete that she stands on has left her with foot problems, and an independent veterinarian has determined that she’s in constant pain. More and more zoos have recognized that the needs of these complex and intelligent animals cannot be met in captivity. The Detroit Zoo, the ZSL London Zoo, the Greater Vancouver Zoo, and the San Francisco Zoo are just a few of the zoos around the world that are closing their elephant exhibits and transferring the animals to sanctuaries. Mali has received essentially no veterinary care for more than 36 years. Also, elephants are highly social animals who naturally live in herds and suffer greatly in the absence of other elephants.

“Elephants need the company and companionship of other elephants. Even if Mali were in a sound state physically, keeping her alone in a cramped, barren pen is still ethically indefensible”, says world-renowned conservationist Dr Jane Goodall.

Other music celebrities from around the world who have endorsed Mali’s transfer include Morrissey, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Judith Durham and Paul McCartney.

For more information on PETA Asia-Pacific’s campaign to free Mali, please visit