Magda Szubanski, Isabel Lucas, Lara Bingle, John Butler, Harrison Craig and More Team Up 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, has spread to Australia and is emanating from some high places. Fashion model and TV personality Lara Bingle, actor and comedian Magda Szubanski, actor Isabel Lucas, winner of The Voice Harrison Craig and musician John Butler, whose band toured the country this month playing four sell-out shows to promote their new, highly anticipated album, are among the celebrities who have just signed PETA’s petition demanding that the zoo immediately transfer Mali to a sanctuary where she can be in the vital 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 around the world, including in the Philippines, the US and Australia”, 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 recognised 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.

Others from around the world who have endorsed Mali’s transfer include iconic wildlife conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, French film legend Brigitte Bardot, band members from Placebo and The Living End, comedian Carl Barron and Nobel Prize–winning author JM Coetzee.

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