-- Paul McCartney is lending his support to yet another animal-rights campaign. The rock legend has joined a growing list of celebrities who are imploring Philippine president Benigno Aquino III to OK the transfer of an ailing 39-year-old elephant named Mali from the Manila Zoo to a spacious sanctuary in Thailand.
Mali, who has been in captivity since she was three years old, is kept alone in a small enclosure and has been suffering from a painful foot problem.
In a letter sent recently to Aquino, McCartney writes, "I respectfully urge you to use your good offices to expedite the transfer as, with every single day that she remains in the zoo, Mali suffers."
The former Beatle points out that although Aquino did send out a directive in May 2012 "ordering that Mali be evaluated and considered for transfer," the elephant "seems no closer to enjoying her well-deserved retirement at an approved sanctuary."
Sir Paul also notes that elephants are herd animals, and keeping Mali penned up alone is particular inhumane. In addition, he says he "was shocked to learn that Mali has never even received proper preventive foot care when foot and joint problems are the leading cause of death among captive elephants kept on hard surfaces."
Continuing his plea to Aquino, McCartney notes that "with the stroke of a pen, you can bring an end to her suffering, and I urge you, with all my heart, to direct that Mali be given that joy now."
He closes his missive with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, who said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Other celebs who've joined the campaign, include Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), former Smiths frontman Morrissey, and Pamela Anderson. To find out more about the initiative, which was launched by the Asia-Pacific branch of animal-rights organization PETA, visit FreeMali.com.
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