Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes join call to free Mali

Celebrity couple Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes joined Kapamilya stars in expressing their support for the release of an elderly elephant in the Manila Zoo.

Just like Kim Chiu, Xian Lim, Gerald Anderson, Maja Salvador, Sam Milby, Shaina Magdayao, Enrique Gil and Piolo Pascual, Rivera and Dantes held “prison-like” cards which showed their names, followed by the statement “wants Mali freed.”

SEE PHOTOS: Kapamilya stars' FREE MALI campaign

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia’s campaign to transfer Mali, a solitary elephant constantly suffering in pain from potentially fatal foot ailments and held captive in a barren enclosure at the Manila Zoo, to a lush sanctuary has enlisted support from some of the biggest names in entertainment in the Philippines as well as other celebrities and notables around the world.

“Being alone is emotional torture to elephants,” Dantes says in his public service announcement for PETA, which can be viewed here.

“Mali has been sentenced to a miserable life of solitary confinement with absolutely nothing to do day after day, year after year,” says PETA Asia Campaign Manager Rochelle Regodon. “How long will the deafening call for her freedom—coming from scientists, politicians, religious leaders, and celebrities—be ignored by her cruel captors at the Manila Zoo?”

The most recent expert to speak out in support of Mali’s transfer is Blair Csuti, Ph.D., senior editor of the book The Elephant’s Foot: Prevention and Care of Foot Conditions in Captive Asian and African Elephants. Of Mali’s current environment, Csuti says that “these conditions are clearly sub-optimal for elephants and can lead to serious infections, particularly of the foot bones and connective tissue, a leading cause of mortality in captive elephants.” He’s just one of many elephant experts who have spoken out in support of Mali.

Mali’s veterinary care has been essentially ignored for more than 36 years, causing her to endure constant pain. Elephants are highly social animals who live naturally in herds and suffer greatly in the absence of other elephants. Mali is all alone—making her transfer even more urgent.

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