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Pamela Anderson asks Philippines President Benigno Aquino for a date

Baywatch star writes to Philippines president over transfer of elephant Mali

Gulf News

Manila: Hollywood actress Pamela Anderson has reportedly asked President Benigno Aquino III, a bachelor, for a date, reports published in the Philippines capital said Thursday.

The well-endowed Canadian actress recently sent a letter asking the Philippine leader for a date where they would discuss the immediate transfer of the Manila Zoo’s lone elephant, “Mali” to a pachyderm sanctuary in Thailand where it would be provided with better care.

Earlier, Aquino had issued a directive to consider Mali, 39, for relocation to a sanctuary amid calls from the animal rights group, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to consider the elephant’s condition.

The Manila Bulletin reported that in her letter, Anderson wrote: “Thank you for taking a strong, serious stance on her (Mali’s) behalf by issuing a directive to consider moving her to a sanctuary. In a world filled with political self-interest, your character and integrity are inspiring.”

The actress, who works with PETA promoting animal rights, quoted a line from Mahatma Gandhi who said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

“I know that the Philippines is a great nation. Should you find yourself in Los Angeles, I’d love to take you to dinner and talk more about how we can help Mali,” Anderson, famous for her role in the TV show Baywatch, said.

Earlier, thousands of students of all ages from schools in Metro Manila have made cards and written letters in support of PETA Asia’s campaign for the transfer of Mali.

“There’s one thing that children, politicians, celebrities, animal welfare groups, and elephant experts have all agreed on: Mali needs — and deserves — to be transferred to a proper sanctuary,” says PETA Asia Campaigns Manager Rochelle Regodon. “PETA hopes President Aquino will take immediate action to ensure that Mali is freed from the isolation and neglect that she has endured for 36 years.”

“For long years, Mali made us happy, so please let’s us make Mali happy too,” says one card.

PETA had expressed concern over the condition of Mali, an Asian elephant, due to her cramped conditions at the Manila Zoo which is very different from the wild where she would be allowed to roam free and would live longer, healthy life.

PETA said that in the sanctuary, Mali would have hectares of land on which to roam, rivers and ponds to bathe in, the crucial company of other elephants, and veterinary care for the potentially fatal foot problems caused by her decades-long captivity.

Aside from Anderson, among the prestigious individuals and organisations that have joined PETA in calling for Mali’s release are world-renowned veterinarian Dr Henry Richardson, wildlife conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, a dozen other elephant experts, more than 50 international animal protection groups, and 20 local non-governmental organisations.