MANILA, Philippines—Rock icon Morrissey called on Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday, ahead of a Manila concert, to send what the star described as Manila Zoo’s long-suffering elephant into retirement.
The British ex-singer of alternative rock group The Smiths said Mali, 37, deserved a reprieve from a lifetime of confinement.
“I ask that you send Mali to a sanctuary, where she would have room to roam and be able to be among other members of her own species,” Morrissey wrote ahead of his May 13 Manila show.
Aquino’s office received the letter Thursday and is evaluating it, his spokeswoman Abigail Valte told reporters.
Echoing allegations by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Morrissey said Mali had been unable to roam and socialize unlike her cousins in the wild.
“Her life consists of extreme loneliness, boredom and isolation in an area that is a fraction of the size of her natural habitat,” he said, suggesting this could drive her to insanity.
PETA, which Morrissey supports, wants Mali shipped to a US sanctuary for old, sick or needy elephants that have been retired from zoos and circuses.
It was not the first time Aquino’s intervention had been sought over conditions at the nearly 53-year-old zoo.
Last year a college student’s blog about apparently mistreated zoo animals provoked an instant Internet global furor and forced Aquino to call on officials to look into their welfare.
Manila Zoo chief veterinarian Donald Manalastas insisted Thursday that contrary to allegations Mali, donated by Sri Lanka in 1980 after its parents were poached, was well and fit.
“We have expanded the enclosure of Mali and increased her food with more nutrients. We have proof and papers of what we feed her. We do not torture her,” Manalastas told AFP.
Republican staffer caught spying on Democrats during Judiciary Committee meetings
A Republican staffer from the Ways and Means committee was caught spying on Democrats during their work over the weekend.
According to a Judiciary Committee source, the female staffer was ultimately discovered and ran out of the committee room once it was discovered she was there, tweeted Olivia Beavers, a writer at "The Hill."
"A Judiciary source says the committee, which has been practicing for their Monday impeachment hearing this whole weekend, came across a female GOP Ways and Means staffer in the hearing room today, but that she ran out once discovered," she tweeted.
New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn’t do anything wrong — why he won’t let witnesses testify
The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.
While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.
"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."
Former Republican Congressman admits he ‘can’t explain’ Ted Cruz: ‘You’d think he’d have more self-respect’
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday to perpetuate the false narrative that Ukraine hacked the 2016 election, a fact that has been disproven by all of the U.S. intelligence agencies. When asked to explain what Cruz could possibly have been thinking, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) confessed he has no idea how to explain Cruz.
"So, Charlie, what's going on here?" asked CNN host Fredricka Whitfield.