Target: Richard Gower, head of Kingsleigh Primary School
Goal: Thank a 6th grade class for bringing global awareness to the tragic life of a captive elephant
A video made by students at Kingsleigh Primary School in England has made headlines around the world and is now being featured on the website for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The children’s goal is simple: to save an elephant that has been confined to a small pen at a Manila zoo for 35 years. The work these kids have done and the compassion they have not only exemplified, but also cultivated, is incredible and deserves our gratitude.
Mali the elephant was taken from her habitat in Sri Lanka as a baby in 1974, and has spent 35 years in a small concrete pen in Manila Zoo. She remains the only captive elephant in the Philippines and, because of her isolation and inability to interact with other elephants, suffers from a variety of complex medical and mental health issues. Mali is so lonely that she constantly holds her own tail. Young elephants will hold the tails of their mothers for security.
In the video, the children speak as though they are Mali, telling her story and describing how she was taken from her home and endured decades of torture and suffering. Descriptions include, “The more I move, the more I am beaten, even though I have done nothing wrong. With tears in my eyes I lay in pain, as the days drag on.” Finally, the children ask “Are you going to leave her there?” while showing a haunting image of Mali holding her own tail.
Holly Graff, a teacher at the school, said, “The children are so excited to see a real outcome from their writing. It shows the children that their writing can have power and that they should stand up for things they feel strongly about.” PETA has taken up the issue and is working to have Mali transferred to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand where she can spend the rest of her life with other elephants.
Please take a moment to sign the petition below and not only thank the students at Kingsleigh Primary School for this unbelievable effort, but also show your support for their cause and help set Mali free.
Dear Richard Gower,
The 6th grade class at Kingsleigh Primary School has made headlines all over the world for a recent video they created to bring awareness to the plight of a captive elephant named Mali. Awareness they sought and awareness they received. PETA, perhaps the largest animal welfare group in the world, is even working to have Mali moved to a sanctuary in Thailand.
Thanks to your students, a life on the other side of the world may have a second chance. The compassion these children have not only demonstrated, but exemplified, is something to be admired.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: warriorwoman531 via Flickr