• Day 184: MALI – THE ELEPHANT THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO SAVE BUT NO ONE CAN. YET.

    Mar 26 2013
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    Mali, the elephant everyone is trying to rescue.

    The zoo in Manila isn’t that bad. It’s just an archetypal zoo.

    In other words its downright depressing. 

    While we wait for the Mayor to get back in touch about our dog rescue mission (he’s doing whatever Mayor’s do when they are unavailable) we decide to visit the local zoo and see a famous elephant that has lived here in isolation for decades.

    She is called Mali.

    Everyone but everyone around the world has been trying to get this elephant out but she’s STILL here. Pacing up and down.

    Watching Mali - she kind of does the same thing over and over. Like watching BIg Brother on TV at 5am but with no sofa.

    Watching Mali – she kind of does the same thing over and over. Like watching BIg Brother on TV at 5am but with no sofa.

    Mali, the elephant everyone is trying to rescue.

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    I find these photos kind of weird. Like my camera was possessed.. They are the closest thing I have done to war photography. Of course they are not war photography. But they do show the effects of a terrible between the oppressor and the oppressed.

     

    My main impression of this zoo is of concrete and flimsy fences. Everywhere you look there are vast animals – hippos, large ostriches, tigers and an even an elephant called Mali – that live mostly in isolation in very drab concrete enclosures protected by a poor permiter. The only thing stopping them jumping out is their learned helplessness. This place is the epitome of the zoo-prison, it doesn’t even pretend to be natural and for that sort of honesty you have to hand it to the zoo-keepers.

    Give them a single peso.

     

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    A local visitor getting into the mood of this crazy happy place.

    A local visitor getting into the mood of this crazy happy place.

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    And then Mali:  pacing up and down her bare cell. She’s been the subject of a huge international drive to release her. PETA have committed to flying her across the world to an elephant sanctuary and caring for the rest of her life and yet still the poor soul is still here.

    Why?

    Because the local mayor thinks that every zoo needs an elephant.

    TOMORROW: we wait for the green light to try and intercept the truck bound for the dog meat trade. Can we rescue any dogs? Can we get the mayor out of bed?

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    Andrew crosses the divide. Kind of seems a little easy to get close to the animals at this zoo. And yet they are so so far away.

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