John Arcilla speaks against plan to bring new elephant to Manila Zoo after Mali’s death | Inquirer Entertainment

John Arcilla speaks against plan to bring new elephant to Manila Zoo after Mali’s death

/ 01:12 PM December 01, 2023

John Arcilla

Mali, John Arcilla. Image: Bondoc, Instagram/@johnarcilla

John Arcilla aired his disapproval of the plan to get another elephant to replace Mali in Manila Zoo, with the actor stressing that such animals should be in sanctuaries and not locked up in the city.

The award-winning actor said this in reaction to a report that the local government unit of Manila is eyeing to bring another elephant from Sri Lanka to the city-owned zoo, after the death of Mali.


“Bakit kailangan ng elepanteng nakakulong sa Maynila? Bakit kailangan may nakapresong endangered animal sa isang siyudad? Kailangan nila ng sanctuary hindi kulungan,” he said in the Instagram comments section of a publication on Wednesday, Nov. 29.


(Why do we need an elephant confined in Manila? Why do we need to lock up an endangered animal in a city? They need sanctuaries, not prison cells.)

“That is equivalent to animal cruelty. We don’t want to teach people, [especially] the kids, to have fun watching a sad, lonely animal,” he continued, describing the practice as “absurd and backward.”

Arcilla then noted that the Manila LGU should reassess its plan, adding that communities of animal lovers can also initiate a petition against it.

“If people want to enjoy looking at the animals, people should visit the sanctuaries and rehabs or the wilds, and spend for it. That is more appropriate. Otherwise, we have to leave them alone,” he underscored.

John Arcilla

Image: Instagram/@rappler

Several netizens who share the same sentiment as Arcilla also expressed their disagreement to bring a new elephant to Manila Zoo.

“Redirect the funds to existing features of the city or maybe an animal shelter even? The sight of malnourished animals doesn’t give anyone joy,” one said.


“Enough. Do not deprive animals of their natural and social environment,” wrote Instagram user @yulz_ycp.

“Dapat tigil na ang concept ng zoo. Napaka-cruel ng pag-detain sa isang animal away from their natural habitat for their whole lifetime,” said one @neil_angeloo. (The concept of zoos should stop. It is very cruel to detain an animal away from their natural habitat for their whole lifetime.)

Mali was brought to the Philippines from Sri Lanka in 1977 as a gift to then First Lady Imelda Marcos. Mali died last Nov. 28.

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Manila Zoo’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Heinrich Patrick Peña-Domingo, said the cause of Mali’s death could have been heart failure.

TAGS: Animal Cruelty, elephant, John Arcilla

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