Sri Lanka warned against giving elephant to Philippines

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

September 16, 2011 (AFP) – An international animal rights group warned Sri Lanka Friday against giving the Philippines a baby elephant, saying the creature would face a “lifetime of confinement, boredom and abuse”. The Asian unit of US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote to Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne saying the donation would sentence the elephant to a life of “misery at the Manila Zoo”.

The plea comes a day after Sri Lanka announced it was marking 50 years of diplomatic relations with the Philippines by giving the Manila Zoo an animal from its state-run elephant orphanage.

Sri Lanka’s acting information minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told reporters that the cabinet approved the gift after it was proposed by the prime minister.

Referring to the Manila Zoo as a “decrepit facility that has recently come under public scrutiny”, PETA’s Manila office said Jayaratne’s move reflected poorly on Sri Lanka.

“If you care about elephants, you would never send one to the Manila Zoo to suffer for the rest of their life,” PETA said, adding that the zoo’s sole elephant, Mali, spends her days alone in a barren cement enclosure.

“I beg you to cancel plan