There is a growing movement around the world aimed at freeing Mali, called one of the world's saddest elephants, from the Manila Zoo, where she has lived for more than 36 years.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have launched a petition urging authorities to transfer Mali to a sanctuary in northern Thailand.

Mali was just 3 when she was donated by the Sri Lankan government 35 years ago. Animal activists say Mali is confined to a barren, concrete enclosure.

Wild elephants travel long distances and socialize with other elephants, activities critics say are denied Mali.

Celebrities from rockers Morissey and Smashing Pumpkins, to a group of fashion models who bared all in support of moving Mali, have been putting pressure on the Zoo to relocate the elephant.

Last month, President Benigno Aquino III issued a directive to consider Mali for relocation to a sanctuary, but Zoo officials insist that Mali is doing fine, and because of her age, a move would do more harm than good. They also say Mali has plenty of company because children regularly visit.

There is conflicting viewpoints from experts. Some say Mali is suffering, both emotionally and physically, while others agree that she is too old to be moved.

The debate is likely to continue, as it appears there is a stand-off.

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