If Pink gets her way, one elephant will never forget her.
The pop singer is campaigning to get Las Vegas illusionists Siegfried & Roy to let their elephant, Gildah, leave its pen at the Mirage Hotel and Casino and live the rest of its life at a wildlife sanctuary.
Pink wrote a letter to the duo, saying that during the making of her “Just Like a Pill” video she developed sympathy for an elephant being used in the shoot. She said the creature was disoriented by the “bright lights and gawking people,” adding, “The poor soul was more tense and uncomfortable than I would be in the Mickey Mouse Club.”
Because of that experience, she said, she felt especially bad for Gildah, a 55-year-old, four-ton Thai elephant who used to live in Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage with tigers and lions. Gildah’s been in the magicians’ act since 1990, but with the show now closed because of an October 3 mauling, Pink wrote, the elephant is all alone, deprived of space and companionship.
“Gildah is being screwed out of an elephant’s most basic need, the companionship of other elephants,” the letter read. “Today we know that elephants are intelligent, social animals who form complex relationships. … Those relationships mean even more for captive elephants who have already suffered the loss of family, freedom and habitat and have nothing left. In a sanctuary, Gildah could forage through hundreds of acres of lush vegetation, play in the pond and at least have some life as nature intended. … Sure beats life in a tiny tourist trap.”
Two sanctuaries — one in California, another in Tennessee — have offered to take the pachyderm, a rep from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said. In the meantime, Pink is urging her fans and fellow PETA members to write to the entertainers, asking that they let Gildah be with her own kind.
” ‘Peace on Earth’ doesn’t seem very viable in much of the world this year,” the letter continued, “but won’t you grant it to one pathetic, old, lonely elephant on the Vegas Strip? She’s done her time, won’t you let her go?”
A spokesperson for Siegfried & Roy did not return calls for comment.
Pink has championed animal rights in the past, urging Vogue magazine to stop promoting fur (see “Pink Asks Vogue To Shed Fur From Its Pages” ) and asking Prince William to stop hunting on safari (see “Pink Chides Prince William For Hunting, Asks Him To Call Her” ).