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About Alexander Calzadilla

Alexander Calzadilla is a Cuban male originally from Philadelphia, who has happily called Miami his home since moving here at the age of 15. He attended Southwest Sr. High School and Florida International University, ultimately receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. While in college, he began working as a paralegal for the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Reichenbacher, a position he kept for seven years after graduation. He subsequently worked at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Associates before landing at Costa Nursery. After distinguishing himself with many accomplishments, he was promoted to the position of Director of Specialty Products, which included the orchid, bonsai and lucky bamboo departments. When Alex was first put in charge of the three departments, they ranked near the bottom. By the time he left Costa after seven years, Alex had transformed the floundering departments into unqualified successes, posting record earnings, sales and profitability. In 2008 Alex was named the Costa Employee of the Year. Alex now puts his formidable prowess as a businessman into his newest venture, Avant-Garde Home Furnishings, LLC, serving as Managing Partner.

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We offer home furnishings and decor for every area of your home,both inside and out, always striving to bring you the most current design elements being used by today's top designers, at a fraction of their retail cost. Whether you are completely redecorating an area of your home, looking for the perfect accent piece to finish off an existing room, shopping for a unique gift, or simply "window shopping" to get design ideas, Avant-Garde is the place to go for everything modern & contemporary for your home.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012


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Please re blog and share this story.. Its very important

Mali the elephant at the Manila Zoo


A heartfelt story.. Please everyone who reads this blog must help us change this..

The Story:

Imagine, if you can, a youngster, shipped to a strange and frightening place, never to see her family or home ever again. But no alert is ever issued, no reward for her safe return offered. This is because the victim is an elephant, Mali, the lone elephant at the Manila Zoo.
This nursing baby was taken from Sri Lanka in 1974 and has spent the last 35 years in a small, concrete pen.

Try to imagine living your whole life in a room the size of a bedroom, seeing the same four walls every day. You'd have no friends or companionship and nothing whatsoever to pass the time or provide you with comfort. You'd never get to leave. That's exactly what life is like for Mali.
Mali is a mere shell of the magnificent being she's meant to be. She is the only captive elephant in the Philippines, and she needs to be retired without delay.

The Office of the President has issued a directive stating that Mali should be transferred to a sanctuary after an evaluation of her health. A sanctuary can offer her thousands of acres to roam, ponds to bathe in, fresh vegetation to eat, foraging opportunities and, most importantly, the company of many other elephants. But despite the fact that PETA has offered to cover the entire cost of the transfer, authorities are stalling PETA's efforts to faciliate Mali's move to a sanctuary. Take action now to free Mali!

PS Want to do even more to help us help Mali? Please "like" the Free Mali page on Facebook and share this video with friends and family.


World-Renowned Elephant Veterinarian: Mali Is Suffering

Mali the elephant at the Manila Zoo

Following a directive from President Benigno Aquino III to evaluate Mali, the 38-year-old solitary elephant at the Manila Zoo, and move her to a sanctuary, a new medical report on her condition reveals that she is suffering from potentially fatal foot problems and profound loneliness and that the only way to ensure her physical and psychological well-being is to relocate her to an elephant sanctuary, where she can be cared for by experts. Paid for by PETA, internationally recognized elephant expert Dr. Mel Richardson has just published his report from a visual medical examination of Mali. View the report here.

No Veterinary Care

In the report, Richardson cites chronic pressure sores open to contamination as well as foot ailments, including cracked nails, overgrown cuticles, and cracked pads—all three of which can harbor bacteria and become infected. Such foot problems are the leading cause of death in captive elephants. The zoo’s veterinarians admitted to Richardson that they lack the means to trim Mali’s cuticles, and they have not yet accepted PETA’s offer of assistance. Richardson’s examination is the most complete physical evaluation that Mali has ever received, but she has still not had a blood workup.

Mali's feet, Manila Zoo

Suffering and Alone

While Richardson is concerned about Mali’s lack of veterinary care, he is particularly troubled by her loneliness and the extreme psychological stress that it causes:
“My major concern is that Mali is alone,” writes Richardson in the report. “Female elephants in their natural habitat never leave the herd. They are in constant communication with the other members of their family. Mali’s social and psychological needs are being neglected at the Manila Zoo. Even the best intentions … cannot replace these needs, which can only be met by the companionship of other elephants.” He concludes, “In my experience, even elephants who have been alone for more than 20 years integrate well with other elephants when moved to a sanctuary.”

All elephants who are confined alone and denied everything that is natural and important to them suffer psychologically. The frustrations of captivity and lack of companionship often lead to abnormal, neurotic, and even self-destructive behavior called “zoochosis” or “stereotypy”—in Mali’s case, incessant pacing. A growing number of progressive zoos—including several in the U.S. and the U.K.—have realized that they cannot possibly fulfill the complex needs of elephants and have closed their elephant exhibits. The government of India has ordered that all elephants in zoos be transferred to government-run sanctuaries and reserves.

What You Can Do to Help

Please support PETA’s campaign to transfer Mali to a sanctuary. Click here for a list of ideas on how to help Mali get the retirement that she deserves.

Petition Letter:

Please expedite Mali's transfer to a sanctuary in Thailand
Dear Secretary Alcala,
As I'm sure you're aware, in her current environment, Mali is denied socialization, stimulation, room to explore, and everything else that is natural and important to her. Mali endures intense confinement, loneliness, boredom, and isolation in an area a fraction of the size of her natural habitat.

But you have a chance to change that. Will you immediately work with PETA in facilitating Mali's transfer to a sanctuary, as ordered by a directive from the office of the president?

The Manila Zoo has a chance to join a growing number of progressive zoos—including several in the U.S. and the U.K.—who have realized that they cannot possibly fulfill the complex needs of elephants and have closed their elephant exhibits. The government of India has ordered that all elephants in zoos be transferred to government-run sanctuaries.


Please help give Mali the life she truly deserves.



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