Philippines' only elephant, Mali, dies at Manila Zoo

Born in Sri Lanka in 1974, Mali arrived in the Southeast Asian country in 1977 — and since then, she had been the star of the capital's zoo

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Photo: Peta
Photo: Peta

Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 6:25 PM

Generations of Filipinos would know Mali — as she was the only elephant they would have seen in person, without having to fly out. Mali was the only elephant in the country.

Mali died on Tuesday afternoon. She was 49.

The mayor of Manila announced the elephant's death on social media, prompting a flood of broken-heart and crying emojis online.

She died at around 3.45pm, and authorities are now investigating the cause of her death, according to Mayor Honey Lacuna.

Born in Sri Lanka in 1974, Mali was sent was a gift to the Philippines — and since she arrived in 1977, she had been the star of Manila Zoo, then the country's only zoo.

Mali had been a subject of campaigns against animal cruelty over the years. International animal rights group Peta had long called for Mali's release and transfer to a sanctuary overseas.

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