Manila considering preserving body of the ‘world’s saddest elephant’

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –  The Manila city government is looking to preserve the body of Mali, the sole elephant at the Manila Zoo, who died Nov 28.

Manila mayor Honey Lacuna suggested taxidermy for Mali so she could be displayed in a museum.

“You all know that Mali is our prized possession. She was one of our star attractions in Manila Zoo,” Ms Lacuna said in a mix of Filipino and English during a press briefing on Nov 29.

“We are starting to have talks with experts on how to preserve Mali and put it in our museum here,” she added.

Mali who had lived alone at the zoo for more than 40 years, could have died of heart failure, according to Manila Zoo’s chief veterinarian Dr. Heinrich Patrick Peña-Domingo.

Animal rights activists had described as Mali as “one of the world’s saddest elephants”.

There is no record of exactly how old she was, but she is believed to be 48 to 49 years old.

Mali had been the Manila Zoo’s star attraction, sent as a gift by Sri Lanka in 1977 to then Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos.

She would have been seen by nearly all Filipinos who had gone on field trips to the zoo while in primary school.

Found orphaned in the wild, she was about three years old when she arrived in Manila. Mali was put in a pen with an older female elephant, Shiba, who had been rescued from a circus. Shiba died six years after Mali was brought to the zoo.

In 2012, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals started a campaign to have Mali moved to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, calling her “perhaps one of the world’s saddest elephants”.

Source: Straits Times

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