Mali the Elephant’s Cause of Death Revealed

Mali Manila Zoo

Photo / Manila Zoo on Facebook

Mali, the lone elephant in the Philippines, passed away on November 28, 2023, at 3:45 PM at the Manila Zoo.

She has lived in an enclosure in the zoo for the past four decades.

Mali was 49 when she died. The median life expectancy for female Asian elephants is 47 years old.

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna confirmed the news in a video posted on the Manila Public Information Office’s Facebook page.

The caption reads, “Ang Pamahalaang Lungsod ng Maynila ay malungkot na ibinabahagi ang pagkamatay ng ating minamahal na si Vishwa Ma’ali, mas kilalang Maali, ngayong araw, ika-28 ng Nobyembre.”

It adds, “Kasalukuyang ginaganap ang necropsy upang malaman ang tunay na kadahilanan ng kanyang pagkamatay.”

The cause of death was revealed today, November 29, to be congestive heart failure and cancer.

Lacuna also shared in a press conference that there is a plan to replace Mali.

She said, “Yung Sri Lankan government po ay nag-commit po sila na magbibigay po ulit sila. So, ngayon po i-inform po namin sila. Makikipag-communicate po kami sa kanila to inform them na nawala na nga po si Mali and then para po yung offer nila sa amin mag-push through na po.”

Vishwamali, commonly known as Mali, was born in Sri Lanka in 1974 and was given by the government to former First Lady Imelda Marcos in 1977. Mali is the first elephant to walk the grounds of the Malacañang Palace.

The elephant’s solitary condition has been a topic of debate through the years. There have been calls for Mali to be transferred to a wildlife sanctuary in Thailand where she could be with other elephants.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, Asian elephants are extremely sociable. Female elephants tend to gather in groups of six or seven, and are led by the oldest, or the matriarch.

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