Manila zoo's famous elephant dies after five lonely decades in its cage
Mali died on Tuesday inside her concrete pen in the Manila Zoo, where she has been caged for 46 years, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
"Because of indifference and greed, Mali the elephant died the same way she had lived for nearly 50 years: alone in a concrete pen at the Manila Zoo," PETA said in a statement.
Celebrities around the world, such as Dr Jane Goodall and Paul McCartney, had joined PETA's campaign to call for Mali's release to a sanctuary, where she could have enjoyed the company of other elephants.
"The Manila Zoo and the city of Manila sentenced Mali to decades of solitary confinement, which is torturous for female elephants, who naturally would spend their lives among their mothers and sisters, protecting one another and raising each other’s calves," PETA said.
Manila City Mayor Honey Lacuna Pangan said the cause of Mali's death had not yet been determined.
Mali had been the star attraction at the Manila Zoo. She was a gift from Sri Lanka in 1977 to then Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos. Mali was only three years old when she arrived in Manila.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire