Manila Zoo eyes another elephant from Sri Lanka in place of Mali – mayor
MABALACAT, Pampanga — Manila Zoo plans to get another elephant to replace Vishwamali, known to locals as Mali, Mayor Honey Lacuna said Wednesday.
Mali, who died Tuesday afternoon, was Manila Zoo’s top attraction, the local chief executive noted.
“There is a plan to replace Mali,” Lacuna said in a press briefing at the zoo.
She said the Sri Lankan government has offered to give another elephant to Manila Zoo through its representatives who visited the country.
“We will inform them that Mali is gone, so their offer to us will push through,” Lacuna said in Filipino.
Mali, the country’s only elephant, was brought to the Philippines from Sri Lanka in 1977 as a gift to then First Lady Imelda Marcos.
Before Mali’s death, there were calls for the elephant’s transfer to a sanctuary overseas, as advocates noted that the isolation and unnatural habitat were detrimental to her well-being.
Manila Zoo’s chief veterinarian Dr. Heinrich Patrick Peña-Domingo said the cause of Mali’s death could have been heart failure.