PETA Mourns Mali, the Elephant Who Spent Decades Alone at the Manila Zoo

Because of indifference and greed, Mali died the same way she had lived for nearly 50 years—alone in a barren concrete pen. PETA, cultural and political leaders, world-renowned elephant experts, and other kind people from around the world all pleaded for her release to a sanctuary, where she could have enjoyed the company of other elephants. Instead, the Manila Zoo and the City of Manila sentenced Mali to decades of solitary confinement—torture for female elephants, who in nature spend their lives among their mothers and sisters, protecting one another and raising each other's calves—and now she has lost any chance of happiness.

Despite PETA's repeated warnings, zoo and city officials ignored Mali's clearly painful foot problems, sentencing her to years of suffering. The Manila Zoo has announced that Mali had cancer that was not detected by their veterinarians until after she died. Due to the fact that there is no elephant expert in the country, Mali was never provided with routine veterinary care—something she would have been given at the sanctuary PETA was prepared to transfer her to. Every person who denied her veterinary care and blocked her transfer to a sanctuary should be held accountable for their part in allowing Mali's suffering.

PETA is calling on the government of Sri Lanka to halt possible plans to transfer another elephant to the Manila Zoo. Sentencing another elephant to the decades of psychological abuse that Mali endured shows a lack of even basic understanding of an elephant's needs.

PETA thanks everyone who rallied for her release, from Dr. Jane Goodall and Sir Paul McCartney to a host of Filipino stars and thousands of schoolchildren, and urges people everywhere to stay away from any business that puts animals on display.

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Meet Mali

In a barren pen, Mali spends her days pacing the same concrete area over and over again. Transferred from Sri Lanka to the Manila Zoo when she was just a baby, Mali has lived a life of deprivation since 1977. In the wild, Mali would spend her days in the company of her herd—which she'd never leave—foraging, bathing and playing in rivers, and roaming vast territories. Now Mali has the chance to live the life that she can currently only dream of.

"The Manila Zoo has failed Mali. Not only is she suffering from isolation and captivity-induced foot problems, I've also learned that she has not even had basic blood work conducted in the three and a half decades that she's been at the zoo." —World-renowned animal conservation expert Dr. Jane Goodall