“world’s saddest elephant,” Mali is no more

“world’s saddest elephant,” Mali is no more

Mali, known as the “world’s saddest elephant,” has died at the Manila Zoo, the city’s mayor, Honey Lacuna, announced during a news conference on Wednesday. The Asian elephant earned the moniker because she was the only captive elephant in the Philippines and lived alone at the zoo for decades, according to animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has advocated for Mali.

Mali lived at the zoo for about 45 years and caught the attention of Paul McCartney in 2013 when he worked with PETA to raise awareness for the elephant and penned a letter to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III urging the transfer of Mali to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

At the time, PETA U.K. said Mali “endures intense confinement, loneliness, boredom and isolation” in an area that is a fraction of the size of her natural habitat.

An elephant sanctuary in Thailand was prepared to take Mali in, according to PETA U.K., but she stayed in Manila, where she was the main attraction at the zoo.

Other celebrities, including Pamela Anderson and Jane Goodall joined the effort to “free Mali.”

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