MANILA – The Manila City government on Wednesday announced plans to preserve the remains of Mali, the country's lone elephant.
In a press conference, Mayor Honey Lacuna raised the possibility of subjecting the animal's remains to taxidermy and preserving her bones as an attraction to visitors after the elephant's death inside the Manila Zoo on Tuesday.
"Alam nyo naman po, prized possession namin si Mali, siya po ang star attraction dito sa Manila Zoo so nagsisimula na kaming magkaroon ng talks with the experts kung paano magagawang mai-preserve si Mali at mailagay siya sa museum natin dito (As you know, Mali is our prized possession. She is our star attraction here at the Manila Zoo and now, we are holding talks with experts on how to preserve Mali and put her in our museum here," Lacuna said.
The mayor also said they have yet to convey information on Mali's death to the government of Sri Lanka which donated the elephant.
She also clarified that Mali was entrusted by the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. to the care of the city government in 1981 under then-mayor Ramon Bagatsing and not in 1977.
In the same presser, Manila Zoo veterinarian Dr. Heinrich Patrick Domingo said Mali succumbed to congestive heart failure while suffering from cancer.
Citing results from the necropsy done on Mali's remains, he said the elephant's liver was filled with nodules and her kidneys were inflamed and covered with fat.
He said several tumors were also found in the elephant's pancreas.
"Maaari pong 'yun ang naging cause ng pagkamatay niya, ‘yung congestive heart failure, wherein nahihirapan na ung puso niyang ipump ung enough blood sa katawan dahil sa dami ng organs na affected sa kanya (She may have died due to congestive heart failure, where in the heart is having difficulties pumping enough blood because of the many organs that were affected)," he added.
The animal has already reached its maximum life span of 40 to 45 years old, having died at the age of 43.
The city government has kept Mali's remains in her enclosure inside the zoo. (PNA)