MANILA: The Philippines' only elephant has died inside the Manila Zoo, a home for the female pachyderm for 46 years, Manila City Mayor Maria Sheilah Honrado Lacuna-Pangan said.

The mayor said in a video post on her social media that Mali died on Tuesday afternoon at the age of 49. The city was conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of her death.

Mali, full name Vishwa Ma'ali, spent all of her life in Manila since she was donated by the Sri Lankan government in 1977 at the age of three. She has been a star attraction for school children, families and tourists for nearly five decades, said Xinhua.

Noel Co, Mali’s caretaker at the zoo since 2001, mourned Mali’s death and described the elephant as “a family member, a sibling”.

At a news conference on Wednesday, the mayor said the city government will communicate with the Sri Lankan government to officially inform them about Mali's death and for possible replacement. -Bernama

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