Manila Zoo’s resident elephant Vishwa Ma’ali, better known as Mali, died due to congestive heart failure while suffering from cancer, according to a veterinarian on Wednesday.
At a press conference, Manila Zoo veterinarian Dr. Heinrich Patrick “Chip” Domingo said they conducted a necropsy on the body of Mali to determine what caused her death.
“Nakita namin iyon aorta, iyong tubo palabas ng kaniyang puso, ito po ay may makapal na taba na nakabara. Maari iyon po ang naging cause ng pagkamatay niya iyong congestive heart failure,” he said.
(We saw that her aorta, the tube outside her heart, was congested with thick fat. That could be the cause of her death, congestive heart failure.)
“Nahihirapan na po iyong puso niya i-pump iyong enough blood sa katawan dahil sa dami ng organs na affected po sa kaniya,” he added.
(Her heart had difficulty pumping enough blood around her body because many of her organs were affected.)
Several tumors were found around Mali’s organs such as pancreas and kidney, Domingo said. Her kidney was also inflamed and covered with fat. She also suffered from pyometra or pus deposits in her uterus.
Mali died at Manila Zoo at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
Domingo said they observed last Friday that Mali became irritable circling around her enclosure and appeared to be feeling not well. This was discussed among her keepers.
On Saturday, Mali lost her appetite and was rubbing her trunk against the wall. Mali’s bad condition persisted the following day, Domingo said.
On Monday night, Mali was able to finish her diet and drank a lot of water.
On Tuesday, Mali’s keepers were alarmed after Mali sat at 5 a.m. and lay on her left side at 6 a.m., according to Domingo.
They administered to Mali emergency drugs like antihistamines, multivitamins, anticonvulsants, and IV fluids.
Around 11:30 a.m., the pupil of Mali’s eyes dilated.
“Bandang 3:45 p.m. po, medyo nahirapan na po siya at doon na po siya nawala (Around 3:45 p.m., she was struggling and eventually passed away),” Domingo said.
Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna clarified that Mali was around 43 years old and she was sent by the Sri Lankan government to the zoo in 1981, not in 1977.
Lacuna said they are planning to preserve the remains of Mali through taxidermy.
According to her, the city government will make a follow up with the Sri Lankan government which promised the last administration of giving another elephant to Manila Zoo. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News
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