Photo: PETA.

Mali, the elephant who lived most of her life in solitude at the Manila Zoo, has died at the age of 49 due to heart failure. Known as the "saddest elephant in the world," Mali also suffered from inflammation in the kidneys and nodules around the liver.

Born in Sri Lanka between 1974 and 1980, Mali was orphaned in childhood and rescued from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to be handed over to the then first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. She shared an enclosure with another elephant, Shiba, but after her death in 1990, Mali was left alone.

His plight sparked a flurry of requests from activists calling for his transfer to an elephant reserve in Thailand. Celebrities such as Paul McCartney weighed in, arguing that Mali was being held in appalling conditions and not receiving adequate care.

Despite international condemnation, Manila Zoo officials insisted that Mali had better remain in their care, as she had spent her entire life in captivity and was unprepared for life in the wild.

Following Mali's death, the Manila Zoo plans to get a replacement elephant, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna announced.

(With information from RT)