• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 35s

Keeper recalls anniversary of moving Maggie from Alaska Zoo

By Lauren Maxwell 10:53 AM November 19, 2013

He had to prove that moving the elephant was the right thing to do

ANCHORAGE – It was a decision that shook up a community. Six years ago this month, the Alaska Zoo said goodbye to their African elephant Maggie, but it was not without a fight.

Pat Lampi was the keeper then and was in the middle of it all.

“The back and forth bickering that went on with both sides. I would like to kind of forget all that stuff,” Lampi said.

The fight was over moving Maggie. The African elephant came to the zoo as a baby in 1983. Maggie grew up with Annabelle, the zoo’s older elephant. When Annabelle died in 1997, Maggie was left alone.

“There were a lot of people that really wanted her to stay here,” he said. “I had to prove it was the right thing to do.”

Lampi believed Maggie was suffering and that without a companion, her world was too small. She spent most of the cold winter months in her concrete elephant house. Even a world class treadmill, built just for her to exercise on, wasn’t working.

“I have to say it was a really well-engineered piece of equipment, but Maggie really didn’t want anything to do with walking on a moving conveyor belt,” Lampi said.

Finally in November of 2007, Maggie got to ride on an even bigger piece of equipment.
The battle won, she was flown in a military cargo plane to an animal sanctuary in California.
Recently, Lampi got a chance to visit and was impressed.

“She looked great, a lot of good muscle tone, and watching her interact with the other elephants was great,” he said.

Finally, Maggie has room to roam.

“It’s as close as you are going to get in the United States for elephant heaven, in my opinion,” Lampi said.

He says Maggie is happier than ever. The community made the right decision and Maggie made the right move, Lampi said.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Bean’s Cafe clients pitch in for cleanup

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 27, 17:43

    The area around Bean’s Café and the Brother Francis Shelter is looking a lot brighter after clients picked up 420 pounds of garbage Friday morning. The clean-up included removing a few items left on Karluk Street where people have been camping on the sidewalk for months. Police said most of the campers had moved on […]

  • News

    Yup’ik spelling bee preserves language

    by Shannon Ballard on Mar 27, 17:23

    Anchorage students competed in a district wide Yup’ik spelling bee at Clark Middle School on Friday, a unique spelling contest that’s helping preserve an Alaskan native language. Yup’ik is becoming increasingly uncommon in urban areas, but some of the participants still speak it in their homes. The fourth annual event is designed to keep the language alive. […]

  • News

    Senator Sullivan opens new office in Fairbanks

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 15:29

    Sen. Dan Sullivan announced the opening of a new office in Fairbanks Friday to act as a hub for Interior constituents to voice their concerns or comments. Leslie Hajdukovich was named as Sullivan’s Special Assistant for the Interior, and will be leading the new office. “I am excited to announce Leslie as the newest addition […]

  • News

    Anchorage police take mini horses into custody

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 14:44

    Anchorage police officers wrangled two miniature horses Friday morning after they escaped their home. Around 5:40 a.m., police dispatch received a call that two ponies were grazing in a median near Northern Lights Boulevard and Boniface Parkway, said Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. Within a minute of the first report, someone else called in […]

  • News

    The legal brawl over “Happy Birthday To You”

    by Jonathan Berr / MoneyWatch on Mar 27, 14:28

    A federal judge in California may decide within the next few weeks whether to throw out the decades-old copyright for “Happy Birthday to You.” The judge could also order millions of dollars to be refunded to people who have licensed the song in recent years from its current owner Warner/Chappel Music, the music publishing arm […]

  • News

    Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high court

    by Associated Press on Mar 27, 14:13

    Italy’s highest court has overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case. The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito. Both Knox, who was awaiting the […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage woman changes plea in sex trafficking case

    by Dave Leval on Mar 27, 13:53

    Amber Batts — a woman accused of managing sex workers across the state — will likely spend the next few years in prison. The Anchorage woman pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree sex trafficking Friday morning. Authorities arrested Batts and her husband, Quinn, in July 2014 as part of a statewide prostitution investigation. […]

  • News

    Alaska appeals court sides with state in fishing case

    by Associated Press on Mar 27, 13:05

    The Alaska Court of Appeals ruled against 13 Yup’ik Eskimo fishermen who challenged their convictions of illegal king salmon on the Kuskokwim River during a poor run in 2012. The Appellate Court sided with the state Friday, saying protecting king salmon stocks supersedes the argument by plaintiffs that the state had a duty to accommodate […]