• 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

  • Lifestyle

    Sperm problems? Smartphone device could screen for infertility

    by Shanika Gunaratna / CBS News on Mar 22, 22:35

    What would happen if screening for male infertility was just about as easy as taking a pregnancy test in your home bathroom? That’s the question researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital tried to answer when they went about developing a smartphone-based test that men could use to test their semen in […]

  • Politics

    What your vote means for Proposition 8

    by Daniella Rivera on Mar 22, 22:34

    In an effort to make taxicab service better and faster, the Anchorage Assembly voted in December to make changes to Title XI in municipal code. The changes will put an additional 166 cabs on the streets over the next five years, but the cab industry says it’ll do more harm than good. So they’re asking voters […]

  • News

    North Korea missile launch attempt fails, U.S., South Korea say

    by CBS/AP on Mar 22, 21:18

    North Korea’s latest missile launch ended in failure on Wednesday, the U.S. and South Korean militaries said, three days after the North claimed a major breakthrough in its rocket development program. The reported launch failure comes as the North is angrily reacting to ongoing annual U.S.-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion […]

  • News

    New languages considered for ASD immersion program as lottery deadline looms

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 22, 21:15

    Parents in the Anchorage School District have shown enough interest in immersion programs that the district is considering adding other languages. “The three languages that continue to come up are Korean, Arabic and French,” explained the program’s director, Brandon Locke. He said one thing working in the district’s favor is the “cost.” “People think this […]

  • News

    Mat-Su Borough Assembly takes 2 parks off trapping ban list

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 22, 20:33

    The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly voted Tuesday night to change an ordinance on trapping in the borough that was passed recently. The Assembly had approved a measure to ban trapping near school grounds and trails in eight local parks, but Assembly member Randall Kowalke requested a reconsideration of the ordinance less than 24 hours later. He […]

  • News

    Renovations planned for UAS Ketchikan maritime facilities

    by Associated Press on Mar 22, 20:22

    Construction is expected to start later this year on a nearly $6 million overhaul of University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan’s Regional Maritime and Career Center. The Ketchikan Daily News reports that Wendy Miles Horn, with the university, says the work is needed because the two buildings that make up the facility are inadequate, cramped and […]

  • Politics

    New fiscal plan pays out $1,900 PFD, but faces grim future

    by Liz Raines on Mar 22, 20:20

    There are now more than a handful of proposals in Juneau on how to use the permanent fund to solve the state’s multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. The latest is one unveiled by House Republican minority Wednesday morning, day 65 of the legislative session. House Bill 192 avoids a steep cut to dividends next year by using less […]

  • Police: Shooting at Fairbanks library confused for phone charger explosion

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 22, 19:48

    An afternoon at a Fairbanks library took a strange turn when a man was injured by what was at first thought to be an exploding phone charger, but turned out to be a bullet, according to police. At 1:15 p.m., Fairbanks fire crews responded to the Noel Wien Library on Cowles Street after receiving a report […]