• 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

    Tears, laughter and healing: Murdered teen remembered at Palmer vigil

    by Bonney Bowman on Dec 09, 22:23

    Hundreds of people braved single-digit temperatures to remember David Grunwald, the Palmer teen murdered almost one month ago. Family friends organized a candlelight vigil as a way to not just mourn the 16-year-old, but to take steps toward healing from the pain of his passing. “We just want to get back to the core of […]

  • News

    Troopers: Remains of passenger in plane crash near Fairbanks recovered

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 09, 22:09

    Alaska State Troopers were able to recover the body of the only passenger on a plane that crashed Wednesday near Fairbanks. The agency is waiting to provide positive identification of the passenger on board until after the autopsy. But Gov. Bill Walker identified the passenger as former Alaska lawmaker Mike Kelly earlier this week. In […]

  • Lifestyle

    Climate change film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ gets a sequel

    by Associated Press on Dec 09, 21:56

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – Al Gore’s climate change documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” is getting a sequel. Paramount Pictures said Friday the follow-up to the Oscar-winning original will premiere at next January’s Sundance Film Festival. In the new documentary, former Vice President Gore examines global warming’s escalation and the solutions at hand, Paramount said. In a […]

  • News

    Father and children headed to Anchorage for volleyball tournament when plane disappeared

    by Lauren Maxwell on Dec 09, 21:20

    A statement released from family members of a father and two children, who likely died in a plane crash near Port Alsworth on Wednesday, said they were traveling to Anchorage to attend the Alaska State Volleyball Championships. The National Park Service has identified the pilot as 25-year-old Kyle Longerbeam. The passengers are identified as 45-year-old […]

  • Surveillance footage captures attempted break-in at Anchorage bike shop

    by Eric Ruble on Dec 09, 21:04

    The general manager of The Bicycle Shop, on Northern Lights Boulevard, said other local businesses should be on the lookout for a man who attempted to break into the shop Tuesday morning. Surveillance footage shows a man using a crowbar to try to pry open the front door of the business. “The doors looks like you […]

  • Colony Christmas brings community together after teen’s murder

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 09, 20:33

    In the wake of Palmer teen David Grunwald’s murder, the mood around his hometown has been rather grim. Organizers of a longtime holiday tradition want to put a bit of hope back into the season. Colony Christmas kicked off Friday and continues through Sunday. Each year visitors and locals flock to downtown Palmer to enjoy […]

  • News

    National Park Service: Parts of missing plane bound for Anchorage recovered in lake

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 09, 18:43

    Last updated at 7:40 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9 Parts of the missing plane were recovered Friday, according to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve chief of interpretation, Megan Richotte. Richotte said three wheels and a co-pilot seat were found in Upper Lake Clark, near where the family’s luggage was found and about 11 miles […]

  • 4 additional teens charged in connection to Grunwald murder

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 09, 17:45

    Last updated at 8:22 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9 Four additional teenagers were charged Friday in the killing of 16-year-old Palmer teen David Grunwald. According to online court records, Dominic Johnson, 16, Devin Peterson, 18, and Austin Barrett, 19, and Bradley Renfro, 16, face multiple charges in connection with Grunwald’s kidnapping and murder. Johnson is charged […]