• 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

    Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Day 2: Courting the Native vote

    by Rhonda McBride on Oct 24, 23:31

    Candidates have traditionally courted the Alaska Native vote at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. But this election-season ritual has reached a fever pitch this year. Some of that could be due to the formation of the Unity ticket; the merged campaigns of Bill Walker, who was running as an independent candidate for governor, and […]

  • News

    Steese Highway collision kills 1

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 23:00

    One person is dead and another injured following a head-on crash outside Fairbanks Friday night, Alaska State Troopers said. The collision on the Steese Highway near Hagelbarger Avenue was reported to troopers in Fairbanks just before 7:15 p.m., according to an AST dispatch. One person was seriously injured and later succumbed to their injuries, troopers […]

  • News

    South Anchorage crash injures 1, temporarily closes highway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 22:15

    Both lanes of the Seward Highway were closed for more than two hours Friday evening following a two-vehicle collision that left one person hospitalized. According to the Anchorage Police Department, the crash happened just after 5:30 p.m. near the highway’s intersection with O’Malley Road. A vehicle heading north crossed the median and hit another vehicle […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 24

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 24, 19:58

     

  • News

    Dam expansion increases Sitka’s power production

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 24, 19:44

    The Blue Lake Project in Sitka is set to dramatically increase the production of hydroelectricity for the city. Five miles out of town, up a one-lane dirt road, tucked into the mountains, construction crews work on the expansion in the windy canyon. The project is so massive it takes Alaska’s largest, 600-ton crane to make […]

  • News

    Anchorage mom loses boxing match, still wins big

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 24, 19:18

    Maria Edwards had never boxed before she got in the ring Thursday night at the Egan Center. But she had a good reason for taking part in Anchorage’s Thursday Night Fights: She was trying to earn enough cash to afford gymnastic lessons for her 3-year-old son. Edwards had her eye on the prize money, $50 […]

  • News

    Complaints lead to towing ordinance update

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 24, 18:46

    Anchorage residents who are angry over inconsistent and often exorbitant towing fees may soon see some relief. The Anchorage Assembly discussed a proposed amendment to the municipal towing ordinance Friday. The amendment would cap the price of non-consensual tows, such as when cars are towed from private lots, at $225. It also prevents towing companies from […]

  • News

    Assembly debates software program audit

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 24, 18:06

    Anchorage Assembly members met Friday to discuss how to best move forward with the municipality’s troubled software overhaul. Members debated conducting an independent audit of the SAP program, which is designed to automate many aspects of government, including payroll. But the program is three years overdue and more than $20 million over budget. Assembly members […]