• 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

    Pride Fest celebrates 40 years in Anchorage

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 24, 18:04

    Hundreds of people turned out in downtown Anchorage for the 40th annual Pride Fest. Mo Haddock and Callene Monasmith set their lawn chairs up early to get a front for the parade. “It’s a lot of fun. We like to people watch anyway but today is very fulfilling. Very heartwarming to see so many people […]

  • News

    Here’s what is pushing up U.S. home prices

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:53

    When it comes to buying a home in the U.S., the tide is turning in favor of sellers. The typical residential property that’s up for sale currently stays on the market for 77 days, according to Zillow — that’s the shortest listing time since the real estate service started tracking the data. While demand for […]

  • Mom left 2 children who died in hot car as punishment, police say

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:35

    A Texas woman told investigators that she left her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son in a hot car last month to teach the girl a lesson, police said. The children died after spending several hours in the car. Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, was being held Saturday on two counts of causing serious bodily injury to […]

  • Six inmates who saved guard’s life rewarded with shorter sentences

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:32

    Officer down. It’s one of the scariest calls a sheriff can receive. But when Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats got that call on June 12, it didn’t turn into the nightmare scenario he might have expected. On the contrary, that hair-raising call was the start of something heartwarming. Its unexpected source? A group of selfless […]

  • Lifestyle

    How would the Senate health care bill actually affect Medicaid?

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:26

    Democrats and left-leaning think tanks say Senate Republicans’ health care bill would be disastrous for individuals and families on Medicaid, the federal program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans. But White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday said President Trump is “committed to making sure that no one who currently is in the […]

  • News

    How the U.S. Army counters North Korea threats

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:23

    SEOUL, South Korea — While “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell and her team were in South Korea, the U.S. Army took CBS News on an aerial tour to give us a first-hand look at what they are doing to counter threats from North Korea. We hitched a ride from Yongsan Army Garrison on a […]

  • News

    Inside the Gates: JRTC brings new challenges

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 24, 14:07

    Alaska’s 4-25 Airborne Brigade Combat Team has been at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, for the last month. It’s a very different place than the Last Frontier and has been presenting the soldiers with new challenges. The mission at JRTC is to liberate a fictional country called Atropia. It prepares […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaskans rally ahead of U.S. Senate health care vote

    by Daniella Rivera on Jun 24, 13:15

    Dozens of Alaskans took to the Delaney Park Strip Friday with signs in hand to demanding their U.S. senators take a stand against the Senate’s proposed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. T The bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, includes significant cuts to Medicaid and defunds Planned Parenthood for a […]