• 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

  • Weather

    Records fall as snow accumulates across Southcentral

    by Melissa Frey on Jan 22, 13:40

    The latest round of snow across southcentral Alaska is setting new records. The snow started falling in Anchorage around 6 p.m. Friday and continued to fall through Saturday night. As of 9 p.m., 12 inches of snow had fallen at the National Weather Service office in west Anchorage, with more on the way. Most of […]

  • Politics

    Consultant raises concerns about Alaska gas project

    by Associated Press on Jan 22, 12:34

    A legislative consultant is raising red flags about Alaska taking the lead on a major proposed liquefied natural gas project, even as Gov. Bill Walker has said he’s comfortable with it. Legislators are scheduled to hear a project update Monday. In a recent report to lawmakers, consultant Nikos Tsafos outlined challenges threatening the project’s potential […]

  • Sports

    Pete Kaiser wins third consecutive Kuskokwim 300

    by Anna Rose MacArthur/Ben Matheson on Jan 22, 12:24

    Pete Kaiser made it three in a row Sunday morning, winning the 2017 Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race. Kaiser crossed the finish line in Bethel at 10:37 a.m. to loud cheers from his hometown crowd, according to a story published by KYUK Public Media. His leader, Palmer, brought home the nine-dog team. Brent Sass, who […]

  • Sports

    Soldotna hockey captain suspended for racist Twitter posts

    by KTVA Sports on Jan 22, 12:21

    Racist comments posted on Twitter recently by the captain of the Soldotna Stars hockey team created a firestorm on social media and have cost the player his spot on the team. Soldotna High School student Ethan Brown used his personal Twitter account to denigrate Alaska Natives and homosexuals while also making a racist remark about former first family, […]

  • News

    4 more survivors pulled out of Italy’s avalanche-hit hotel

    by CBS/AP on Jan 22, 11:57

    Emergency crews pulled out four more survivors from the rubble of a hotel crushed by an avalanche and were searching Saturday for more who may still be alive as family members awaited word if their relatives were among the lucky ones. The overnight operations raised to at least nine the number of people found alive […]

  • News

    Alaska National Guardsmen take part in presidential inauguration

    by Bonney Bowman on Jan 22, 11:30

    Forty-seven Alaska National Guardsmen took part in Friday’s presidential inauguration, representing our state on the national stage. Capt. Jason Walter, area security force protection officer with the 297th Regional Support Group, told KTVA it was a long day for the Guardsmen. They started at 1 a.m. and were on duty until after the parade. The […]

  • Weather

    Dangerous avalanche conditions for southern, western Kenai Mountains

    by Melissa Frey on Jan 22, 10:30

    Dangerous avalanche conditions are expected Saturday evening through Monday in the southern and western portions of the Kenai Mountains. That includes areas like Summit Lake, Carter Lake, Lost Lake Snug Harbor and Bear Creek. The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center in Girdwood says the two to five feet of snow that fell on mountain […]

  • Lifestyle

    Can breakfast help keep us thin? Nutrition science is tricky.

    by Associated Press on Jan 21, 18:45

    Cereal makers have happily encouraged the belief that eating breakfast can help keep us thin and bring other benefits, partly by paying for studies that seem to support the idea. So, does that mean breakfast is bad for you? Not that either. What it does show is how difficult it can be to sort the […]