Orphaned during a cull in Zimbabwe, Maggie arrived at the zoo over 20 years ago to keep company with another female elephant. The other elephant died 10 years ago, and Maggie has since lived a solitary life. In their natural habitat, female African (and Asian) elephants live together in a herd for their entire lives; males leave the herd after weaning and generally live more solitary lives.
Maggie has not been in the best of health at the Alaskan Zoo, and has the injuries and open wounds to prove it. To view these disturbing photographs and learn more about Maggie, click on this link to visit her web site (www.friendsofmaggie.com). The Zoo's Board of Directors has approved Maggie's relocation to a warmer climate, but are considering keeping her until next year, and have not yet decided where she will be sent. During the winter months (five months), Maggie lives indoors in a small concrete cell, with barely an grass inside, and does not forage. She's fallen twice this year due to injuries and the zoo needed assistance from the local fire department to raise her from the ground.
The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in northern California is a sanctuary being considered for Maggie's relocation. News reports say that PAWS is meeting with Alaska Zoo officials on Monday, August 27. Animal welfare activist and TV celebrity Bob Barker will attend that meeting, and has reportedly offered to donate $500,000 towards Maggie's relocation and care.
From Maggie's web site: Friends of Maggie is an Anchorage-based group of citizens concerned about Maggie's long term welfare.
Funds will be used to train and prepare Maggie for transport, as well as help pay veterinary care, etc. (The Alaska Zoo has a budget about 1/10th of most big city zoos.)
To send your tax-deductible donation, make your check payable to:
Friends of Maggie
P.O. Box 240454
Anchorage, AK. 99524-0454
And/Or, please write to the following:
Alaska Zoo Director, Pat Lampi
4731 O'Malley Rd
Anchorage AK 99516
Tel: 907-346-3242 Fax: 907-346-2673
Alaska Zoo President, Dick Thwaites
Education Director, Katie Larson
Senator Lisa Murkowski
510 L. Street, Suite 550
Anchorage, AK 99501
The Honorable Mark Begich
Mayor of Anchorage
632 W. Sixth Ave., Ste. 840
Anchorage, AK 99501
Tel: 907-343-4431 Fax: 907-343-4499
Anchorage Daily News, Letters To The Editor
(editor will not publish unsigned letters.
Include your name and telephone number)
(please follow Press rules when submitting letters)
All of the above information is courtesy of "Friends of Maggie," which can be found at www.friendsofmaggie.net