Alaska Zoo’s former resident Maggie the elephant has died
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Maggie the elephant, who once graced the grounds at the Alaska Zoo, is reported to have died earlier this week at her home in California.
“Maggie passed away on Tuesday beneath her favorite shady oak tree and near preferred mudholes in the sanctuary’s largest habitat, with PAWS’ staff on hand,” the Performing Animal Welfare Society wrote in a press release.
According to the welfare society, Maggie was 41 years old and lived with significant arthritis and dental disease for much of her life. The conditions continued to worsen over time and contributed to her passing, the organization said in the press release.
“Maggie enjoyed California’s sunny skies, the wide-open spaces of her habitat, and the company of other elephants for nearly 14 years at our sanctuary. She could often be found napping on a hillside, watched over by elephants Lulu and Toka,” said PAWS President Ed Stewart. “I am honored to have cared for Maggie and very proud of the keeper and veterinary care we provided for her throughout the years.”
Maggie was born in Zimbabwe, Africa, in 1980 and captured as a calf, according to the organization. The Alaska Zoo acquired Maggie in 1983 and she spent the next 24 years there, the last 10 years of that time alone. She was left alone following the death of the zoo’s other elephant, Annabelle. That’s when Maggie’s emotional and physical health started to decline and animal advocacy groups rallied to have her moved to the PAWS sanctuary.
“We are all deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Maggie,” said Alaska Zoo Executive Director Patrick Lampi in a prepared statement. “She touched the lives of many Alaskans and people all over the world. I take comfort in knowing that she was in the loving care of our friends at PAWS and in the company of her close companion Lulu.”
In November 2007, Maggie was transported from the Alaska Zoo to the PAWS Wildlife Sanctuary in San Andreas, California. It was all made possible when game show host and animal advocate, Bob Barker, picked up the tab to have Maggie flown on a large military cargo plane, a C-17, from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to Travis Air Force Base in California.
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