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Can Begich Help Maggie?
Letters / Anchorage Press / November 24, 2005

On a recent trip to Alaska my wife and I, traveling with two of our grandchildren, stopped at the Alaska Zoo. We were very upset about the plight of what appeared to be a very sad elephant in completely inadequate and constricted facilities. I learned they only have the one elephant, Maggie, which must make it terribly lonely for an animal which is known to be highly social.

While I did not view any act of physical cruelty, I believe that Maggie is certainly enduring a life of psychological cruelty. Our grandchildren cried after we left the zoo, and even weeks afterward, they continued to ask if something couldn't be done. I wrote a "save the elephant" organization and was subsequently told by the head of the organization that there had been "an extensive effort to get Maggie released but without success." It was suggested that perhaps the mayor of Anchorage could use his influence to get her released.

Since our dismay at the predicament of this poor animal has apparently been echoed by many others, I am hoping the mayor will read this letter and take steps to resolve the sad situation. All our other memories of Anchorage and Alaska are pleasurable. It's a shame that this situation can tarnish our grandchildren's memory of a wonderful trip.

William M. Washington / Riverton, New Jersey

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