Wolf Song of Alaska News

Maggie Deserves Better Than Living Alone in a Box

Show Your Support by Attending Friday's Rally for Maggie

Paul Joslin, Vice President / Friends of Maggie / May 24, 2007

Maggie deserves better than living alone in a 40 foot square box every winter for months at a time.  Her only exercise when so confined is pacing about in a space that is little more than three or four times her own length.  Her floor is made of concrete which is known not to be good for elephants.  Several have developed foot problems and died on such surfaces, as did Anabelle, her predecessor.  Maggie's other option is to use a treadmill built specially for her.  However, elephants, being extremely heavy animals, are fearful of walking on what they perceive to be unstable surfaces.  Getting Maggie to accept a moving conveyor belt pulled by a noisy machine as something to pace on has proved impossible. 

Maggie's collapse on Mother's Day was a wake up call.  Years of solitary confinement is taking its toll.  Many people have commented on how haggard she looked this past winter. 

African elephants are adapted for living in a warm climate.  Unlike muskox, caribou, wolves and other northern animals that the zoo has, Maggie would die if kept outside in winter.  Maggie is also adapted for walking miles every day on natural terrain.

Female elephants spend their entire lives in the company of other elephants.  Many scientists believe that elephants may be the most socially complex of all land mammals besides ourselves.  They have brains that are three times the size of humans which may account for why they are so socially complex.  They live in herds that are closely knit and move at the pace of the slowest members.  They are extremely intimate, and fondle each other a lot with their trunks.  They communicate with neighboring herds using sounds far below our own hearing range over vast distances. 

When Maggie is healthy and well again she needs to be relocated to a situation where she can live more like an elephant.  She must not be made to endure another winter here. There are several places that she could go to that would meet all of her basic needs.  The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, the North Carolina Zoo and the PAWS-Arc 2000 sanctuary in California are three places that come highly recommended.  Maggie is a young elephant in her mid-twenties.  Successfully moving her, while challenging, can be accomplished.  Adult elephants have been transported all over the continent.  There are several experts available who have moved elephants before that can assist.  And when she reaches her new home there are experts with years of experience who can help her integrate into a new herd. 

Please show your support for Maggie by attending the Rally for Maggie at the Delaney Park Strip on I street, on Friday, May 25, at 12 noon.

Spread the word and bring the kids. 

For more information contact www.friendsofmaggie.net or call 743-1960

or (907) 250-5944 or paul@mcneilbears.org

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