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Medred Didn't Do His Homework Before Defending Maggie's Stay

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / June 21, 2007

Craig Medred's column "Elephant may remember Alaska's creature comforts," printed June 10, attacks supporters of Maggie who want her moved to a place where she can roam year-round on acres of natural ground and live with other elephants.

He describes their views as the product of "hysteria of public protest" and characterizes the people involved as, "well-off, well-meaning for whom nothing matters but their feeling good about their supposed good intentions."

Medred has not done his homework. If he had, he would know elephant experts worldwide support moving Maggie. So does the American Zoo and Aquarium Association that represents more than 200 of the nation's zoos and aquariums. According to a recently leaked three-year-old Alaska Zoo internal report, so do the majority of the zoo staff, the former zoo board president, Mike Barker, and the current zoo director, Pat Lampi. They all realize that keeping Maggie alone in a 40-foot square concrete cage winter after winter is unacceptable.

When Maggie was found twice last month struggling unsuccessfully for hours but unable to get up, it was a wake-up call. I applaud the zoo board's recent decision to move Maggie and its intentions to do so before she is forced to endure another winter.

---- Paul Joslin, Vice President

Friends of Maggie
Anchorage

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