The staff at the Alaska Zoo is stressing that they have to try to make sure Maggie will fit in with the resident elephants at the new home they select for her. This is certainly a primary concern, and one that makes the Performing Animal Welfare Society's sanctuary in California all the more attractive for her.
For one thing, PAWS has 70 acres just for its African elephants. There will be no forced crowding together in an enclosure. PAWS' elephants live near San Andreas in a year-round warm climate.
One of Maggie's former keepers left our zoo last year to work at PAWS. She and Maggie were close. What a help that keeper could be for Maggie arriving at a wonderful but strange new place.
An elephant named Dulary was recently relocated from the Philadelphia Zoo to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. When Dulary's keeper left to return home, Dulary was happily sandwiched between two resident elephants that welcomed her immediately.
It would be lovely to see our zoo focus on the positive aspects of Maggie's relocation rather than negative what-ifs, and her trip out would cost them very little or nothing.
---- Diane Raynor, volunteer. Free Maggie