Wolf Song of Alaska News

Alaska Zoo Picks Maggie's New Home, Won't Reveal It

Anchorage Daily News Staff / September 13, 2007

The Alaska Zoo board has reached a decision on where to move Maggie the elephant, zoo officials said Wednesday night. They just refuse to say what it was.

"The decision has been made," said Dick Thwaites, zoo board president. "There is a first choice, and if it can be worked out by the next board meeting, she'll be on her way."

The problem, Thwaites said, is that there is also a fallback choice, and the facilities being considered have said if their names are leaked before the deal is final, they will back out.

Zoo officials will travel to the top destination in the coming weeks to plan the move. The second pick is in place in case the negotiations don't go as planned, Thwaites said.

The Performing Animal Welfare Society, located in Galt, Calif., recently made headlines when it sent TV personality Bob Barker up to advocate for Maggie to be sent there. The facility has offered to pay for her relocation costs as well as a $100,000 grant for the zoo.

Maggie fell twice in May and couldn't get up on her own, leading to intensified calls for her departure. The board decided earlier this summer to move the 25-year-old African elephant, which came to Anchorage in 1983.

The next board meeting is scheduled for the second week of October, Thwaites said.

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