Maggie the Alaskan African elephant is on her way to a new home in California following a visit by The Price is Right’s recently retired host Bob Barker. Yes, really.
Maggie, originally from Zimbabwe, was the Anchorage zoo’s only elephant after her friend Annabelle died 10 years ago. Recently she had been showing signs of ill-health after being cooped up in a small, and frequently frozen, pen without company. The zoo bought her a treadmill for around $70,000 for exercise but she refused to use it. The final straw was when the Anchorage fire department had to be called twice this summer to raise her after she was unable to stand on her own.
Maggie will be moved to the vast Paws sanctuary in California run by the Performing Animal Welfare Society. The charity will pay the $200,000 cost of Maggie’s flight to the San Andreas retreat by Air Force cargo plane. The zoo chose the Paws retreat after Bob Barker visited the city to intercede.
Barker, the game show host who famously ended every show with a plea for viewers to spay or neuter their pets, was ecstatic over Maggie’s new home. Said Barker, “She will have acres and acres of land to roam over. In the wild, elephants walk as much as 50 miles a day. Maggie is going to walk to her heart’s content. Over grass, with trees around her, beautiful surroundings.”
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