Sunday, January 1, 2012

Seven Dollars And Eight Degrees

It was 8 degrees above 0 when Peppermint and I headed up to the Alaska Zoo to check out Zoo Lights.
 Oh Those Above Zero Days. No Degrees Here Today

The Alaska Zoo got it’s start way back in 1966 when local grocer Jack Snyder won a Chiffon Tissue contest, and the prize was either $3000. or a Asian Elephant. Jack not knowing the word indigenous species chose the elephant and Crown Zellerback brought Annabelle, most likely in the rear of a truck to Anchorage.
Sammye Seawell had  some acreage on the hillside,  well  heated horse stalls and that is where Annabelle  Asian   elephant born free  in Thailand  ended up.
Having a elephant sort of started the Alaska Zoo, and family's from all over the state would come to see Annabelle. I even used to think it was a good idea to have a elephant in our zoo, how else could some kid from Tununik ever see a live elephant?
The zoo grew but Annabelle was unhappy.  She tried her trunk at  painting…

Art By Annabelle.

 But standing on the cold Alaskan ground even in her heated enclosure was taking it’s toll.
Sammye Seawell zoo director knew Annabell was unhappy so in what has to be one of the most pathetic ideas ever the zoo brought Maggie a African elephant to laska to be pals with Annabelle.
Annabelle liked Maggie ok but both elephants who were born free really did not like living in captivity in the frozen north.
Annabelle was put down in 1997 because of chronic foot problems. Maggie had a special treadmill built for her but she never used it much and in 2007 was moved to paws is California with  $500,000. of Price Is Right, Bob Barkers money.

 For the move, a special travel kennel was built for her. She was trucked to the Air Force base, and flew all the way to California. Non stop on a military plane.
Maggie is doing all right at paws and we even saw her Christmas Card when warming up in the coffee shop.
The zoo at night with holiday lights is grand…

The zoo keeps just cold climate critters in captivity now. The Polar Bears were not out, but the wolves and tigers were.
The tigers are magnificent. Beautiful animals pacing around their enclosure.
It’s sad to see wild animals captive, and even sadder to know that with diminishing sea ice perhaps the only place to see Polar Bears might be in a zoo…

Happy New Year lets hope is a good one!

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