I'm more or less troubled by conventional zoos, even more so when animals naturally found in desert/savannah climates are kept in ALASKA. . . .
There's only one elephant in Alaska (which makes for a lonely life), and she's a bit overweight:
At a hefty 9,120 pounds, Maggie could stand to lose a little weight. Zoo officials are talking with engineers and manufacturers about building Maggie her very own exercise equipment.
"Elephants are just like people. They will be as lazy as they can be and still eat," Edwards said.
The improvements, to be completed in two to three years, will cost an estimated $500,000 and are part of a $4 million campaign to improve the zoo. Designing and building the first elephant treadmill could cost between $150,000 and $250,000, Edwards said. The zoo has talked with mining experts because they know about heavy loads, conveyers and belts.
"We hope to be the first zoo in the world with an elephant treadmill," Edwards said.
Elephant keeper Rob Smith has been taking Maggie on walks around the zoo's 20-acre property after-hours for exercise.
Off-the ground feeding stations will be built so that Maggie will have to stretch for her food.
"She won't get any food she doesn't work for," Edwards said.
Yeah, and if that doesn't work, maybe a low carb diet. . . .