By Dominick Mezzapesa
Nine years ago America was glued to their TV sets as they witnessed one of the most spectacular missions ever taken place in American history.
With funding provided for by the famous "Price is right" game show host and animal lover Bob Barker, America soon came enthralled by Alaska's version of "Operation Dumbo Drop".
It happened back in November of 2007 when Maggie the elephant was transported from the Alaska Zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society Wildlife Sanctuary in San Andreas, California.
After the death of the zoo's other elephant, Annabelle, Maggie's emotional and physical health started to decline. Animal advocacy groups rallied to her situation and at the time controversial plans were made to move her to the PAWS sanctuary in California, so she could be around other elephants, in a warmer, more conducive climate.
The operation had many details that needed to be planned, one of which included a large C-17 military cargo plane and the co-ordination between Elmendorf Air Force Base and Travis Air Force Base in California, to make the move even remotely possible.
" I mean I still talk about how professional they were and how caring they were about Maggie", says PAWS co-founder and president Ed Stewart. He added " it was like there were about twenty ninjas. Anything that needed to be done was done quietly and respectfully ".
Nine years after the big move, this video report from Alaska's KTUU "Where Are They Now?" shows us what happened to Maggie and more importantly, "How Is She Doing?"
Filmed as a reunion of sorts with her old Alaska Zoo Director Patrick Lampi, who was visiting Maggie for the first time in three years, we discover what Maggie's new life has become.
At the time the good people of Alaska loved Maggie and understandably didn't want to lose her, but Lampi says he realizes more than ever she's where she should be.
"It was the right thing to do. It just took some time to convince some people it was the best for her health and her long term interests", says Lampi.