updated 3/25/2005 5:00:22 PM ET 2005-03-25T22:00:22

It's not easy being a pudgy pachyderm.

Officials at the Alaska Zoo say their elephant, Maggie, "could stand to lose a couple of hundred pounds."

The question is how to make that happen. Everyone's been weighing in, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

But the zoo in Anchorage has come up with a plan. They're going to install the world's first elephant treadmill.

It's being made by an engineering firm in Boise, Idaho.

Conveyor Engineering designs the heavy-duty conveyor systems used in mining. No one knows how well it will work for Maggie, but a company vice president says "it seems like a good idea to get a sedentary animal moving."

In the wild, African elephants stay on the move about 16 hours a day foraging for food and water.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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