Chicken president of the Alaska Zoo passes away

Squishy the hen remembered as a bold and just leader
A photo captured of Squishy the Hen during the 2020 zoo presidential race before she passed...
A photo captured of Squishy the Hen during the 2020 zoo presidential race before she passed away on Dec. 8.(Charlie Sokaitis)
Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 9:09 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It is a sad week at the Alaska Zoo. On Tuesday, Squishy the hen, the president of the animals at the Alaska Zoo passed away at the age of 10.

Handler and campaign manager, Heather Dawncaster, said there was no foul play in the death of the feathered leader of the petting zoo. She said she went away peacefully in the night, under the warmth of the heat lamp in the chicken coop.

Squishy was an animal that didn’t let her size get in the way of the life she wanted to live. Dawncaster said she was a true underdog, being a chicken that beat a huge brown bear for the presidency even in the state of Alaska.

“I feel, and I think the zoo feels as well, that each animal no matter what their size is important, and can bring laughter and fun and contribute to the zoo as a whole,” Dawncaster said. “Squishy did that for years.”

Dawncaster said it was a common sight to see a black streak running around the zoo, which was Squishy of course. Often, the hen would escape the confines of her petting zoo to roam around visiting her fellow zoo residents who became her constituents.

Squishy saw a lot of things outside the petting zoo that the other chickens didn’t. Becoming an inspiration to her coop-mates, they ran on the campaign ticket with her.

It is politics, so Squishy’s successor will be those same chickens on her ticket: Ginger, Skittles, Lavender and Gracie. She said Gracie will most likely take the helm, as the oldest chicken in the coop at 10 years old.

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