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Help get Lucy the Elephant out of Edmonton

Posted by veganesse at 07/01/2009

Lucy is a 34- year old female Asian elephant living alone at the Valley Zoo in Edmonton. Local citizens and activists want Lucy moved because:

- female elephants are wide-ranging, extremely intelligent, and highly social animals that are in constantly 24 hour contact with their family members

- zoo industry associations and elephant scientists around the world recommend that female elephants should not be kept alone

- the Zoo is in violation of the Government of Alberta's own regulations that all animals be kept in numbers that meet their behavioural and social needs

- wild elephants walk between 18-20 hours daily and have home ranges that span thousands of acres

- Lucy's enclosure is less than half an acre in size

- Lucy suffers from numerous health problems which the zoo has been unable to fix

- Lucy suffers from stereotypic behaviours, which are indicative of stress and an inadequate physical environment

- the climate in Edmonton is completely inappropriate for elephants, who have evolved to live in tropical and sub-tropical climates

- because of the cold weather, Lucy is forced to live indoors in her barn for about 76% of the time

Two accredited sanctuaries in the United States have offered a permanent home for Lucy. Both have offered to transport Lucy at no cost to the Valley Zoo.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is municipally-owned and operated, so the City of Edmonton has the authority to determine how the zoo operates and what decisions are made.

Please write to the City of Edmonton Mayor and Members of Council, to let them know that you want Lucy moved to The Elephant Sanctuary as soon as possible. Tell them that Lucy should not be kept alone; that Edmonton is too cold for elephants; that the zoo's elephant exhibit is too small; and that keeping Lucy is in contravention of Alberta's zoo regulations.

Mayor & Members of Council
City of Edmonton
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA T5J 2R7

(Fax) 780-496-8297


Please send a copy of your email to Zoocheck:

For more information about Lucy, visit


veganesse at 07/03/2009 06:48:04
Edmonton-based veterinarian/zoologist Debi Zimmermann is entering the Lucy the elephant dialogue with the release of a hard-hitting new report that examines the Valley Zoo/Lucy the elephant debate and reviews current knowledge and trends in elephant care and husbandry.

Dr. Zimmermann's report, entitled One Veterinarian's Search for Truth in the "Lucy the Elephant" Debate, provides a fresh, new perspective on Lucy's situation and should help clarify many of the issues expressed in the debate about Lucy's health.

The report can be accessed here:

Additional information about Lucy can be found at the Facebook group for this report, as well as at the Zoocheck and Kids Save Lucy websites:
Jeffrey at 11/07/2009 23:58:05
I just spent a couple months in Edmonton with family and Lucy regularly makes headlines. She seems to be the Valley Zoo's star attraction, and many city residents feel that they grew up with Lucy there, and she is too much of an Edmonton resident to send her somewhere else. The Zoo seems to take this stance as well.
The zoo used to have 2 elephants, and I believe they did send one to an elephant sanctuary. (correct me if I'm wrong!) I never saw Lucy because I boycott all zoos, but I did call and write the gov't when I was there expressing my opinions. I encourage others to do the same so that we can override the sick folks who want to keep her inside during the -30 degree winters. The zoo obviously doesn't care about what is best for Lucy-they want what is best for their wallet. Convincing the Alberta Gov't to force them to move her will probably be what it will take.
Jeffrey at 11/08/2009 00:01:59
I just read Dr. Zimmerman's report. It has all the facts about Lucy and much, much more. Great article. Sorry I posted before reading it!

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