Free Lucy the Elephant

Today as I was editing (clumsily) some videos my husband took of a herd of elephants we saw in South Africa, I marveled all over again how magnificent elephants are. I was spellbound watching them as they moved silently through the forest.

So tonight when I saw a topic trending on Twitter: #FreeLucyElephant I had to click on it.

Below is a link to a slideshow of photographs of an elephant that has been living almost entirely alone for all of her 35 years in cold Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with little room to roam. The fight to get Lucy moved to a sanctuary has been going on for a long while.

Slideshow of Photographs of Lucy in the Edmonton Zoo.

Click here if you want to sign a petition to send to the Edmonton Zoo to allow a panel of elephant experts to examine Lucy.

From Zoocheck:
Lucy is a 35-year old female Asian elephant living alone at the Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Canada.
All female elephants have basic physical, psychological and social requirements. They require very large spaces, complex natural terrain, pasture, lots of things to do, other elephants to socialize with and a moderate climate.

Lucy’s life at the Valley Zoo is deficient in many respects. She is socially isolated, lives in a tiny barren enclosure, endures a number of ongoing health issues that the zoo has not been able to resolve and is forced to live through Edmonton’s cold winters.

The Valley Zoo claims Lucy cannot be moved, that she is not a social elephant, is accustomed to Edmonton’s weather and is quite happy where she is. Many of their claims are nonsensical and some ignore established scientific fact. As well, Lucy’s continued social isolation is contrary to accepted management practices for elephants in captivity around the world.

While the Valley Zoo and the City of Edmonton try to paint a rosy, almost idyllic, picture of Lucy’s life, the reality is quite different. A highly social, extremely intelligent, wide-ranging animal that was born in the tropical forests of Sri Lanka should not live alone in a tiny, barren zoo exhibit in a northern city.

Zoocheck Website.
Save Lucy Website.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, will take Lucy at no charge to the Edmonton Zoo.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

About the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)


Filed under Animals

15 responses to “Free Lucy the Elephant

  1. Oh, this is so sad. Of course the zoo will never admit that an animal isn’t happy.


  2. Sometimes no words can do justice to such a post such as this.
    It is outrageous what some will do to animals with little regard for what that says about them…. My heart sinks when I hear about such things… We have so much more evolution to go through as a species, before we can call ourselves ‘humane’….
    Thank goodness for those who value themselves, for they will value all…


  3. Lucy’s plight is a very sad one. I am as yet undecided as to whether any zoos can ever realistically have a workable part to play in animal conservation, but one thing I am adamant about is that it is completely unethical and inhumane to keep large, intelligent creatures, including elephants, bears, whales, and even big cats, in an enclosure which will never be able to replicate its wild habitat and its natural urges are completely suppressed. I will be signing the position and praying that someone of authority sees sense!


  4. tutankamon661

    Thanks for sharing!


  5. This reminds me of those sad zoos I visited as a child. I came away feeling like the humans should be the ones behind the bars. Elephants are intelligent and emotional creatures, so the isolation Lucy has endured is so cruel. I do believe that humans can be judged by how we treat other creatures. Yes, save Lucy!


  6. Sad. Forest elephants are currently being slaughtered and soon to be extinct for their ivory, the meat left to rot. They are such wonderful creatures. A lot nicer than humans.


  7. jennypugh

    Thank you for this post Catherine as I had no idea about Lucy’s plight. I have signed the petition and shared it on my Facebook and Twitter so hopefully more people will get involved 🙂


  8. Pingback: Free Lucy the Elephant | The world of Jenny Pugh!

  9. The very thought of a cage leaves me cold.
    I can understand captivity for conservation/species protection but if we must take an animal from its native environment then at least let it lead as dignified life as possible, and give it space to move.


  10. So sad Lucy’s history. Wasn’t she moved to the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee? I read above that they will take Lucy at no charge to the Edmonton Zoo.At last, what happened with Lucy? Please answer me to my Facebook or E-mail I live in Venezuela.


  11. I’m Canadian and I don’t think this elephant “Lucy” belongs on the grounds of Edmonton or anywhere in Canada for that fact. She needs a safe haven and to meet new friends of her own gender in better climates than winters in Canada. Please release her to a happy and better conditions than what the Edmonton Zoo is offering! Lucy needs a lake to bathe in and roam in her natural habitat! She looks depressed so please release her to those who will offer the better Sanctuaries! It is better for her mental state as well! Honestly she deserves a better life than being confined in such a small space! If you love her set her free. She needs to relate to her own kind on bigger grounds! The space that she’s confined in… is not big enough for this massive animal! It is so cruel to hold her in captivity in such a small space!


  12. Shame, shame, shame. One would expect a zoo especially in rich country that Canada certainly is to take care of their inhabitants much better than this. We have elephants in Prague, they have huge space and we even had babies lately. Not that I would agree with keeping animals beyond their natural habitat, I can not go to the zoo at all, but if we decide to do so, we MUST give them the best.


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