Written by PETA
In a hard-hitting interview with Canada's CTV network, the ever-eloquent Bob Barker blasts the Edmonton Valley Zoo and city officials for refusing to transfer Lucy, the zoo's ailing and aging elephant, to a sanctuary. Lucy will spend most of the next six frigid Alberta months alone inside a barren barn with nothing to do but sway and dream of the life that she was meant to have.
Bob, pulling no punches, calls Lucy's living conditions "really just one of the worst cases that I know of" and says that he is "appalled at the misery that Lucy has suffered there in Edmonton at the Valley Zoo." Watch here to see Bob take Edmonton and zoo officials to task.
Both Bob and former NHL powerhouse Georges Laraque have offered to make a $100,000 donation to the city to get the transfer underway, and earlier this year, comedian Steve-O led a PETA protest outside the zoo. Canadian William Shatner appealed directly to the mayor to do the right thing for Lucy. But so far, officials have refused to budge.
We're pushing full speed ahead to get Lucy's case heard in Canada's Supreme Court, but in the meantime, please e-mail polite notes to Edmonton's mayor and city council and beg them to move Lucy before winter sets in.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Represented by renowned attorney Clayton Ruby, PETA, Zoocheck Canada, and Tove
Reece, president of the Edmonton-based Voice for Animals Humane Society, have
asked the Supreme Court of Canada to allow a lawsuit against the city of
Edmonton to force Lucy's transfer.
The following was originally posted September 8, 2011
by an Alberta Court of Appeal judge's lengthy dissenting opinion in favor of hearing
our lawsuit regarding what we believe are abusive and illegal living conditions
for Lucy, the lone elephant at
Edmonton Valley Zoo, PETA and Zoocheck Canada will ask the Supreme Court of
Canada to hear her case.
her opinion, which took up more than three-fourths of the entire ruling, Chief
Justice Catherine Fraser wrote that PETA and Zoocheck Canada have shown "a
prima facie case of the City's unlawful conduct vis-à-vis Lucy."
has been in solitary confinement for more than three years and, not
surprisingly, is showing signs of "zoochosis," including pacing and
that indicate severe psychological distress. She also suffers from arthritis,
obesity, chronic foot ailments, and upper respiratory problems—all of which are
aggravated by Edmonton's frigid climate and the fact that Lucy, who is native
to Asia's tropical jungles, must spend most of the year confined to a barn. Recent zoo records indicate that Lucy is more
obese than ever, despite supposedly getting more exercise during the
to the zoo's claims, elephant experts consulted by PETA and Zoocheck Canada who
have seen Lucy and her medical records say that there is no reason to believe
that she cannot be moved safely to a sanctuary in a more temperate climate.
Indeed, they say that her health will continue to decline if she is not moved.
help by sending a polite e-mail to the Edmonton City Council
asking members to free Lucy before she has to face yet another winter confined
to a dark, depressing barn.
Written by Alisa Mullins
I've got some great news and some not-so-great news. The great news is that the Toronto Zoo has heeded the call of animal defenders, including Bob Barker, and decided to close its elephant display, joining more than a dozen other zoos that have done the same thing. What's more, the Toronto Zoo has agreed that it will not send Toka, Iringa and Thika to any facility that uses bullhooks.
The not-so-great news is that instead of sending the elephants to the spacious comfort of a sanctuary, the zoo seems intent on sending them to another zoo. The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California is willing and able to immediately provide these elephants with the many acres of natural habitat that they need to thrive, warmer weather, and the companionship of other elephants. Toka, Iringa, and Thika deserve no less, and we're appealing to the zoo to send them to PAWS.
Another Canadian elephant in desperate need of retirement is Lucy, who spends her days alone in Edmonton's Valley Zoo. Please ask city officials to send Lucy south.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Backing up his beliefs with bucks, animal activist Bob Barker has offered the City of Edmonton $100,000—to use however it wants—if it will allow independent elephant experts to assess Lucy, the sick and depressed elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.
e_tavares/cc by 2.0
Lucy has trouble breathing because of an undiagnosed ailment. She also suffers from arthritis and chronic foot problems—the leading causes of death in captive elephants. Once Lucy is diagnosed and treated, the zoo will have no excuses left to avoid moving her to a sanctuary, where she'd enjoy the company of other elephants and have open, grassy meadows in which to walk, smell the roses, and heal.
Calling his offer a "win-win-win scenario," Bob says, "It's crucial that Lucy's condition be accurately diagnosed before her health deteriorates further. It is indefensible that Lucy has been forced to live in misery for all these years."
In other Lucy news, the appeal of PETA and Zoocheck Canada's lawsuit against the zoo is scheduled to be heard March 29. Watch for updates.
In the meantime, please implore Edmonton officials not to let Lucy become the next Knut.
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's … Steve-O! The vegan comedian and daredevil led a PETA protest outside the Edmonton Valley Zoo to call on zoo officials to allow Lucy, the ailing and lonely elephant at the zoo, to retire to an elephant sanctuary. "I'm sympathetic to Lucy because I know that elephants in their natural habitat will walk some 30 miles every day," Steve-O says. "I don't understand how the zoo's able to keep her. It seems so black and white."
As Steve-O notes, elephants need to walk around and move freely. Edmonton's frigid winters mean that Lucy spends months on end inside a barn. Is it any wonder she's suffering from arthritis, chronic foot problems, and an undiagnosed respiratory ailment? Lucy—who has been in the zoo for more than 30 years—is depressed and needs the company of other elephants and room to move around.
You can help by joining Steve-O, Bob Barker, William Shatner, and NHL veteran Georges Laraque in appealing to zoo officials to allow Lucy to retire to a sanctuary.
… to sunny California. Not content with campaigning to get an ailing elephant named Lucy out of Edmonton's Valley Zoo, the tireless Bob Barker is now speaking out on behalf of Toka, Iringa, and Thika, the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo. Bob joins Toronto City Councilor Shelley Carroll, who is calling for the elephant trio to be moved to the more appropriate climate of a California sanctuary without delay—and for good reason. Seven elephants have died at the Toronto Zoo, none of old age. Some suffered and died from severe arthritis—one of the main reasons that captive elephants are euthanized—and joint disease.
Two of the elephants at the Toronto Zoo. loozrboy/cc by 2.0
As Bob eloquently points out, the California sanctuary offers elephants "acres and acres of land. They have a mud hole; elephants love to play in the mud. They have a pool; some of them stay underwater practically the whole summer. And there are elephants for them to socialize with. Elephants come in that have been mistreated and been lonely and depressed, and they just blossom. It's wonderful to behold."
Recognizing that elephants fare very poorly in captivity, progressive zoos all over North America have retired their elephants to sanctuaries.
Please let the Toronto councilors know that you support moving Toka, Iringa, and Thika to a home where they can thrive.
Retired NHL player and Edmonton resident Georges Laraque has offered Edmonton's mayor $100,000 to help fund city sports programs if the city will agree to release Lucy, the ailing, solitary elephant in Edmonton's Valley Zoo, to a reputable sanctuary in a warmer climate.
Laraque, who also spent a few seasons with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs, joins Bob Barker and fellow Canadian William Shatner in calling on the city to allow Lucy to spend the rest of her life walking in grassy fields and meadows, swimming in ponds, and most importantly, spending time with other elephants.
Please join Georges in asking Edmonton city officials to do the right thing for this sad elephant.
Written by Jennifer O’Connor
In February, PETA and Zoocheck Canada, filed a lawsuit against the City of Edmonton, Alberta, on behalf of Lucy, an ailing and lonely elephant whose wretchedly sparse and unsuitable housing in the Canadian city's Valley Zoo is causing her health to deteriorate. Now Associate Chief Justice John Rooke has dismissed the case!
The judge ruled on a procedural issue, not the merits, saying that we should be calling on local officials to ensure that Lucy is being cared for humanely. But we've tried and tried to do just that, so we had to take legal action because Lucy is still living alone in the same cramped enclosure.
We're busy planning our next move, but meanwhile, please urge city officials to do the right thing without a court order and send Lucy to sanctuary now, before the harsh Canadian winter sets in and she is left staring at the four walls of the Edmonton barn where she will be sequestered. Lucy needs to retire and spend what's left of her life in comfort and in the company of other elephants.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.