Written by PETA
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.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Today, PETA and Zoocheck Canada are officially initiating a lawsuit against the city of Edmonton, Alberta, over the cruel and apparently unlawful conditions under which Lucy, a solitary elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, is forced to live.
Lucy's health issues—which include upper respiratory problems, arthritis, obesity, and chronic foot ailments—are the result of the substandard conditions at Edmonton Valley Zoo and are further aggravated by the region's frigid climate, which is inappropriate for an Asian elephant. Lucy has also been alone for the past two years, spends most of her time in a small barn, and exhibits behavior that indicates severe psychological distress. Even Dr. James Oosterhuis, the Valley Zoo's own consultant, acknowledged that the zoo's indoor facilities fail to meet the industry's minimum standards.
Consultations with experts prove that Lucy's life is at risk in Edmonton. Dr. William Keith Lindsay—a Canadian ecologist who has been actively involved in research on the ecology of elephants with the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya since 1977—is one of several experts who confirm that Lucy's living conditions are unacceptable. Dr. Lindsay states, "It is abundantly clear that Lucy would benefit greatly from the company of other elephants." Elephants live in close-knit families, and the females spend their entire lives in herds that include all their female relatives. The solitary life that Lucy lives prevents her from taking part in any of the social behaviors that are necessary for maintaining an elephant's health.
Dr. Joyce Poole, an elephant biologist and ethologist who has spent more than 30 years studying elephant social behavior and communication states, "Lucy has spent much of her life standing on concrete in a small barn and doing very little of what an elephant needs [to] do to maintain good physical health and mental well being. The consequence is that she is a young elephant in an old body. This causes her real privation and suffering."
We won't rest until we see Lucy moved to a sanctuary. As we take the city to court, we urge you to take action to help Lucy find the freedom she deserves and to share this information with everyone you know. Keep checking back here for more updates.
Written by Logan Scherer
PETA and ZooCheck have been campaigning to convince officials at the Edmonton Zoo, deemed Canada's worst zoo for elephants by African elephant biologist Winnie Kiiru, to release its sole pachyderm prisoner, Lucy, to a sanctuary. We've reasoned with zoo officials. We've enlisted support from experts and celebrities. And we've called on caring supporters to write letters pushing for Lucy's retirement.
Unfortunately, it took proposed litigation against the city of Edmonton for zoo officials to make a pathetic attempt to improve Lucy's sad state and announce their "plan" to improve her life by putting her on a diet, giving her some sand to stand on—and possibly providing her with a treadmill.* We responded to this craziness with a full-page ad, which ran yesterday in the Edmonton Journal.
The zoo's policy of locking Lucy inside during the long, bitterly cold winters means that Lucy spends most of her time in a small barn. When she is allowed outside, she's primarily restricted to an enclosure that is less than an acre in size. It's no surprise that Lucy exhibits signs of mental distress, and her medical records reveal that she has been suffering from arthritis as well as chronic foot and respiratory problems.
It's time that Edmonton Zoo officials made the decent decision to help Lucy by retiring her to a sanctuary where she can enjoy warmer temperatures, acres of space to roam, and the company of other elephants. Please help by sending your polite comments to Edmonton's mayor and city councilmembers.
Stay tuned for updates.
Written by Karin Bennett
*I think if Edmonton zoo officials were serious about enriching Lucy's life and improving her health, they'd sign her up for some Jazzercize classes. I'm obviously joking, but building a jumbo-sized treadmill for the overweight elephant is just as ludicrous. (Am I right—or am I right?)
What has actor, singer, and author William Shatner (Canada's triple threat) been up to since nabbing the Emmy for Boston Legal?
The "Priceline Negotiator" recently made a plea for the release of the Edmonton Zoo's lonely, ailing elephant, Lucy.
In a letter to Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, Mr. Shatner wrote, "I humbly ask you to allow Lucy to retire to better circumstances than at the Edmonton Zoo … she's old, feeble, and many of us know how that feels."
He joins pachyderm protectors around the world in rallying for Lucy's release.
Two years ago, elephant expert Winnie Kiiru named the Edmonton Zoo the worst zoo in Canada for elephants and called for the closure of the exhibit. Edmonton's frigid winter weather and the zoo's policy of locking Lucy in the barn when the zoo is closed mean that she spends the majority of her time indoors. The short amount of time that Lucy is allowed outdoors is spent in a barren, dusty enclosure. Being forced to endure the cold and the forced immobility is fueling her arthritis and causing chronic foot and respiratory problems.
Please add your pleas to Mr. Shatner's by writing to Mayor Mandel. Urge him to release Lucy to a sanctuary that can offer her hundreds of acres of diverse terrain, ponds for bathing, a more suitable climate, and the company of other elephants.
“Lucy” the sheep is at it again. Today, she joined Aussie Prime Minister John Howard on his morning walk in Sydney, and she’ll be making regular appearances again soon. I mean really, how can Australian politicians ignore the issues of mulesing and live export when there’s an activist in a giant sheep costume everywhere they go? Umm, OK, don’t answer that.
And here’s a story about the newly formed PETA Australia. Yes, I said PETA Australia! More news on that front soon . . .
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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.