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?)