If you were to visit Lucy for the first time, you would likely see what appears to be an old lady.
You would observe her moving slowly through the snow, walking gingerly on aching bones across the ice-covered pavement. If you would have the chance to look into her eyes, you would see a sadness there that couldn’t quite be defined in terms made easily understandable.
You notice that she always has someone with her, and you hope that her person loves her because you have already given her your heart. She is moved into her house and you are invited inside. Her house is bare. There are no decorations. No fancy four-post bed. No cozy rugs and no fireplace to roast marshmallows. There is a cold cement floor and only a pane of glass that separates you from her bedroom. You wonder where she can go to get a private moment if she needs one.
She comes into the room. Is led to the center. She is facing out. Facing you. She stops where she is supposed to. Stands where she is supposed to. Doesn’t move a muscle. She just waits as she knows she is supposed to let all of the people stare at her in her bare and uncomfortable chambers.
“Unacceptable. Unthinkable. Unforgivable.”—you think as you shake your head and walk away.
“Someone should do something…”
Lucy is an Asian Elephant.
She is being housed in the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Though she is only in her early 40s, she looks and no doubt feels so much older as she struggles through the freezing cold winters all alone. Her team will tell you that she has arthritis and respiratory issues. You can’t imagine her living quarters help her with these problems.
“Where are her friends?” you ask. “Where is her enrichment? What are you doing to keep her mind busy? What are you doing to ease her arthritis? What are you doing to help her respiratory issues?”
You are becoming frustrated, as it seems no one understands the needs of this poor old lady who has become a spectacle for people to stare at. You realize that the someone who needs to do something—is you.
Thankfully, stories such as Lucy’s are becoming rarer and rarer as people are beginning to understand that zoos are not an appropriate place for an elephant to live. Most certainly not a zoo in a northern climate that houses only one elephant with barely any enrichment to keep her mind engaged.
Elephants are highly social animals, living in large family groups with strong bonds to family members and friends. They are curious animals and like to investigate things with their muscular trunks. They love to swim, and in the wild are often seen in bodies of water splashing themselves and each other.
Lucy has lived her entire life in the zoo and only for an extremely short time did she have a companion to keep her company through the long days and nights.
Momentum is building to have her relocated to a proper sanctuary, where she will have friends, warmer weather, pools to bathe in, proper diet, and medical attention. All of her travel expenses have been paid for. Everything is sorted out and no one needs to worry about cost or logistics. It’s all been worked out.
And still, the Edmonton Valley Zoo refuses to let her go.
Please take some time to learn more about this beautiful lady. She deserves to finally go to her retirement home where she doesn’t have to stand on display in the cold all day long. Join the growing group of caring and compassionate people who want to see her moved to a place where she can feel understood and appreciated for the beautiful animal that she is. Let the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Valley Zoo know that you support Lucy’s transfer to a proper sanctuary, and let’s support them in understanding that Edmonton is no place for an elephant.
I am asking you to please act now. Lucy is waiting for you.
Resources to learn more and to join the efforts to #savelucy #retirelucy.
Dr. Jane Goodall message about Lucy: click here
Important Videos and References: click here
Please tell us how this makes sense? #EdmontonValleyZoo #RetireLucy @ftwglobal @cher @JaneGoodallCAN @anikasleem @cowne_mark @jannarden @bifnaked @SenSincmurr @GentleNon @kdlang @KristinDavis pic.twitter.com/ib6b6QKOJZ
— LEAP ? ❤️??? (@LEAPyeg) January 24, 2021