Target: City of Edmonton Mayor and Council Members
Goal: Remove Lucy from the Edmonton Valley Zoo and place in her in warmer climate with other elephants for her to interact with.
Lucy is an elephant living in isolation in the cold climate of Alberta, Canada. Her enclosure is tiny, and due to the frigid weather she must spend the majority of her time in her small barn. Lucy’s health is deteriorating; she needs help and she needs it now.
Elephants are social creatures. In the wild, female elephants spend all their time in closely knit groups made up of grandmothers, aunts, mothers, cousins, and daughters.
Lucy lives her life entirely isolated from social contact. She is the only female elephant at the zoo, and is kept in a small, barren enclosure. Elephants evolved to walk long distances. In the wild they travel anywhere between 10 and 20 km each day. According to the Coalition for Captive Elephant Well-Being, elephants in captivity should have enough space to travel at least 10 km on a daily basis; but Lucy’s enclosure is a mere half acre, and her indoor space even smaller.
Since the zoo is located in the Alberta region of Canada, Lucy must endure frigid winters each year. When the temperature drops, she is put inside her barn to keep warm. It has been estimated that Lucy is kept inside her barn as much as 76% of the time. Lucy’s health is deteriorating, largely due to the poor conditions in which she is forced to live.
The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled against hearing a case regarding her future. The Edmonton Valley Zoo claims that Lucy’s respiratory problems prevent her from being moved, but these problems are largely a result of her grueling environment. If she remains there, she’ll surely die.
Dear Mayor Stephen Mandel and Council Members,
Lucy is the only female Asian elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. While female elephants in the wild are highly social and live in closely-knit groups of other females, Lucy is forced to live in isolation. Due to Edmonton’s cold climate, Lucy must spend 75% of her time in her tiny barn. Her enclosure is only half an acre, while in the wild, elephants travel between 10 and 20 km each day. These conditions are unacceptable; no living thing should be made to suffer.
According to zoo authorities, Lucy’s respiratory problems prevent her from being moved. But in these inhumane conditions, if she remains there she will die. The zoo is municipally owned, thus Edmonton’s city authorities have the power to end Lucy’s suffering. Please allow this gentle animal the chance at a happy and comfortable life, and move her to a warmer location with other elephants.
[Your name here]