Demand Release of Elderly Zoo Elephant to Sanctuary

Lucy still suffers in isolation at Edmonton Valley Zoo in Alberta, Canada

Target: Edmonton Valley Zoo in Alberta, Canada

Goal: Release Lucy, the lone elderly elephant at Edmonton Valley Zoo, to an elephant sanctuary in California

An ailing, lone elephant by the name of Lucy has long been imprisoned at the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Alberta Canada. Lucy is 38 years old and suffering from arthritis, obesity, chronic foot ailments, respiratory problems and mental distress. Lucy has been forced to live out her last days in isolation, confined most of the time to a small barn and an inadequate area to stretch her legs. Urge Edmonton Valley Zoo to give Lucy the retirement she so deserves and allow her release to the Performing Animal Welfare Society in California.

For nearly four decades the Edmonton Valley Zoo has held captive a single asian elephant in a shameful, inadequate enclosure, often locking her in a barn when temperatures reached freezing. Lucy has endured a miserable existence as a prisoner of the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Despite elephants’ complicated social needs, Lucy has been kept in isolation for years, never allowed the basic freedoms of wild elephants such as socialization and room to graze. Her years of isolation have proven damaging to her health, both mentally and physically. Lucy suffers from numerous health problems and shows obvious signs of severe mental distress. In 2007 Elephant Biologist Winnie Kiiru identified Edmonton Valley Zoo to be the worst zoo for elephants in Canada.

Aside from providing inadequate living conditions, often forcing Lucy to endure days locked up in a small barn when temperatures drop, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is actually breaking the law. The Government of Alberta standards declare that animal’s must be kept in appropriate social groups. Lucy remains in sheer isolation in her cramped enclosure. Alberta Animal Protection Laws also state that no animal should be kept in any situation that causes extreme duress or stress. Lucy continues to show severe signs of emotional distress and depression.

Lucy deserves to live her last years in dignity and freedom. In 2012, Toronto Zoo allowed the appropriate release of it’s elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California with the help of Bob Barker, long time animal advocate. Bob Barker has again advocated for elephants in Canada and urges the release of the aging, fragile Lucy to PAWS. Please urge Edmonton Valley Zoo to allow Lucy the dignified retirement she so deserves and facilitate her release to PAWS sanctuary in California.


Dear Stephen Mandel, Mayor of Edmonton,

I was deeply saddened to learn that Lucy, the elderly, lone elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, continues to live out her life in isolation and depression. Having lived 38 years in captivity, never allowed the basic socialization and pachyderm freedoms she was meant for, her retirement to an appropriate sanctuary is overdue.

At 38 years of age, Lucy is suffering from various ailments including obesity, arthritis, respiratory issues and severe emotional distress. Elephants are extremely social creatures who need vast areas to graze and exercise. Being kept mostly in a small barn and an area close to an acre on days when weather permits, Lucy suffers from the typical ailments that plague elephants imprisoned in zoo’s.

In 2012, with the help of animal lover Bob Barker, Toronto Zoo appropriately allowed the release of their elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society in California. In her aging years, we beg you to allow Lucy the same distinguished retirement. Please allow Lucy to be the elephant she was always meant to be and facilitate her transfer to PAWS.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Flickr, Lucy the Elephant

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  1. Christina Malm says:

    I urge Lucy must be sent to a Santuary. Lucy is a 38 year old and ill elephant. The human beings dont’t have compassion? CRUELTY!

  2. Alison Lamont says:

    This is 38 years too late in my opinion. Shame on the Canadian authorities and Edmonton Zoo in particular for allowing this to continue for so long. Surely we would all prefer to give her the chance of some (relative) happiness in her final years rather than pretending it is in her interest to keep her prisoner where she is. Give her the chance at least.

  3. Anne GRice says:

    Please show compassion to this suffering elderly elephant who has earned you good amounts of profits all her life in your zoo. Please have a conscience and put yourself in her place and see just how much she is suffering. I find it difficult that a zoo in Edmonton could show the utmost contempt for this dear elephant’s life and refuse to release her to a sanctuary where she can feel some peace before dying! Human greed and lack of conscience has destroyed the life of this elephant and although we can’t give her her 38 years of tortuous life back, the best this zoo can do is to release her to a sanctuary where she can die peacefully. This is shameful and disgraceful for Canada and the world expects better of this nation but we have been let down once again. So please for Lucy’s sake, please release her.


    Please let her have some elephant company, elephants are highly intelligent and sociable animals.

  5. KatWrangler says:

    I know that elephants are social animals who live in family herds – so why doesn’t Edmonton Valley Zoo know this?

    I am sure Lucy is very much loved by the zoo visitors, and the zoo spent two million dollars updating her habitat, but that’ll never take the place of being among her own kind.

    Please allow Lucy happiness in her last years. If everyone loves her as much as they say they do, this is the only and best way to show it.

  6. Victoria Cole says:

    Please people who have the foresight and compassion to be appalled by this situation tweet it or use facebook to share the message. Also use petitions on etc to improve situation of zoo and farm animals

  7. Kathleen Williams says:

    I’m sorry to say, but if Bob Barker couldn’t negotiate a successful bid for her freedom back in 2009…

    At this late stage, considering her debilitated condition, a road trip might kill her.

    Human beings are terrible stewards, and no substitute for Mother Nature.

    I’m sorry, Lucy. You always deserved to be free.

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