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Fight to Free Lucy the Elephant Far From Over

Fight to Free Lucy the Elephant Far From Over

An Alberta judge has dismissed a complaint by animal advocacy groups to declare that Lucy the elephant is an animal in distress.

The groups plan to appeal the dismissal.

Lucy the elephant lives in a zoo in the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta. She has been the focus of a lengthy campaign by several groups who want to have her moved to a sanctuary in the United States, like the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee or the Performing Animal Wildlife Sanctuary in California.

Several factors make Lucy’s case unique. Firstly she lives farther north than any other elephant in North America, putting her well out of the climate that elephants are used to. She’s also in poor health, likely resulting from her confinement and the climate.

As well, Lucy is the only elephant in Canada that lives alone. Elephants are inherently very social animals and are not accustomed to being solitary.

For several years, groups like Zoocheck have been working to garner support for and increase public awareness of Lucy’s situation.

After public appeals from celebrities like Bob Barker and William Shatner fell on deaf ears, and after the city ignored a petition with 3,500 names, the groups decided to seek a legal solution to the problem.

The lawyer fighting for Lucy’s relocation is arguing that Lucy’s health problems are a result of her living situation and the only long term solution is to have Lucy be moved to an environment where she can live in a more natural environment.

It seems like the legal battle is only just getting started. Hopefully this setback doesn’t spell the eventual end of the effort to free Lucy.

When we are fighting to have Lucy relocated, let us not forget that while her situation tugs especially hard at the average person’s heart strings, she is not alone. Animals of all sorts are suffering in zoos all over the world and any campaign to free Lucy must be in the context of abhorring all zoos, not just one particular zoo.

Animals do not exist for our entertainment any more than they exist for our consumption. Boycott zoos and circuses and any other industry that exploits animals for the amusement of humans.

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Photo: E_TAVARES

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242 comments

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11:02AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

keeping an elephant (or any wild animal) in solitary confinement is cruel and one of the most selfish things we do as human beings. While Edmontonians do care for Lucy and have the best intentions for her, the Edmonton zoo is not the appropriate place for an aging, ailing, lone elephant. Elephants are herding beings. Whether in the wild or captivity, elephants depend on the strength of a herd or just another companion for their social, behaviorly complex, well being. Edmonton's climate is also too cold for an elephant . Elephants require more space than any zoo can provide in order maintain physiological and mental health since they eat 18 hours per day and maintain social relationships will doing so. Toronto's city council seems to have figured this out. Please allow Lucy to the remainder of her years in dignity and in open pastures.

10:55AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Hasn't Lucy suffered enough? How much more can she be expected to endure - loneliness IS cruelty. NOT TO MENTION THE WEATHER IS ABSOLUTELY UNDUITABLE FOR HER-- was this the only solution to her immediate problem, and this could have been okay for a couple of weeks but how long has it been now? Let's get her south!!!

10:45AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

to deprive Lucy of companionship is cruel. send her to a sanctuary and let her live out life surrounded by new "friends" and new "family".

2:48PM PST on Feb 28, 2012

Lucy deserves to go to a sanctury & spend the rest of her life in a Natural enviroment~Love & Blessings to her~Please keep voting & being a voice for her~*

2:34PM PST on Dec 29, 2011

lucy is suffering. please lets goo and help her. she need to b e in a santury.

11:18AM PDT on Apr 4, 2011

This is precisely why I do not support any place that exploits animals such as a zoo and the circus. When will others catch on and stop taking their children to these horrid places??? When the public stops buying into their sick displays of animals being neglected, then perhaps these places will cease altogther. STOP SUPPORTING THIS!!

5:10AM PDT on Mar 31, 2011

SAVE LUCY..............She needs to be removed from this place. How cruel to have her all alone.

10:15PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

I have been working to save elephants for years, following such cases as Tina, Jewel and Queenie who suffered horrid abuses under trainer Davenport. Queenie was separated from the other two and languishes in a zoon. I am sickened by mans disregard for the feelings and health of these extremely intelligent, magnificent animals. Elephants are too large for any sort of captivity and never should be captured under any circumstance. Lucy must be release immediately to either the Tennessee and California elephant sanctuaries.

10:19AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

she needs to be her own kind she needs friends too .zoos are bs.

9:51AM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

What the H_ _ L is wrong with that judge to dismiss this horrific case regarding LUCY.. . Does this judge not have eyes, a heart or any guts to stand up to monsters who mistreat animals ? It's a total SIN to have this precious elephant to have to put up and live with these MONSTERS. God Bless LUCY !!!

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