Over 39,000 Care2 Members Demand Freedom For Lucy, The Elephant

Warning: this story is a heartbreaker.

Lucy is a 41-year-old elephant who was born in the tropical forests of Sri Lanka but captured and sold by a notorious wildlife dealer at the age of two. Ever since, she has been living in solitary confinement, enduring the fierce cold of Edmonton Valley Zoo, in Alberta, Canada.

Care2 member Una Rose, a Toronto resident, decided that she could help Lucy by creating a Care2 petition. In her petition, she urged Alberta’s government, Premier Rachel Notley and Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips, to end the zoo’s horrible treatment of Lucy and move her to a sanctuary. 

Rose explains that Alberta’s government can refuse to renew the zoo’s permit, which is set to expire on March 31. As the petition states, “This is a chance to force the zoo to retire Lucy and send her to a sanctuary. The zoo does not meet the provinces’ own standard[s] for zoos and therefore should not have its permit renewed.”

Lucys Life at Edmonton Valley Zoo

“Lucy lives alone, doing silly performing tricks by threat of a bullhook, in a barren environment and in the very cold climate of Edmonton,” Rose told Care2. “She deserves to spend the rest of her life in a natural environment, doing natural things and living with other elephants. I cannot tolerate animals suffering due to human failure of understanding, so I do all I can to help free her.”

Care2 activists signing the petition have voiced similar thoughts:

I used to live in Edmonton and the first and only time I went to that zoo I saw Lucy it broke my heart! I remeber crying for her, I could never go back to that zoo…. Her habitat was atrocious! Please let her go retire with her kind so she can die with dignity…. Dont let her die alone, in that concrete hell.

This is just horribly wrong for such a long living social animal. We are the most selfish and cruel species. Free Lucy to live a humane life with her own species….

Stop the abuse of this beautiful animal .. What gives you the right to imprison this soul?

This is not the first time that this zoo has been called out for its egregious conditions.

As Care2′s Alicia Graef wrote here, the Edmonton Zoo received a Dishonorable Mention from In Defense of Animals in its 2015 listing of the Ten Worst Zoos For Elephants in North America, on account of keeping Lucy in solitary confinement in one of the coldest cities in Canada. This was also the reason the zoo was the Hall of Shame winner for 2014, and yet they have done nothing to improve the elephant’s situation.

Elephants Do Not Belong In Zoos

In addition to being imprisoned outdoors in Edmonton’s cold winters, Lucy has a number of ongoing health problems that the zoo has been unable to treat, she is socially isolated, and she lives in a tiny barren enclosure.

Besides, elephants do not belong in zoos. They are highly intelligent, sociable animals who require very large spaces; an elephant in the wild may walk up to 30 miles a day. How cruel, then, to force Lucy into such a tiny space. Further, elephants in their natural habitat live in herds of anywhere from eight to 100 individuals, so forcing Lucy to live alone is abusive. Because of this lack of space, she is not able to get the amount of mental or physical stimulation she requires. 

Uma Rose understands that elephants belong in the wild, and that’s why she started her Care2 petition, eager to provide a better life for Lucy. She is excited that her petition has already gathered more than 39,000 signatures.

In 2013, we celebrated when three elephants from the Toronto Zoo were transferred to a sanctuary in California. Wouldn’t it be great if the rest of Lucy’s life could be spent in such an environment?

If you agree, please sign Una Rose’s petition, demanding that the city of Edmonton deny Edmonton Valley Zoo’s permit renewal, so that the zoo will be forced to retire Lucy and send her to a sanctuary.

And if you have an issue that you care about in your community, or anywhere in the world,  you can start your own Care2 petition, just as Una Rose did, and with the help of this handy guide, you’ll soon find Care2′s community of activists signing up to support your cause.




Simon L
Simon Labout a year ago

Thank you

Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fookabout a year ago


Alison A
Alison Aabout a year ago

Thanks, petition signed

Kristi M
Kristi Mabout a year ago

Very sad and depressing for these innocent souls! "Humans" = SMH

Dennis Hall
Dennis Hallabout a year ago


Patricia L
Patricia L1 years ago


Marija M
Marija M1 years ago


william Miller
william Miller1 years ago


Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers1 years ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.