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Allow a panel of external elephant experts to examine Lucy
  • Petitioning Edmonton City Councillors

This petition will be delivered to:

Edmonton City Councillors
Councillor Ed Gibbons
Councillor Ben Henderson
Councillor Bryan Anderson
Councillor Amarjeet Sohi
Councillor Dave Loken
Mayor Don Iveson
Councillor Bev Esslinger
Coucillor Micheal Oshry
Councillor Scott McKeen
Councillor Tony Caterina
Councillor Michael Walters
Councillor Mike Nickel
Councillor Andrew Knack

Allow a panel of external elephant experts to examine Lucy

    1. Gert Zagler
    2. Petition by

      Gert Zagler

      Ottawa, Canada

Lucy, a beautiful Asian elephant, arrived at the Valley Zoo on May 19, 1977. She came to Edmonton from the Pinnewala Orphanage in Sri Lanka. Since there were no records of her birth, it was estimated that she was approximately two years of age – so Lucy is estimated to be 37 today! Lucy lived alone at the zoo for 12 years. Then Samantha, a female African elephant, was brought to the zoo to keep Lucy company. In 2007, Samantha was sent to the North Carolina Zoo on a long-term breeding loan and Lucy was left alone again.

Lucy's life in Edmonton does not even compare with the life she could be living if she was moved to a sanctuary. Currently, she lives a very solitary life with only human contact during “working hours”. Female elephants are highly social and suffer greatly when kept in isolation. Edmonton's freezing winter weather and the zoo's policy of locking Lucy indoors when the zoo is closed means that Lucy spends the majority of her time in a small barn. When she is allowed outside, she is restricted to an enclosure that is approximately one-half acre in size. Lucy exhibits signs of mental distress and has health issues—including upper respiratory problems, arthritis, obesity, and chronic foot ailments —attributable to inadequate conditions for the health and well-being of an elephant.

Both elephant and animal welfare experts agree that Lucy’s chronic health issues are exacerbated by being housed in a northern climate, which subjects her to confinement on cold, hard flooring, for the majority of the time. They also agree that her diseases are both chronic and advanced, and that she needs better living conditions and a more comprehensive program of medical attention than can be provided at the Valley Zoo in Edmonton. Lastly, they argue that keeping a female elephant alone, runs contrary not only to what science knows of elephants, but also national and international zoo association recommendations.

Despite strong scientific evidence, the City of Edmonton is resolute in their claim that Lucy is a well-adjusted healthy elephant overall and just fine where she is. In defense of their inaction in moving her to a sanctuary, they claim that Lucy is “too sick to move” and have convinced the media and their citizens that the “move will kill her”. However, they have never provided any medical evidence to that effect and have refused to broadened access to external experts to examine Lucy, continuing to allow only one external veterinarian to see her.

A number of experienced and renowned veterinarians world-wide have offered their support and services (at no cost to the City), yet the City and Zoo continue to insist that they have Lucy’s situation well in hand. Nonetheless, her condition continues to go undiagnosed – a situation that results in on-going pain and suffering for Lucy.

Please sign this petition asking the Mayor and City Council of Edmonton to ensure that Lucy is examined by an independent panel of elephant experts (a minimum of 9) to determine her medical condition (if any) and evaluate her “fitness” to travel to sanctuary. The experts chosen would be selected and agreed upon by both the City of Edmonton and Zoocheck Canada in order to ensure impartiality – affording the best advice for Lucy and all that care about her.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 17,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Rebecca Kreinen NEW YORK, NY
      • 2 days ago

      The solitary life of this animal indicates a lack of understanding of the needs of this species on the part of the people keeping her. It is unfathomable how this cruelty can be allowed to go on.

      • 4 days ago

      It's important to me because elephants were never meant to live alone in a cage and in a cold climate.

    • Heather Renwick GUELPH, ONTARIO, CANADA
      • 4 days ago

      Let Lucy live out the remainder of her life around her fellow elephants.They are NOT meant to live alone.They are family oriented!This is cruelty beyond belief.All for money. Shame, shame

    • Kimberly May NEWPORT, RI
      • 4 days ago

      This is NOT the purpose of an elephant! It's time to allow WILD animals to be WILD and FREE!

    • Nancy O'Neal GIDDINGS, TX
      • 5 days ago

      Let's hear about her condition from an impartial expert


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