It’s a shame that it takes a lawsuit to try to compel Edmonton officials to move Lucy, the ailing elephant at the Valley Zoo, to a sanctuary.
Winter is raging in Alberta, and that means Lucy will spend most of the next six months in a cramped, barren barn. Even on those “moderate” days when she’s allowed a bit of fresh air, she’s restricted to an enclosure that is smaller than a Walmart parking lot.
As is common with animals who are meant to roam vast savannahs and lush jungles, Lucy exhibits signs of psychological distress, and her medical records reveal that she is suffering from arthritis as well as chronic foot and respiratory problems. The most heartless cruelty is denying Lucy the company of other elephants—these highly social animals need each other to thrive.
It is the zoo’s and the city’s responsibility to do what’s best for Lucy now – take immediate action to restore her to health and then transfer her to a sanctuary where she would have the opportunity to roam hundreds of acres of natural habitat, play in ponds, forage for fresh vegetation, and enjoy a full, healthy, and enriching life in the company of many other elephants. It’s the least she deserves.
Norfolk , Virginia