October 8, 2011 - Protest To Be Held For Lucy!
On October 8, 2011, Voices for Animals Humane Society is holding a protest for Lucy. It will be held at the main entrance of the Valley Zoo and will take place from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm.
September 25, 2011 - Elephant Talk and “Enrichment” Day at the Valley Zoo
On Elephant Talk and Enrichment Days citizens are granted free admission to the zoo in order to watch Lucy put through her paces – the most recent Enrichment Day was held on September 25th. The Talk is divided into two parts: part one includes education and information about elephants in general, and during part two Lucy gets to display one of her “enrichment activities” such as hide and seek with her keepers or playing soccer.
During the presentation, it is outlined to those participating that Lucy is a happy elephant but suffers from an ailment that will not allow her to be moved (as it is likely to cause her death). As well, it is emphasized that she is “bonded” with her human keepers and, as a result, will probably die of a broken heart if forced to live with other elephants.
May 19, 2011 to September 15, 2011 - Friends of Lucy Take Action!
In an effort to truly understand the level of care and attention to Lucy’s “ailment” that is restricting her from moving, Friends of Lucy submitted a Freedom of Information request to the City of Edmonton on May 19, 2011. This request was very specific and requested the names, addresses and information related to the veterinarian examinations of Lucy between January 1, 2005 and May 19, 2011. Click here
to learn more!
September 8, 2011 - “Request For Leave” Submitted to Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of Lucy
On September 8, 2011, PETA, Zoocheck Canada and Voices for Animals Humane Society submitted a Request for Leave asking the Supreme Court of Canada to hear its appeal of an Alberta Court of Appeal decision quashing their lawsuit over the treatment of an elephant at Edmonton’s Valley Zoo. PETA, Zoocheck and Voices for Animals believe they should be allowed to sue on behalf of Lucy the elephant as they believe Lucy is in poor health and would be better cared for in a warm weather setting at an elephant sanctuary.
The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that PETA and its co-applicants could not sue on behalf of the elephant. This was a 2-1 split where Chief Justice Catherine Fraser wrote a 45 page dissenting opinion of a 56 page judgement.
The Supreme Court has not yet said whether it will hear the appeal. Click here
to access the full submission or contact the following individuals at PETA:
Jeffrey S. Kerr, Esq. (PETA Foundation) 202-540-2171; JeffK@petaf.org
David Perle 202-695-5622; DavidP@peta.org
August 4, 2011 - A Dissenting Opinion: Alberta Appellate Court Denies Lucy Her Day In Court
Following the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal, the challenges and long days alone will continue for Lucy. Zoocheck Canada, PETA and Tove Reece of Voice for Animals Humane Society brought forth a strong argument and much supporting evidence that described to an appellate court the violations of Alberta's Animal Protection Act by the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Nonetheless, the court refused to give Lucy her day in court – it was a 2-1 split. Additional details, including Cheif Justice Catherine Fraser's dissenting opinion, can be found here
Undeterred by the decision, Zoocheck, Voice for Animals Humane Society, PETA and Lucy’s many supports will continue to fight for Lucy. On September 8, 2011, the three aforementioned organizations submitted a Request for Leave to the Supreme Court of Canada.
May 22, 2011 - International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ) to take place on June 11
On June 11, activists around the world will hold outreach events and demonstrations to educate the public about the tragic effects of confining elephants in small, barren zoo enclosures. The event is sponsored by animal rights group In Defense of Animals, whose spokesperson, Lily Tomlin, has released an official call to action. To learn more about events in your area, please visit the In Defense of Animals
May 14, 2011 - New Animated Message Featuring Lucy and Her Health Issues
Friends of Lucy recently posted a new animated message featuring Lucy on Youtube. It is intended to raise awareness of her serious health issues which are exacerbated by her ongoing captivity at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. You can access the video on our Youtube
May 12, 2011 - Toronto Elephants ON THE MOVE!
On May 12, the Toronto Zoo Board of Management voted to relocate their remaining three African elephants to a facility in the United States. During that meeting, it was stated that AZA accredited facilities would be considered; however, the elephants would not be moved to any facility that used bullhooks. Zoocheck and other supporters of Thika, Toka and Iringa are requesting that PAWS in California also be added to the potential destination for these three lovely girls as it provides more space than any zoo, natural conditions, good climate and the company of other elephants.
April 16, 2011 - The Elephant in the Room: Toronto Cold Climate Symposium
Zoocheck Canada organized a one-day symposium of presentations, images and ideas about the keeping of elephants in cold climate zoos. One of the strongest messages heard by the 100 participants was the fact that despite best efforts, it is cost prohibitive and virtually impossible to provide an elephant with the room it requires within a zoo setting. Additional details can be accessed here
April 3, 2011 - A Special Collection of Haikus for Lucy
Jacqueline Eichman has contributed her amazing talent to creating a series of haikus on Twitter – describing the plight of an elephant subject to a life in captivity. Much of her work surrounds the life of Lucy – a lone elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo; however, many of the sentiments would be felt by any animal subjected to a life in a zoo. With her permission, we have transcribed Jacqueline’s haikus for all to see. You can access them here
March 29, 2011 - Lucy's Appeal Day
Lucy's Appeal was heard on March 29th in an Edmonton Courtroom. Alberta Court of Appeal Chief Justice Catherine Fraser repeatedly questioned why Lucy the elephant lives alone at the Valley Zoo in apparent breach of international standards saying “I have read a lot of expert evidence and can’t find one thing that says it’s good for an elephant to be kept by itself”. Read more here
January 21, 2011 - Renowned Asian Elephant Scientist Issues Welfare Assessment of Lucy
January 19, 2011 - City of Edmonton issues media release regarding EHS directive regarding Lucy
The City of Edmonton issued a media release regarding the directive they received from the Edmonton Humane Society on January 13, 2011 regarding Lucy. This directive was in response to a letter submitted by a citizen on September 22, 2010 and a voluminous complaint from Zoocheck Canada on October 5, 2010. It is interesting to note, that the EHS did not acknowledge the need to take action until Zoocheck submitted their complaint along with a media release.
In the week between receiving the directive and releasing their response, it is evident that the City worked hard to put a positive spin on the EHS letter. But, as Zoocheck so rightly points out “the fact remains that the Edmonton Humane Society felt compelled to issue a written directive to the zoo telling them they must relieve Lucy’s distress within specified timeframes. They also indicated that they felt Lucy’s conditions were not ideal. The EHS seems to be treading softly on this, perhaps because they are investigating the City of Edmonton who provides them with significant funding which puts them in a conflict of interest position, but their directive is telling regardless."
The directive stated that they felt the zoo was in compliance with the Alberta Animal Protection Act, but did not mention anything about the Alberta Zoo Standards – concerns about these potential contraventions were raised specifically in the complaints; however, were nowhere to be found in the EHS response. The Alberta Zoo Standards are very clear and equally clear is the Valley Zoo’s violation, especially with respect to Lucy’s social isolation.
January 18, 2011 - Edmonton Valley Zoo reaches #2 on top 10 WORST zoos for Elephants
Lucy’s home, the Edmonton Valley Zoo, has taken second place on an American animal rights organizations list of the 10 worst zoos for Elephants. In Defense of Animals, through their many activities and this list, exposes the hidden suffering of elephants in zoos, where lack of space, unsuitably cold climates and impoverished social groupings condemn these sentient beings to lifetimes of deprivation, disease and early death.
The IDA’s acknowledgement of the Valley Zoo’s insistence of keeping Lucy in a dismal environment further supports the arguments made for many years by organizations such as Zoocheck Canada, PETA and Voice for Animals as well as individual citizens – Canadian and throughout the world. The Valley Zoo fails on all three key indicators, yet insists that Lucy is well-cared for and has a social network in the keepers.
The Valley Zoo was the only Canadian facility to be recognized - others were zoos in Texas, Massachussets, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Hawaii, Oregon and Maine. [View the list]