Lucy is a female Asian elephant living all alone at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.  The zoo purchased her from a notorious wildlife dealer in 1977 at the age of 2 and she has been living in Edmonton’s cold climate ever since.     

All female elephants have basic physical, psychological and social requirements. They require very large spaces, complex natural terrain, pasture, lots of things to do, other elephants to socialize with and a moderate climate.
Lucy's life at the Valley Zoo is deficient in many respects. She is socially isolated, lives in a tiny barren enclosure, endures a number of ongoing health issues that the zoo has not been able to resolve and is forced to live through Edmonton's cold winters.
The Valley Zoo claims Lucy cannot be moved, that she is not a social elephant, is accustomed to Edmonton's weather and is quite happy where she is. Many of their claims are nonsensical and some ignore established scientific fact. As well, Lucy's continued social isolation is contrary to accepted management practices for elephants in captivity around the world.
While the Valley Zoo and the City of Edmonton try to paint a rosy, almost idyllic, picture of Lucy's life, the reality is quite different. A highly social, extremely intelligent, wide-ranging animal that was born in the tropical forests of Sri Lanka should not live alone in a tiny, barren zoo exhibit in a northern city.

Join Zoocheck in our campaign to give Lucy a better life. Click here to find out what you can do to help.

Why won’t Valley Zoo officials allow Lucy to be examined by unbiased elephant specialists?


Latest News and Announcements

  • Lucy's Veterinarian Passes Away Man who tended to Lucy the elephant dies By Allison Salz, Edmonton Sun First posted: Saturday, May 03, A man who fought vigorously against animal rights activists who wanted to see Lucy the Elephant moved to an animal sanctuary, has died.Doctor Milton Ness, a chief veterinarian at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, passed away last week.The Valley Zoo Development Society confirmed Ness’ passing on Facebook Saturday afternoon.“We would like to acknowledge the loss of an important member of our Edmonton Valley Zoo family. Dr. Milton Ness, a passionate and dedicated friend to all animals,” the statement read.“Our thoughts are with his family and all of his co-workers at this difficult time. He will be greatly missed ...
    Posted 5 Jan 2015, 11:08 by Rob Laidlaw
  • Debate Over Lucy Rages On Moving elephant would endanger its health, city officials argueOtiena Ellwand, Edmonton Journal, Monday, October 28, 2013The debate surrounding the Valley Zoo's lone elephant is back in the spotlight after the Toronto Zoo successfully transported its three elephants to a sanctuary in California last weekend.A local animal-rights organization staged a protest Sunday at the west-end zoo to demand the city convene a panel of experts to examine Lucy the Asian elephant and reassess whether it's safe enough to move her. The group says elephants are social by nature and shouldn't be kept alone or live in a climate like Edmonton's."I'd like to ask city council to look to Toronto," said ...
    Posted 29 Oct 2013, 10:41 by Rob Laidlaw
  • 3 Calgary Zoo elephants moving to Washington, DC Female Asian elephants will be relocated to the Smithsonian's National Zoo in the U.S. capital CBC News Posted: Aug 20, 2013 2:11 PM MTThe Calgary Zoo is sending its remaining elephants to a facility in Washington, D.C. Next spring Kamala, Swarna and Maharani will head to the Smithsonian's National Zoo.They will be reunited with a couple of elephants that two of them lived with at an orphanage in Sri Lanka more than 30 years ago.Donald Moore, an official with Smithsonian's, says they'll be studying them to see if the elephants remember each other and how they'll react."We think they'll remember each other, and we are in conversation ...
    Posted 29 Oct 2013, 10:33 by Rob Laidlaw
  • The Elephant in the Room on the fifth estate Visit the fifth estate website A no nonsense look at the keeping of elephants in zoos, with a focus on the plight of Lucy at the Edmonton Valley Zoo and the three surviving elephants at the Toronto Zoo. SHOW DESCRIPTION: In the trade they call elephants Charismatic Mega Fauna -- huge majestic animals that help the industry draw millions of people each year. The fact is that Zoos and Aquariums are big business, generating more revenue than all professional sports leagues in the U.S. and Canada combined, according to industry insiders. Yet all is not well with the gentle giants in Canadian zoos. A heated controversy has erupted over what to do with zoo elephants when they are ready to ...
    Posted 12 Nov 2012, 14:52 by Rob Laidlaw
  • Top court won't hear Lucy the elephant case NOTE: Today, the Supreme Court of Canada said it will not hear the case regarding Lucy the elephant. Once again, the City of Edmonton and the Valley Zoo get lucky and avoid being put in a position where they actually have to defend their multitude of nonsensical claims about Lucy. Despite the ruling, the campaign to relocate Lucy will proceed full steam ahead.----------------------------------Top court won't hear Lucy the elephant case  BY GEMMA KARSTENS-SMITH, FOR POSTMEDIA NEWS APRIL 26, 2012 the elephant appears to be staying put after a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday that it will not hear a ...
    Posted 26 Apr 2012, 08:04 by Rob Laidlaw
  • Valley Zoo Comments on Calgary Decision to Move Elephants Note: Below is the statement from the Valley Zoo regarding Lucy. Nothing at all new. The Valley Zoo continues to claim that Lucy is unable to be moved due to a "mysterious" health condition that still, after all these years, they cannot diagnose.  The Valley Zoo also reiterates their intention to cease the keeping of elephants at their facility but, at the same time, state that they are committed to forcing Lucy to remain at their zoo, where she lives an impoverished, solitary life. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Calgary Zoo and Edmonton Valley Zoo Both Making Decisions in Best Interest of Their ElephantsApril 19, 2012Edmonton Valley Zoo Director responds to Calgary Zoo elephant announcementEdmonton Valley Zoo Director Denise Prefontaine released the ...
    Posted 20 Apr 2012, 14:38 by Rob Laidlaw
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