Lucy was taken away from her family and everything she knew and then carted off to the other side of the world where the weather was colder, there were no familiar faces and her home was a small elephant yard and barn.
Since Edmonton is located in the north, its weather is very different from the tropical climate of Sri Lanka where Lucy came from. During cold weather she is kept inside her cement-floored barn, as well as at night when the zoo is closed. That adds up to a great deal of Lucy's time.
Lucy lived alone at the zoo for 12 years. Then Samantha, a female African elephant, was brought to the zoo to keep Lucy company. But in 2007, Samantha was sent to another zoo on a long-term breeding loan and Lucy was left alone again.
Elephants are highly social animals, just like us. In fact, female elephants spend their entire lives in relatively stable family groups with their mother, sisters, aunts, cousins and even their grandmothers. They need to have friends and be around others of their own kind. Unfortunately, Lucy is alone at the Valley Zoo. She has no elephant family or friends and is currently one of only a few elephants living alone in North American zoos.
At 34 years old, Lucy is still relatively young, so she could have a lot of years ahead. The oldest documented elephant lived to be 86 years old. Lucy deserves the chance to do some of the things that elephants do and to be with other elephants. She has that chance, if the Valley Zoo lets her go.