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Icon Bob Barker Weighs in on Lucy the Elephant Debate (February 23, 2009)

posted 26 Aug 2010, 10:20 by Bhavithra Aloysious

Zoocheck Canada

For Immediate Release


February 23, 2009


Bob Barker, legendary star of one of television’s longest running game shows, The Price is Right, is urging Edmonton City council to intervene on behalf of Lucy the elephant and to facilitate her transfer to a US sanctuary as soon as possible.


Mr. Barker, a life long animal advocate, has played an integral role in several elephant rescues, including the 2007 relocation of Maggie, a gravely ill African elephant, from the Alaska Zoo to a southern California sanctuary. Like Lucy, Maggie was socially isolated and physically suffering. Alaska Zoo personnel repeatedly claimed she was anti-social and, due to health concerns, could not be moved, arguments now being parroted by the Edmonton Valley Zoo.


“When I heard about Lucy, I felt compelled to write to the council.” stated Bob Barker “I had hoped that once they understood how well Maggie is doing at the sanctuary that they would be encouraged to move Lucy to a more appropriate facility.”


Since September 2007, when companion elephant Samantha was shipped off to a US zoo, Lucy has been socially isolated. Lucy suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, chronic foot infections and engages in prolonged sessions of abnormal behaviours. The zoo’s own medical records show Lucy is being treated daily for pain and at times will not even eat or drink. Most recently they’ve claimed a malpositioned tooth and the “stress” of socializing with other elephants make it impossible to retire Lucy to a sanctuary.


“Elephants with similar ailments to Lucy are moved around by zoos and circuses all the time. Furthermore, Maggie has shown us very clearly that elephants labeled as anti-social will start to socialize normally once they are living in a healthy environment,” Barker said. “There is no reason to believe that Lucy will not have the same experience if she is moved to a sanctuary. I sincerely hope that the City of Edmonton will step up to the plate, extend this one act of kindness to Lucy and move her as soon as possible.”


To view Bob Barker’s letter to the City of Edmonton:


For interviews with Bob Barker contact:

Henri Bollanger, Publicist: 818-784-0534


For more information about Lucy:             

Julie Woodyer: 1-888-801-3222 (office, toll free), 416-451-5976 (cell)