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World’s Leading Elephant Expert Says Lucy Needs To Be Moved Soon (July 30, 2009)

posted 26 Aug 2010, 10:37 by Bhavithra Aloysious

One of the world’s leading elephant experts, Dr. Joyce Poole, is urging the City of Edmonton to relocate Lucy, the Valley Zoo’s lone Asian elephant, to a warmer climate to live with other elephants as soon as possible.


In a letter to the Edmonton Mayor and council Dr. Poole states “It is my considered opinion that the Edmonton Valley Zoo must, with all urgency, allow Lucy to live out the remainder of her life in a warmer climate in a setting where she is free to roam outdoors and to interact with members of her own species. Only in this situation does Lucy have the chance to make a recovery. After 32 years of captive misery, Lucy deserves to be given what is in her best interests. I urge the Edmonton Valley Zoo to put her needs first, and send Lucy to California, to PAWS, where she has been offered such a home.”


A giant in the world of field biology and elephant conservation, Dr. Poole’s decades long study of elephants is comparable only to the study of chimpanzees by Dr. Jane Goodall. Her more than 30 years of researching elephant social behaviour and communication, have resulted in the discovery of musth in male African elephants, the description of the contextual use of elephant vocalizations, including those below the level of human hearing, and the discovery of vocal imitation.


Dr. Poole received her Ph.D. in elephant behavior from Cambridge University and is the co-founder of Elephant Voices, a research and conservation based organization aimed at promoting scientifically sound and ethical management and care of elephants.


Dr. Poole joins other leading elephant experts, including Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, from around the world in her assertion that socializing with other elephants is critical to each female elephant’s welfare and that by keeping Lucy in isolation from her own species she is suffering from deprivation and other negative emotional states.


To view Dr. Poole’s letter: Click here.



Dr. Joyce Poole Tel: +47 33478817 Cell: +47 45664564

Julie Woodyer Office: 1-888-801-3222 Cell: 416-451-5976