Jane Goodall Addresses Edmonton, Canada City Council to Advocate For Lucy the Zoo Elephant’s Release to Elephant Sanctuary
“Hello this is Jane Goodall. This is a message to all of you about Lucy the only elephant in your city Zoo. Thinking about her plight as I speak these words brings back all the pain that I feel whenever I think about her years of loneliness. Elephants are not only highly intelligent, but extremely social, particularly the females. They form long-term bonds with family members and friendships that last throughout life. They care for and protect each other. They recognize each other even after a separation of many years and they are sentient, sentient. They share similar emotions to our own, of joy and sorrow, grief and despair, and, of course, they feel pain.
Lucy has been in captivity for over four decades. She has been in a small enclosure with only short walks each day. In the wild she would have traveled long distances and foraged for all kinds of different foods. Lucy has been denied proper exercise & food and, as a result, her health has suffered. I am told that she sometimes has been up to 1000 pounds overweight and there is a long list of other problems including arthritis, foot infections and colic.”
“On top of all of that there is the psychological suffering that has resulted from being confined for a lifetime, most often in isolation from others of her kind. Lucy is a very lonely elephant. Of course, there are people who care about and love Lucy. But that cannot make up for the lack of elephant companionship.
As you all know Senator Murray Sinclair recently introduced the Jane Goodall Act in the Canadian Senate. I was really honored to have my name attached to this bill as it specifically seeks to put an end to the sort of captivity that Lucy and others have endured. I am really happy and greatful to hear that you have all agreed that Lucy should be moved to a sanctuary where she can finally enjoy the company of other elephants and that there will be no more elephants in your zoo after she goes.
But Lucy desperately needs your help now. Each day she spends at the zoo is another day of sadness and especially during your long, cold, dark winter.”
“There is a wonderful and accredited sanctuary in Tennessee that has offered to take her in. I know there are concerns as to whether Lucy is healthy enough to be moved. But other old elephants have been successfully transported over long distances. Just think of Kaavan, the old elephant who was recently moved all the way from a zoo in Pakistan to a sanctuary in Cambodia.
So I beg of you to invite an independent veterinarian with appropriate knowledge of elephants to examine Lucy and determine how best she can be prepared for and supported for her journey. What a wonderful New Year gift to spend her last years, in what for her, will be paradise. I know that the grassroots movement, ‘Lucy’s Edmonton Advocates Project (LEAP) is eager to help with all of this to move her to a warmer climate away from yet another long, cold dark winter.
You know, there is so much suffering in the world today of both humans and animals. How wonderful if you can alleviate the suffering of this one sentient being. She has been helping your city for many, many years. She has surely earned her retirement. And with the right help and care I feel sure that she can safely undertake this journey. Thank you so much for listening.”
Transcribed from YouTube video “Jane Goodall Asks Edmonton City Council to Transfer ‘Lucy the Lonely Elephant‘”
“Lucy at the Edmonton Valley Zoo Feb. 7, 2015” Note: the temperature was 5 degrees fahrenheit. This Creative Commons YouTube video was recorded by Friends of Lucy who have asked for compassion (they have advocated for her release to a warmer climate or at the very least, a custom elephant-sized blanket to cover her) for Lucy who has had to endure unending isolation & unheard of temperatures, for an elephant, for years.
Images: CC Flickr by World Economic Forum, Jane Goodall 2019 amidst image of her younger self
& from CC video Friends of Lucy, “Lucy at the Edmonton Valley Zoo Feb. 7, 2015”
Lucy’s Edmonton Advocates Project (LEAP)
Jane Goodall website
Elephant Spoken Here facebook
Elephant Spoken Here twitter @ESHelephants
AbZOOlutely Not** or The Controversy of Zoos & Others Keeping Elephants in Captivity
**A disclaimer about this category. While there are some Zoos that demonstrate exemplary methods of elephant care, unfortunately, they do not represent the “lion’s share”.