“And, uh, she, uh, has a respiratory problem, they they claim she cannot be moved because of this respiratory problem. And, uh uh, they have brought a so-called expert from southern California to come up there and examine her. And, uh, I do not want to mention his name because I have absolutely no respect for him.”
“He did not know any… and had no idea what was wrong with her and to this day as we speak right now I bet… they still do not know what is wrong with her. And I offered the city a hundred thousand dollars just to let us bring experts in to to diagnose her problem and the city will not even do that. Now this shows you how much they love Lucy.”
Host: “Yeah. There seem to be a number of mixed messages. On on one hand they say she is healthy…”
BB: “That is right.”
Host: “On the other hand they say she is too ill or potentially too ill to… travel.”
BB: “Precisely. You put your finger on it perfectly. If you start talking about moving her… ‘Oh she cannot move, she is not well. She she cannot move, it would kill her. She cannot move.’ And then you start talk… Well, how is she… she is just here alone and it is terrible… ‘Oh she is happy here. She loves it here. She loves her keepers.’”
“I’ll tell you how much she loves her keepers, probably. I was up there for a press conference and we went out to the zoo and the cameras that were out there, these television stations were covering, uh, the, our visit to the to the zoo.
And so Lucy was not there. She was across a big field and we were standing here waiting for her to come up to where we were going to have her on camera and so on.”
“And here she came. And there was a keeper at her… each shoulder. And there was a keeper at each hip. And they were carrying elephant hooks (bullhooks), each had an elephant hook.”
You know what an elephant hook is with a… and they can dig into their flesh and their flesh is very very tender, actually. And there were… walking and, believe me, she had been on a wonderful walk. She probably could not go anyplace she wanted to go.”
“They led her right straight where we were coming… to where we were. There she came and I though how wonderful… they are, they are getting shots of her approaching with not one, not two, not three, but four keepers with four elephant hooks and she is supposed to be happy.
Host: “The arguments that have been made, and you have pointed this out before, are all financially oriented.”
Host: “that is, that is, well, what are the…”
BB: “Animal exploitation begins with greed. If if circuses, rodeos, zoos… They are all… they are all out for money and that is the whole thing. Uh, uh, puppy mills and you name it it is greed. It is… they, they want to make money and they will make money at the expense of any kind of animal, be it a puppy or an elephant. It is disgusting.
Host: “And for the Edmonton Valley Zoo, or any zoo, the elephant, in this case, Lucy the elephant, is the is the symbol, is the headline.”
BB: “I do not know what it is. They have had so much bad publicity I cannot imagine why they would keep that elephant there. But they are going to let her die there apparently. I do not know anything more to do than we have already done.”
Host: “Now for some reason that did not discourage you…”
Host: As far as… as far as your involvement with Canadian elephants is concerned.”
BB: “If if if, uh… it is not just Canadian elephants. I work on elephants all over the world.”
BB: “Uh, and not just elephants but animals of all types.”
“If if, uh, if you become discouraged as an animal rights activist, why, you are useless, you are worthless. Uh, in fact when I speak with animal rights groups I I know so many of them that they become burned out because it is discouraging.”
“And you you do have a lot of of defeats and and you are, uh, so, uh, discouraged sometimes. You think, ‘oh’… and and and it would be easy to just give it up, and some people do, not a lot but some people do. And I urge… do not become discouraged.”
To be continued: Timeless Interview: Bob Barker, A Lifelong Friend of Elephants, Shares His Message of Compassion For Animals & His Commitment to Helping Them: Part 3
Transcribed and Bob Barker images from Creative Commons Video “Bob Barker on Zoo Elephants and the Roots of His Animal Activism” by The Fifth Estate (1)
Images: by cc wikimedia, Lucy the elephant Edmonton Valley Zoo yard 1 (2) & Lucy the elephant Edmonton Valley Zoo yard 2 (3)
(1) cc video “Bob Barker on Zoo Elephants and the Roots of His Animal Activism” by The Fifth Estate https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=jSIfGO3y3NI
(2) by cc wikimedia, Lucy the elephant Edmonton Valley Zoo yard 1 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lucy_the_Elephant_(41541958460).jpg
(3) by cc wikimedia, Lucy the elephant Edmonton Valley Zoo yard 2 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lucy_the_Elephant_(43350573551).jpg
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As an Edmontonian I am so disgusted with the issues concerning Lucy. Our city is NOT LISTENING & I feel they have no compassion for her well-being. Lucy needs a sanctuary to live out her golden years to enjoy roaming, rolling in the soil & drinking water when she pleases. I have no words to describe my frustration & anger with Edmonton zoo people & city council.Cash is all that they are concerned with…Poor Lucy deserves to be around humans that truly love her & will take care of her with compassion at a sanctuary in Tennessee…my partner & I have joined LEAP in their protests the past years. We need a MIRACLE!!!
Yes, it is all about the money, unfortunately. Thank you for speaking out for our Lucy. Praying for that miracle to happen for Lucy’s sake.