If my name and emaiull is in form , delete and add your own . Thanks barb
Thank you for your e-mail regarding Lucy. I recognize that you may hold different views regarding the holding of animals in captivity and the care they are provided however the City of Edmonton has committed to providing Lucy and all of the other animals at our zoo with the best care they would receive anywhere. The zoo meets all applicable regulatory and legislative standards and strives to exceed them.
Lucy is not just any elephant. She is an individual elephant with unique issues and needs – and she must be understood and treated as an individual animal. It’s important to separate <i>what’s best for elephants in general</i> and <i>what’s best for Lucy</i>. Lucy is rarely indoors, she is out and about all year long enjoying the whole zoo as her home. On her daily walks she pushes over trees and forages in the grass or snow. On the rare days she stays inside because of weather conditions, Lucy follows an exercise program designed by a veterinarian who specializes in animal rehabilitation. Lucy’s barn is spacious and warm with heated padded floor surfacing, areas of sand substrate and many opportunities for complexity and enrichment. Lucy is what is known by those who work extensively with elephants as a “people” elephant. Her herd is her zoo family – the keepers and trainers that spend their days with her, ensuring she leads a full and rich life.
At 38, Lucy’s health is stable and she has a fulfilling, comfortable life. However, she has a particularly complicated and unique medical issue; Elephants usually breathe through their trunks, Lucy breathes through her mouth due to a blockage. Under stress, or during other times of increased need for oxygen, Lucy’s ability to breathe is stretched almost beyond her capacity. It is imperative for her to avoid any unnecessary or excessive stress.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo makes decisions in the best interest of Lucy. Any rhetoric that implies the zoo’s veterinarian or any other veterinarian hired by the zoo is doing less than his or her professional standards and ethics require is irresponsible, unfounded and unacceptable. The Edmonton Valley Zoo regularly consults with experts to ensure Lucy receives excellent care. Experts are selected based on their experience with elephants in captivity or the specific health challenges facing Lucy. The Edmonton Valley Zoo Veterinarian has consulted with experts at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., the Wildlife Conservation Society of New York (Bronx Zoo), Toronto Zoo, Calgary Zoo, El Paso Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo and Greater Vancouver Zoo, University of Calgary Veterinary School, Western College of Veterinary Medicine and others. Lucy has a particularly complicated and unique medical issue that must be acknowledged and responsibly managed. We will not put Lucy through the stressful and dangerous procedures that are required for a thorough understanding of her case unless the procedures are deemed necessary. Given the inherent risks we will not endanger her life to conduct a procedure that will simply tell us that we already know.
After an extensive examination of Lucy, a third-party elephant specialist confirmed that it would be life-threatening for Lucy to be placed under the kind of stress that would be caused by a move and that it would be unethical for any veterinarian to recommend moving her given her breathing challenge.
The City of Edmonton will not put Lucy at risk.
While the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s long-term plan is to not house elephants, the City of Edmonton will continue to make decisions in the best interest of Lucy based on her particular and individual needs. You can learn more about Lucy by going to <span style=”text-decoration:underline;”><a href=”http://www.edmonton.ca/Lucy” target=”_blank”>www.edmonton.ca/Lucy</a></span>.
from the zoo, her name is gone.
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