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Lucy's Edmonton Advocates Project logo

Lucy's Edmonton Advocates' Project (LEAP) mandate is increasing the activity and involvement of Lucy's supporters who live in the greater Edmonton area and her supporters around the world!

She has been at the Edmonton Valley Zoo for 46 years and turns 48 this year.  This is an ominous milestone as zoo elephants rarely survive to their mid forties. Lucy suffers from a number of zoo induced ailments which will shorten her life expectancy. She has no other elephant companions, which is considered cruel by elephant experts due to their highly complex social needs. The harsh Edmonton climate is detrimental to her health and painful for her ongoing arthritis and foot disease. Lucy lives in a tiny concrete cell and is only allowed outdoors for short controlled walks, weather permitting which means many days she never gets out at all.

Lucy’s Edmonton Advocate’s Project (LEAP) are embarking on a campaign to educate the citizens of Edmonton as to why this elephant must be moved to a more suitable climate in the company of other Asian elephants. Our main message is that Lucy needs to be assessed by an independent team of experts to ensure her current health problems are optimized and to determine if she can be safely moved to a more suitable facility.

You can email us at:

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LEAP was honoured to welcome world renowned elephant expert
Lek Chailert to Edmonton for a screening of her new documentary
"Elephant Mother" and for a LEAP fundraising dinner. Lek was here
October 16-20, 2023. Please see our
2023 Events tab for more info.

Metro Cinema
Lek premiered her movie "Elephant Mother" for LEAP members
LEAP & Lek
Lek was interviewed on CTV Edmonton
Fundraising dinner at Padmanadi's
Mary-Ann & Lek



Thanks to our supporters donations, there is a new billboard up in Edmonton

(Whyte Avenue (travelling East) between 106 & 107 Avenues)

Please call the City of Edmonton at 311 and tell

them to #RetireLucy 

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Thanks to our supporters donations, there is a new billboard up in Edmonton

(163rd Street and Mayfield Road)

Please call the City of Edmonton at 311 and tell them to #RetireLucy 

An Important Message from Your Leap Admins:

We have received notice that Lucy’s medical assessments have been made public; we are seeing them at the same time as all of you.

As most of you are aware, these reports were compiled from consultants recommended by LEAP and Free the Wild. They assessed Lucy over a 3 day period in October 2022 to assess her current medical status and to determine if she could be safely transported to sanctuary.

While this statement from Free the Wild is not what we were hoping for, the important thing to remember is there is not unanimous agreement on what's best for Lucy. Consultant Trish London stated in her report "It is my opinion that it is possible to move Lucy and I do believe she should be moved for her health and welfare. The above listed health issues do not prevent her from being transported to a different, more appropriate environment. I witnessed no evidence of respiratory distress during any part of our exams and/or testing or walking around the zoo with her. Based on my observations of Lucy during the evaluation period, she is a very curious and calm elephant and I think she would be open to a new adventure, especially if her caretakers were excited and encouraging."

We do thank Free the Wild for helping to facilitate these much needed exams.

Please be assured that we are not giving up. There are expert opinions here that state she needs to retire to sanctuary. If it was unanimous we would take a different stance. We strongly believe Lucy should have the opportunity to move, and we will continue to fight. It is our opinion that stalling transport for more follow-up will be detrimental to Lucy's chances for successful transport; she has waited too long already.

2022 Health Assessments

Ingo Schmidinger's Clarification Statement May 10, 2023

Dr. Trish London, DVM

Ingo Schmidinger

Dr Frank Goeritz, DVM, PhD, & Thomas Hildebrandt, DVM

2022 Health Assessment Panel

Free The Wild

Press Release

AB Zoo Standard  & Animal Protection Act Violations


City of Edmonton - Ensure there is proper
oversight to address safety and animal
welfare concerns at the Edmonton Valley Zoo



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If you feel we have missed your organization or would like to join, please email us at




Edmonton Valley Zoo

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LEAP is happy to announce we are now a member of the Ecoflix NGO Partner Organization! Ecoflix is the first not-for-profit media group dedicated to saving animals and theplanet. Click HERE to go to their page!


This past fall we elected a new city council. We worked very hard to reach out to all candidates and we are hopeful that this preliminary work will pay off. In a fortunate turn of events, several sitting Councillors were unseated or stepped down. This paved the way for a majority of new faces on Council, several of whom expressed support for our efforts. A few didn't reply but that doesn't mean we can't get them on board; this is where our incredible members come in!

PART 1: We need your help with this email storm! We are rebooting the #PutLucyOnAgenda campaign. Please email all the people listed below which includes our Mayor and all twelve City Councillors. When should you do this? Now!

Part 2: This will include a tweetstorm and the kick off of our postcard campaign.

Part 3: will be attendance at Edmonton City Council public monthly meetings for sit-ins and the start of a new social media ad campaign. More to follow on Parts 2 and 3 later.

Scroll down for a sample email letter that you can use, feel free to use all or parts of this letter ; however, we encourage you to personalize this letter to make it “your own.” Just remember: the goal is to get Lucy on the agenda of a City Council public hearing so we can present her case. We have also provided some background information below to help you as well.

We recommend you send the letter separately to each individual on the contact list. In the subject line we suggest not using the name of Lucy or the Valley Zoo. Please cc all letters to us at so we can track numbers and share any responses you receive back.

Dear ___________________,

I join citizens of Edmonton in asking you to schedule a public discussion regarding the health and future welfare of Lucy. To date, the Edmonton Valley Zoo (EVZ) has refused to allow non-circus/zoo affiliated elephant experts to examine Lucy to determine if she can safely travel to sanctuary. This long-standing issue and the poor conditions that Lucy is forced to endure, continues to be a dark cloud over the City of Edmonton.

EVZ has been ranked among the very worst for elephants in N. America by very well-respected animal welfare organizations. Her plight has gained the attention of world-renowned elephant experts and conservationists who want to help her but have been denied. That should be very concerning to you as a civic politician.

As the newly elected council, we implore you to ensure transparency and accountability from the Valley Zoo surrounding decisions made for Lucy. We hope you will strive to ensure the zoo is a facility that will not only meet but exceed industry standards, and keep up to date with changing industry requirements.

Inexplicably, Lucy has received very little in the way of upgrades to her tiny barren enclosure over the years. After four decades she is still without a place to swim, even developing nations provide that minimum comfort to elephants in their care. It is essential that ailing elephants like Lucy have access to hydrotherapy.

Lucy suffers from a number of captivity-related conditions including painful arthritis, foot infections and she is 1000 lbs overweight which only aggravates the other problems. Lucy simply doesn’t have enough space nor does the climate in Edmonton allow for her to get the amount of exercise needed to maintain her physical health. She sways from loneliness and boredom displaying all the ominous signs of Zoochosis.

To be clear – we are not asking City Council to determine if Lucy is well enough to go to a sanctuary – we are simply asking City Council to allow advocates a chance to have a discussion publicly about Lucy with all the stakeholders and to ensure that Lucy finally gets an unbiased assessment by experts with no vested interest in the outcome. If Lucy is truly too unwell to travel to sanctuary, why not allow an expert assessment(s) to verify that claim? It hardly inspires confidence that the City of Edmonton and EVZ have declined offers for over a decade for Lucy to be examined by world renowned experts at no cost to the city or zoo.

Numerous captive elephants with health issues similar to Lucy have safely made the journey to sanctuary when necessary precautions are taken during transport. Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto all sent their elephants south, why not Edmonton? It is a fact that no elephant has ever died during transport to sanctuary in N. America and many of the elephants being successfully relocated worldwide are older and sicker than Lucy.

Free the Wild (FTW), co-founded by Cher, has made an offer to EVZ and the City of Edmonton to fund and coordinate a team of international experts to provide a thorough medical and behavioural assessment of Lucy. FTW has also offered to have their experts evaluate any potential receiving facilities to ensure they can meet Lucy’s needs. They recently coordinated the complex transfer of an ailing elephant in Pakistan in the height of the pandemic. The Pakistani government accepted their help, and an amazing and successful rescue was undertaken to ensure that this elephant was safely transported to his new sanctuary home in Cambodia.

I hope the newly elected City Council will ensure transparency on this issue going forward and will finally do right by this magnificent elephant who has served this city for over four decades. Lucy has earned her retirement to sanctuary. I believe Edmonton City Council should #PutLucyOnTheAgenda and if experts determine it’s in Lucy’s best interests, must let her go!




After the previous election, LEAP embarked on a multi-faceted campaign to compel Edmonton City Council to #PutLucyOnAgenda in an upcoming City Council public meeting. The goal was to engage council and zoo officials in a transparent discussion about Lucy’s future. This has never been done. Through the years, City Council has refused to publicly discuss options for Lucy's remaining years, The zoo continues to bring in only their biased industry chosen veterinarians and they have not been transparent about the evidence they claim makes it impossible to move Lucy to a warm climate sanctuary.

In 2019, LEAP requested that Lucy be examined by a sanctuary expert. We enlisted the support of a number of worldwide organizations who joined our coalition for Lucy to co-sign this request. Zoo director Gary Dewar recently stated that he has attempted to arrange a consultation from two sanctuary vets who he says are unable to come (please note that we have been unable to confirm that as of yet). What we do know is that the zoo declined the generous offer from Cher’s organization Free the Wild. We feel it would be prudent to have both a sanctuary vet and international experts assess Lucy.

Even though the zoo claims there is no other facility that can provide the care they give Lucy, the previous Zoo Director Lindsey Galloway admitted in 2019 to me personally that EVZ was having difficulty meeting Lucy’s increasing needs.

Should it be determined that Lucy can be safely relocated to a US sanctuary, funds for her transportation are available through our coalition partners and will not cost the zoo or city anything.

Edmonton City Council Contact Information

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi - or you can use this link to copy and paste the letter He has listed the link as the preferable way to contact him. We recommend you send to both.

Councillor Erin Rutherford -

Councillor Aaron Paquette -

Councillor Jennifer Rice -

Councillor Keren Tang -

Councillor Ashley Salvador -

Councillor Andrew Knack -

Councillor Anne Stevenson -

Councillor Michael Janz -

Councillor Tim Cartmell -

Councillor Sarah Hamilton -

Councillor Jo-Anne Wright -

Councillor Karen Principe -

Thank you for helping us help Lucy. Stay tuned for more about the #PutLucyOnAgenda campaign. If you are posting about Lucy, please use the hashtags #PutLucyOnAgenda and #SendLucyToCityHall.

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