On Jan 9th, 2021 LEAP advocates joined up with fellow advocates around the world to hold a candle light vigil for the 42 elephants that died in captivity in 2020. We had videos and photos sent in from around the world of their own private vigils. Unfortunately, due to Covid, there were fewer group vigils held this year than in the past.
Individual Vigil Photos Video
January 2 - LEAP supporter Maria Daines reached out to us to write a song for Lucy. We asked that this be dedicated to our incredibly hardworking President, Mary-Ann Holms. Please
follow Maria Daines
on her YOUTUBE
January 3 - LEAP recently reached out to fellow Canadian, Darrick Thomson from the Save Elephant Foundation and Elephant Nature Park to ask if he would record a video for us. Darrick has been involved in countless elephant rescues and has many years of firsthand experience with helping ailing, aging elephants to heal and recover at sanctuary. In this video Darrick discusses Lucy as well as some of their former rescues, including their most recent rescue, Kavaan, the formerly lone zoo elephant from Pakistan. Darrick is currently working at their project, the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary where he and his team are building Kaavan's new large outdoor enclosure and pool. We are so grateful that he took the time to do this for us. An elephant sized thank you to Darrick Thomson, Save Elephant Foundation, Gentle Giants Stay Home Project, and the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.
January 20 - From FREE THE WILD: While we continue our urgent work with the elephants in Karachi, we've initiated talks with Edmonton City Council and The Worshipful Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson in Lucy's interest.
Cher has reached out through a personal letter to the Mayor, requesting that he, Edmonton Council and the Edmonton Zoo allow Free The Wild veterinary access to Lucy as part of her annual medical check-up. From there, we'd also endeavour to provide any follow up treatments and potentially find Lucy a new home.
We hope that we can help Lucy and Lucy's Edmonton Advocates' Project (LEAP) to find an appropriate solution. Lucy's longterm health and happiness is on the horizon.
January 27 - Viewing Lucy as a granny that needs a proper place to retire. Chris Swanlund was an admin on LEAP that has experience working with elephants at a sanctuary in Cambodia. Please read and share her article HERE.
February 5 - LEAP has kicked off its 2021 election campaign for Lucy with a poll of Edmonton voters, and it shows a majority support moving Lucy to sanctuary.
The poll was conducted by Mainstreet, recognized as a top public opinion and market research firm and used often to gauge municipal issues in Alberta. Its CEO said in his release today that considering the degree of support maybe Lucy should run for Mayor herself!
A full two-thirds of Edmonton voters (66.7%) who expressed an opinion would like her to be moved if she can be moved safely. Considering she is neither top of mind nor a key municipal issue, this was a strong result. Just 2 in 10 people had no opinion, indicating support for Lucy's relocation will have a significant impact on voting.
Almost twice as many people surveyed said they would be much more likely to vote for someone who supported moving Lucy. The opinion was shared across gender and age groups. The poll shows the race for Mayor with no incumbent is wide open with 62% saying they are undecided.
The respondents had mixed feelings about whether the expense of keeping an aging, ailing elephant is good use of taxpayer dollars, but half of those who said it was also supported a move to sanctuary.
Three of the 12 Edmonton council races in 2017 were decided by a smaller margin than this so being on the wrong side of public opinion might cause a candidate to win or lose in their
ward in a quarter of the council seats. LEAP will be sharing the results of this poll with local media and with candidates in the weeks ahead. There is only one way to find out if Lucy can be moved and LEAP will be reminding them that the City and Zoo continue to resist the call for independent expert evaluation.
FEBRUARY 17 - Jane Goodall now retracts plea to have Lucy sent to sanctuary. This is now the 3rd time in recent history that Dr. Goodall has supported zoo elephants being moved to sanctuary, and then quickly retracted her original statement and said they are fine at the zoo. She also did this to the Toronto Zoo elephants (that were eventually moved to PAWS Sanctuary in California) and to the Seattle Zoo Elephants (who were eventually moved to another zoo) Read the Edmonton Journal article HERE
MARCH 8 - LEAP President Mary-Ann Holm is recognized on International Women’s Day and being honoured for her role in advocating not just for Lucy but for many captive animals. Bravo Mary-Ann! Well done and well deserved #RetireLucy See her video HERE
MARCH 9 - From Our Dear Friend and Supporter Kathleen Johnson
Dear Lucy and LEAP supporters... please stay strong. Keep the faith that Lucy will be helped. Many are struggling with other pain and worries in their life right now too. Please know you are loved and cared for. Thank you for all you do. If you need to rest, please rest. To all, don’t give up. While Lucy is still with us, we won’t give up. With reason, integrity, professionalism, determination, we will keep speaking for Lucy. Thank you all.
She bought a very special cake for Sook Sai at Elephant Nature Park through our good friends at Gentle Giants Stay Home Project
From all of the admins and supporters of LEAP, Thank You!
MARCH 12 - ONE GREEN PLANET cover the story of Cher and Free The Wild coming on board to #TEAMLUCY Read their coverage HERE
MARCH 26 - A HUGE shout out to our friends in Sri Lanka (birth place of Lucy) who are held a rally at the Canadian High Commission in Colombo on March 26th. As we’ve mentioned before, LEAP works in solidarity with many advocacy groups around the world. They help us, and in turn, we help them. Please take a moment to thank our friends at Rally For Animal Rights & Environment- RARE who hosted this event specifically for Lucy!
APRIL 1 - LEAP President Mary-Ann Holm and Anika Sleem from Free The Wild guest on Debbie Dahmer's "Animal Advocates Radio" show to talk about Cher and Free The Wild's involvement with LEAP and their fight to get talk to the Edmonton Valley Zoo to get Lucy to a sanctuary. You can listen to the recording of that program HERE
MAY 13 - Our LEAP supporter Sandra Dames visits the zoo and takes these photos and video of Lucy. These are the first photos since Covid Lockdown in March 2020.
MAY 19 - One of our dear LEAP supporters makes this very touching video on the 44th anniversary of Lucy starting her captivity at the Edmonton valley Zoo.
AUGUST 14 - Two of our page admins, Laura and LJ Wocky went to the Zoo and got to see Lucy
AUGUST 15 - Rally at the Edmonton Valley Zoo
AUGUST 16 - Free The Wild releases a statement in response to comments the Edmonton Valley Zoo that directly contridicts what the Zoo has been telling people asking questions to the zoo on their Facebook page
SEPTEMBER - We asked our supporters to send in photos of themselves in the LEAP t-shirts showing their support of both Lucy and LEAP and to let the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Valley Zoo know that there is support from all corners of the globe behind Lucy (and LEAP) to have a third party evaluation done and eventually retirement to a sanctuary. We thank everyone who sent in their photos!