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After a Year, Free the Wild Finally Updates About Lucy

February 28, 2024

You can read it HERE


Lucy the elephant's health improving but travel from Edmonton would be fatal,

zoo says

December 13, 2023

You can read it HERE!

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Lucy the elephant's health improves, still endures medical challenges and shouldn't travel: report

December 13, 2023

You can read it HERE!

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Edmonton's Lucy the elephant's health improving despite ongoing issues: report

December 13, 2023

You can read it HERE!


Controversy over Edmonton Valley Zoo enclosures prompts demand for fraud investigation

May 21, 2023

You can read it HERE!

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Lucy Should Be Moved to Sanctuary, Says Expert on Assessment Panel

March 28, 2023

You can read it HERE!


'Zoo staff is extraordinary:' Lucy the elephant at 47 not fit for relocation from Edmonton, concludes review

March 21, 2023

You can read it HERE!

“I’ve travelled the world and I’ve been to many zoos and sanctuaries and circuses across the globe. What I’ve seen here in terms of commitment from the zoo staff is extraordinary. It’s definitely a very good baseline from which any zoo should look to (to care for) their animals,” Sagan Cowne, trustee and director of communications for Free the Wild, said in the news release.


Edmonton Valley Zoo investigated by

Canadian zoo regulator over Animal

Justice complaint

February 10, 2023

You can read it HERE!


Edmonton Valley Zoo expansion

defunded by half in council budget


December 9, 2022

You can read it HERE!

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Roger Jevne - EVZ Spokesman


City's animal care, including Edmonton's zoo, should face audit: Coun. Rutherford

December 6, 2022

You can read it HERE!


Erin Rutherford - Edmonton City Councillor


Edmonton Valley Zoo's Lucy the elephant is 47. What happens when she dies?

November  6, 2022

You can read it HERE!


Director says Edmonton Valley Zoo isn't facing imminent closure despite signing off on alarming $10.9 million request for urgent repairs

November  2, 2022

You can read it HERE!


Gary Dewar - Director EVZ


Edmonton Valley Zoo could be shut down, lose accreditation without repairs: city budget

November  2, 2022

You can read it HERE!


Ricky Gervais and Moby Call for Elephants to be Released From Zoos and Sent to Sanctuaries

April 1, 2022

One Green Planet Article  You can read it HERE!

Ricky Gervais

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Edmonton zoo working to create pool for Lucy amid renewed calls to move her to a sanctuary

March 30, 2022

CTV Edmonton Article  You can read it HERE!


Wading pool for Lucy planned, Edmonton zoo named worst for elephants on continent a third time

March 30, 2022

You can read it HERE!

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Edmonton Valley Zoo sits in #1 position as IDA's 2021 Worst Zoos for Elephants

March 29, 2022

From IDA: In choosing the 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants in North America for 2021, we focused on those that are considered the best by industry standards. Accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), and the Canadian equivalent (CAZA), is the gold standard for zoos. Yet this gold standard overwhelmingly fails to provide “the highest quality of elephant management and care” claimed by the AZA. Instead of “excellent overall elephant well being,” our review uncovers a catalog of elephant suffering and even markers of captivity-caused brain damage at AZA and CAZA institutions. You can read the full article HERE!


Edmonton Valley Zoo


Edmonton Valley Zoo approved for $50.3-million in renovations to winterize habitats, excluding Lucy the elephant

March 21, 2022

President and co-founder of LEAP, Mary-Ann Holm is asked by the Edmonton Journal what she thinks about Lucy being excluded from any improvements.

You can read it HERE!

APRIL 17, 2021


Below are quotes taken from Lucy's most recent veterinary consultation reports and from our FOIP requests of her records. We think these speak for themselves and clearly indicate why Lucy needs to be assessed by a qualified elephant expert not affiliated with the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Lucy has not been officially examined since the fall of 2019.

Zoo Director Gary Dewar has stated he is considering our request to bring in Dr. Lydia Young from The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and is also considering Free the Wild's request to bring in an independent elephant expert to examine Lucy. Let's hope he does the right thing for Lucy and soon.

#RetireLucy #CaptivityKills #LeapForLucy #FreeTheWild #yegzoo #yegcc #Cher

Please click on the gallery below to expand and read each photo

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

We are pleased to announce our latest initiative for Lucy. We have spent the last several months reaching out to various conservationists, celebrities, sanctuaries and animal welfare groups to ask for their support in co-signing a letter to zoo and City officials. It was challenging to contact many organizations as many have had their offices closed during the pandemic. However, we are extremely pleased to have this amazing coalition of respected individuals and organizations behind us and we are grateful for their support. The thank you meme below lists this impressive group of supporters. The letter that they agreed to sign is below.

We sent out a media release this morning to local and Canadian media outlets; we hope with this effort, we will garner some media attention for Lucy.




Edmonton Valley Zoo comes #7 on In Defense of Animals 2019 Top 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants List

January 23, 2020

The Edmonton Valley Zoo has refused to rehome its ailing Asian elephant, Lucy, for many years. She could now be doomed to die in her freezing prison. Lucy is held in solitary confinement and is forced to endure frigid Canadian winters, where temperatures regularly range between 14F (-10C) and -31F (-35C). During winter, she is mainly confined to a small barn, except for brief exercise periods when she's walked across snow and ice to another indoor exercise area–but even then, she's under the constant threat of bullhooks.

Lucy's health has declined seriously over the years of living in Edmonton, and has recently taken a turn for the worse. She is on a cocktail of anti-inflammatories and opioids to manage her pain, and has been since 2016. These medications commonly cause serious stomach problems, which Lucy is now experiencing. These drugs have caused her to fall over in the past year... but without them, she would be unable to stand due to arthritic pain. Lucy's health is in a downward spiral, which will probably lead to her untimely death.

For years, local activists have been lobbying for Lucy to be released to a sanctuary, but the Edmonton Valley Zoo has repeatedly refused. The Zoo has claimed that Lucy is too sick to be moved, but remains apparently uninterested in improving Lucy's situation. In 2016, ZooCheck and Voice for Animals filed a lawsuit on Lucy's behalf. Unfortunately, the City of Edmonton (which owns and operates the Zoo) successfully argued that provincial animal welfare laws governing zoos are unenforceable. This shocking ruling has set a dangerous precedent that responsible agencies cannot act to protect animals, correct violations, or even confirm that zoos are in compliance before granting permits. Numerous animals, in addition to Lucy, will be harmed by the precedent.

After years of stalling her release to a sanctuary, the Edmonton Valley Zoo might finally see Lucy die in its prison. Hopefully Lucy will serve as a reminder of the suffering caused by zoos that exploit elephants for profit and ignore the pleas of advocates fighting to do what's truly in the best interest of these magnificent animals.


The Edmonton Valley Zoo abuses sick and lonely Lucy
Credit: Lucy's Edmonton Advocates' Project


Supreme Court dismisses case involving ailing elephant in Edmonton zoo

December 19, 2019

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear a case involving a 44-year-old ailing elephant, dashing the hopes of animal activists and likely confining her to the Edmonton Valley Zoo for the rest of her days. You can read it HERE!


Elise Stolte: Lonely Lucy now on daily pain meds.

But elephant impasse might also be cracking

June 26, 2019

But of course, nothing with the Lucy story is ever simple. You can read it HERE!

Advocates for Lucy the elephant fail to convince courts to review her confinement conditions at Edmonton Zoo

MAY 28, 2019

For years, activists have been trying to get Lucy, the lone elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, relocated to warmer climes, claiming she’s unwell and lonely — but the latest legal effort by animal rights groups to force the courts to review the conditions of her confinement has failed. Read more HERE


Opinion: Let expert panel decide Lucy the elephant's fate

September 5, 2018

President and co-founder of LEAP, Mary-Ann Holm, had her Op-Ed piece published in

the Edmonton JournalThank you to Judy Malone for her assistance!

You can read it HERE!

LEAP interviewed by the Dodo!

August 10, 2018

President and co-founder of LEAP, Mary-Ann Holm, was interviewed by The Dodo for World Elephant Day to bring the focus in on Lucy and her captivity at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.  This publication brought a huge influx of members onto our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter and much needed worldwide attention to Lucy's plight!  You can read it HERE!

Dishonorable Mention - Repeat Offender

Edmonton Valley Zoo, Alberta, Canada 

Between a Stone-Cold Rock and a Hard Place

10 Worst Zoos for Elephants 2017 (click here)

If there's one entry on our list that just won't go away, it's Edmonton Valley Zoo. Here, poor Lucy, an Asian elephant, lives a lonely life of solitary confinement in a bone-chilling prison in one of the coldest cities in Canada. Lucy still suffers from health problems, which most - if not all - could be ameliorated with transfer to a warm-weather elephant sanctuary.

In 2016, Zoocheck and Voice For Animals launched a legal challenge to the issuance of the Edmonton Valley Zoo's annual provincial zoo permit requiring that the zoo comply with Alberta Zoo Standards. The action was aimed at achieving compliance with regional Zoo Standards, thereby resulting in the relief of Lucy's distress, ensuring a safer environment for her, as well as for visitors to the zoo.

Sadly, lawyers representing the Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton argued that the animal welfare section of the Zoo Standards has no effect in law and is therefore unenforceable. And the presiding judge said that Alberta's Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry, and Environment and Parks, are not responsible for ensuring that the zoo is in compliance with the standards before issuing the annual zoo permit. Zoocheck and Voice for Animals are currently appealing that decision. In the meantime, Lucy's fate hangs in the balance while there appears to be no accountability for her welfare. Will someone in charge please stand up?!

BREAKING NEWS on court case for Lucy

MAY 4, 2017 via ZOOCHECK

After several months of delays, we now have a date for the judicial review of the decision to give the Valley Zoo a permit because they continue to violate the Alberta Zoo Standards in regards to Lucy. December 8th 2017 we will finally get before a judge on the issue.

Lucy the Elephant LEAP

Lucy struggles to not slip on the snow December 2016

Photo Credit: Mary-Ann Holm

The DODO IMPACT posts new video of Lucy

MARCH 26, 2017 LEAP

The Dodo and the Dodo Impact have run a few stories about Lucy over the years.  This one struck a lot of our followers nerves as we certainly heard from you about it!  It's important to be accurate though, so please note, the image of Lucy 'swaying' is not Lucy (I believe it is actually Chai before she was moved from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle).  While Lucy has been filmed showing signs of zoochosis, this particular image is NOT her.

View video by clicking here.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo makes the list yet again—10 Worst Zoos for Elephants 2016

January 16, 2017 LEAP

We are not surprised.

Read the list here:

10 Worst Zoos for Elephants 2016

Our civic politicians continue to have no regard for Lucy’s suffering and do nothing to change or improve her situation.

Here’s what they had to say about Lucy’s conditions:

“Lucy is a 41-year old Asian elephant who has spent the last 39 years living in one of the coldest cities in Canada. She is the most northern elephant in the world, and she has the arthritis, dental disease, and respiratory problems to prove it.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo continues to be non-compliant with Alberta’s Zoo Standards, yet the zoo’s permit was reissued this year by the Alberta government.

One of the many standards established by the Province requires that animals, “must be maintained in numbers sufficient to meet their social and behavioral needs,” yet Lucy remains alone with no elephant companions, in a barren, antiquated, and inadequate exhibit. Science has unequivocally demonstrated the devastating impacts from lack of same species companionship for such a highly intelligent and social animal. However, Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums continues to grant the Zoo a variance that allows it to keep a solitary elephant, and the government is failing to enforce standards that should be protecting her welfare.

Lucy remains, literally, between a rock and a cold, hard place. Winter temperatures in Edmonton are regularly sub zero, and this year dropped to -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Canada is no place for an elephant evolved for a tropical climate.

Lucy’s most essential needs as an elephant continue to be brazenly disregarded by her captors who insist on keeping her in their frozen prison as their main “attraction.” Traveling to and from her lonely barn, for short walks on frozen winter ground with her bullhook-toting zookeeper, Lucy lives a tragic existence for an elephant evolved to live in multi-generational herds and tropical weather.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Edmonton Valley Zoo has been featured on our list, and seven times too many for such egregious violations of elephant welfare.”

Animal rights group says Edmonton Valley Zoo one of the worst in the world for elephants

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Edmonton Valley Zoo turns down donated coat for Lucy

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