Wild animals should be left living a free life in their natural habitat and not in a concrete cage. However, there are still so many animals that are trapped by humans and most of them are not happy with their situation but really have no choice. One of them is an elephant zoo who is spending her time trapped in a box even during the cold months.
Lucy the elephant lives in a zoo in Edmonton, Canada. During the cold months, she would spend her time in a barren box and many people are considering this as their unnatural lifestyle and a cruel punishment. This will not only affect them physically but also emotionally. We expect to find elephants in the tropical areas, roaming around the forests and the grasslands, playing along with the rivers, but Lucy does not have that luxury in life. She is always locked up alone and inside her cage. Her only entertainment is a swinging tire that serves as her toy.
No mud baths, and definitely no interaction with other elephants. She just sits and stares at strangers who passes back and forth in front of her outside her cold glass enclosure. Canada is not the best place for animals like Lucy because of their long cold months. When the weather is good, Lucy doesn’t have the time to enjoy it because she is the main attraction of the zoo. This means that she is taken on short walks along the hot paved pathways and have to endure the heat.
Mary-Anne Homes is the Lucy Edmonton Advocate’s Project (LEAP) co-founder. She describes Lucy’s lonely experience where the poor creature would spend days in her glass cage where the walls are paintings with artificial trees. The only live trees that she has access to are the ones behind the electrical fencing which is out of reach even for her. LEAP has been fighting for Lucy’s right to a healthy and a more natural life since 2015 but they failed. Their efforts to free Lucy have been ignored but they are never giving up!
Lucy was captured from Sri Lanka in 1977 when she was just a calf. For 11 years, Lucy had no friends. She was just a baby when she was bought by the Canadian zoo. She now has health issues and according to Homes, Lucy is suffering from chronic arthritis, obesity, foot disease, respiratory conditions, and anxiety. This is why there is no good excuse not to send Lucy to a sanctuary where she will be taken cared of and where she can roam freely for miles and interact with other elephants in a more natural environment.
Relocating her to the sanctuary would be a matter of re-educating the public since not many people do not understand why Lucy needs to be there. LEAP is aiming to take on the re-education through classes, demonstrations, and also seminars that would be open to the public. They are hoping that by gaining the support of the local people, Lucy would be given a second chance in life.
Lucy is now 43 years old and she is considered “getting old” by the zoo standards but if she gets released to the sanctuary, she can live up to her 70s! LEAP has been watching how Lucy’s health is declining but they will not stop fighting for her to be relocated as soon as possible.