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Born in 1975, Lucy is an Asian elephant who has lived in the sub-artic conditions of Canada for over 40 years. She has never been with another Asian elephant and her only companion was taken away in 2006. Edmonton Valley Zoo's limited operating times means even the company of humans is few and far between.

She is 1000 lbs overweight and suffers from significant arthritis and foot disease. She has difficulty bearing weight on her back legs and, due to an inappropriate diet, suffers dental issues and painful colic issues which have caused her to collapse - seen lying down, slapping her stomach with her trunk. With no place to swim, no mud in which to wallow or trees to scratch against, Free The Wild aims to work with Edmonton Valley Zoo to find an amicable solution in securing her release. Despite being 45 years old, Lucy has another 15-20 years left of her life.

UPDATE: 4 MAR 2021

Recently, Free the Wild sent a letter from our co-founder Cher to Mayor Don Iveson and the Director or Edmonton Valley Zoo, Gary Dewar. We offered to send an independent elephant expert vet to examine Lucy and determine the genuine status of her health.  After some subsequent correspondence between FTW’s co-founder Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne and the Zoo Director, we were notified that our expert vet’s credentials will be considered to jointly assess Lucy’s condition at her next evaluation. 


In the meantime, we’ve had correspondence from the Jane Goodall Institute’s Canada Board Member and VET, Dr. Rick Quinn, about JGI’s findings with regard to Lucy’s health. We have been given permission by Dr. Quinn to publish the letter with their recent findings which are, in our opinion, scientific and fair. However, Free the Wild have notified the zoo that our offer of assistance to send and fund an independent, elephant expert veterinarian stands.

We will keep our supporters updated on progress.

UPDATE: 12 MAY 2021


It’s been almost 5 months since Free The Wild offered Edmonton Zoo and the City Council of Edmonton,  the service of an elephant expert veterinarian to do a fair and independent assessment of Lucy, the elephant.  We have had ongoing correspondence with Mr. Gary Dewar (Director at Edmonton Zoo) along with the Mayor of Edmonton, Mr. Don Iveson and the Edmonton City Council, requesting permission and the right to send such experts to the zoo.  Repeatedly, we have been advised by Mr. Dewar that Lucy’s annual assessment is not due.  Yesterday, Mr. Dewar advised again that her assessment will only be scheduled for the autumn, once travel restrictions have been lifted.

We understand that May 18th marks Lucy’s 44th year in captivity at Edmonton Zoo and we have again, yesterday, repeated that our offer of an independent and free assessment of the elephant stands. We understand from Mr. Dewar that Free the Wild may or may not be granted permission though, as he said; “Free The Wild's generous offer to provide an independent expert is being considered for the review as are offers from specialized veterinarians from elephant sanctuaries.”

Previously, Mr. Dewar stated;
“Our team will review the vet’s [FTW’s Veterinarian] credentials to determine if he warrants consideration to be among the experts we will call upon to perform her [Lucy] next evaluation.”

Free the Wild is very keen to see that Lucy gets a fair and unbiased assessment by one of the world’s leading elephant expert veterinarians, not linked to the Zoo or any particular sanctuary, at which stage serious decisions can be made as to whether she will be fit for relocation to an appropriate sanctuary, where she can be cared for properly, live in healthier weather conditions and live out her life in comfort and peace.
Thank you for your support.

Team Free the Wild.