News / Edmonton

Animal rights group files court case over Lucy the elephant

Group pushes to have higher standards.

Zoocheck is critical of the Valley Zoo's policy of walking Lucy around the grounds.

Metro File

Zoocheck is critical of the Valley Zoo's policy of walking Lucy around the grounds.

An animal welfare organization has filed for an order to force Edmonton's Valley Zoo to either drastically improve Lucy the elephant’s care or move her to a sanctuary.

Julie Woodyer, a spokesperson for Toronto-based Zoocheck, which joined with local group Voice for Animals to file the application last week, said the Alberta government is not enforcing standards for zoos when it comes to Lucy’s care.

“This is not an application to move Lucy. This is an application to have the zoo come in compliance with the zoo standards,” she said.

Woodyer said Lucy’s enclosure is too small and doesn’t give her adequate privacy. She also said the zoo’s policy of walking her around the facility is not good for Lucy and is not safe for the public.

“Here you have an elephant that has been walked through the zoo in close proximity to the public,” she said.

The Valley Zoo has consistently said that 41-year-old Lucy can’t be moved to another facility because of her health, but Woodyer said she believes that’s about mindset.

“Sanctuaries are much better at moving animals than zoos and part of that is because they invest more money in that."

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