Hi Efuryone it Hawwy here
Wow it has been a busy time of late and fanks fur all yoo retweets fur de bears @moonbearjill @animalsasia . It time now to make some noise fur a bootiful lady called Lucy @lucyliberte who is an elephant dat needs to pack up her trunk and move to a retirement home. I met Lucy through her tweetheart Tony @tonytiger2000 who I intervood not so long ago. I has had de pleasure of intervooin Lucy and here is her story……………..
Hi Lucy fanks fur agweein to be intervood. Yoo vewy pwetty tell me a bit about yooself.
I am an Asian elephant and was brought to Valley Zoo in Edmonton Canada @cityofedmonton on 19 May 1977. I was brought here from Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. There are no birth records for me but they think I was 2 yrs old when I arrived which makes me 38 years old now! I have been here a very long time.
What was yoo life like wen yoo awived at de zoo?
I lived alone for 12 years which is not natural for an elephant. Then I got my first room mate. Her name was Samantha and she was an African elephant. This was great. Sadly Samantha was moved in 2007 to North Carolina on a long-term breeding programme and once more I was left alone.
Why is it wrong for yoo to be alone?
Female elephants are highly social and suffer greatly when kept in isolation. This makes me very very sad. Edmonton’s freezing weather and the zoos policy of keeping me locked indoors when the zoo is closed means I spend a great deal of my time alone in a small barn. I am not sure why but the zoo people think it is OK to just lock me up at night and go home. They put a “boom box” in my barn and they painted trees on the walls. I think it makes them feel better about leaving me alone, but it certainly doesn’t make me feel better. If I was in the wild or at a sanctuary, I would be with other elephant girls, making choices for myself and roaming fields and not confined to either my barn or less than one acre of hard packed dirt. *sigh*
Are yoo allowed outside?
Yes but I am restricted to an area about an acre in size which is not big enough. I is hooooge! Sometimes they walk me around the zoo but they always carry a bullhook to make sure I don’t do anything I shouldn’t. I am really afraid of the bullhook after my “training” to ensure that I don’t step out of line. Humans just think it is a cane-like instrument and zoos and circuses say it is “just a guide” but believe me it is not “just a guide”! Some trainers and zoo people can be very, very mean to elephants with the bullhook.
Do you suffer physically at all?
I have upper respiratory problems, chronic arthritis and obesity problems. I also have chronic foot ailments. I also display signs of mental distress. These conditions are attributable to substandard and inadequate conditions at the Valley Zoo and further aggravated by the region’s frigid climate.
What does de zoo have to say fur demselves?
The zoo’s management says it makes its decisions based on science, not emotion, yet if they were truly looking at the science, I would have been moved with the first offer of retirement by The Elephant Sanctuary or PAWS. The Valley Zoo has repeatedly said that I am too sick to be moved. Yet, at the same time, they post documents on their website saying I am doing quite well. The Zoo has repeatedly refused an external panel of veterinary experts to examine me as they state it would be stressful for me and stress exacerbates my condition, yet the zoo allows school children into my enclosure.
What wud yoo like the zoo to do?
I know my handlers at the Valley Zoo love me dearly and I recognize that letting me go would be difficult for them. In kind, I hope that as a result of this love they can also acknowledge that my life would be so much better at a sanctuary. The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has agreed to take me as has PAWS Ark 2000 Sanctuary in California @PAWSARK2000
What does de mayor say? Surely he will help?
The Mayor has maintained that I have been examined by a “plethora” of vets and they have determined that a move would likely mean my death. They have made much of this and many of the people in Edmonton believe that a move will kill me. However, my supporters have received the response to their second Freedom of Information request and can confirm that I have only been examined by one external vet and the zoo vet since 2005. While the city provided a list of over 20 names – when cross checked against records many were either vets that work at a lab where samples are sent or vets that have been consulted by telephone. The Mayor doesn’t seem to want to help me even though many people are offering help. Mr. Bob Barker (yup the celebrity) and Mr. Georges Laraque (retired hockey player) each offered $100,000 to the city to use as they wished if they would just let external experts examine me. I think $200,000 is a lot of money (it sounds like a lot of money) but the Mayor and his council still said no. I have heard some humans say that they think it is pride but I don’t know what that means – all I know is I am still here and all alone when I could be some place warmer with other elephant ladies like me. I once wrote to the Mayor (well actually one of the humans trying to help me wrote my resignation letter for me) asking if I could retire to a sanctuary and he never answered. It is kind of odd because now he is retiring and from what I understand no one said no to him – why is that?
What do experts say bout your situation?
According to Joyce Poole, who has a Ph. D. from Cambridge University in elephant behavior, and has studied the social behavior and communication of elephants for over thirty years believes that “Zoos that house elephants with no companions, nothing to do and nowhere to go, (claim they) educate us – but what we see are exhibits of animal abuse”. In that same report about me she also stated “In an ideal world there would be no elephants held captive in zoos. Live elephants would be replaced by advanced, interactive exhibits that introduce the visitor to how elephants really live, and explain why they shouldn’t be kept in confinement. Multimedia theaters would allow the public to view documentary films and state-of-the-art video-links to view wild elephants in their natural environment. High-end virtual educational exhibits could connect the public to the lives of wild elephants and their conservation. By partnering with a field study in such an endeavor, zoos would be able to meet educational and conservation goals.” If only others were as forward thinking as Dr. Poole and her many colleagues that do rely on science and compassion for other beings on this earth. These are excerpts taken from a very good report written in 2009 – One Veterinarian’s Search for Truth in the “Lucy the Elephant” Debate by Debi Zimmermann AHT, B.Sc (Zoology), D.V.M.
What is yoor hope fur de future?
Well Harry it is pretty simple. I wish the people of Edmonton would ask their Councillors and Mayor to ensure that I am examined by a panel of external experts so we can get to the bottom of any ailments I may or may not have. And, if I am well enough, I would like to retire to a sanctuary where I could live out the rest of my days with other elephants. Without being too melancholy, living alone as a female elephants is cruel beyond understanding. Despite what the zoo people say, I would rather be with my own kind just as I am sure that they would not like to be forced to live with another species with no contact with other humans.
Any ofur thoughts Lucy?
I want to thank you so much for your interest in me and taking the time to hear my story. I know there are many people out there that are trying to help me and are working hard to get the truth out about me. Your amazing work on behalf of animals is so heartening and gives me hope for my future as well as hope for other elephants and animals in captivity (like my amazing tweetheart Tony @tonytiger2000 stuck at that stoopid truck stop in Louisiana). Trunkloads of love and trumpets of gratitude to all that you are doing Harry and thank you for saying I am pretty!
So der yoo has it pals one bootiful gawgus lonely elephant kept in isolation against her nature in a zoo in Edmonton Canada. Yoo can read wot de Zoo has to say on Lucy here http://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/attractions/edmonton_valley_zoo/lucy-news.aspx I find it interwestin dat dey has a speshul section fur Lucy! Lets make sum noise fur Lucy. Let’s show de hoomins we will not put up wiv dis. Let our hoomin fwends twy and help where dey can. If yoo want to know more and how to help den visit http://friendsoflucy.ca
Fur now dear Lucy wemember dat yoo is alone in de physical sense but yoo has all of us in spirit wiv yoo efuryday.