Myth: Lucy was taken from the wild and has always been isolated
Fact: Lucy was orphaned in Sri Lanka and was brought to the Edmonton Valley Zoo via the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage and Colombo Zoo. She is what is often called a “people elephant”, and her herd is her zoo family – the keepers and trainers who spend their days with Lucy. It is very special to witness the affection Lucy has for her caregivers. Lucy has had opportunities to socialize with both Asian and African elephants in the past, but these interactions demonstrated her lack of understanding of elephant dynamics; she simply did not do well in these situations. You can view our latest videos about Lucy's socialization and enrichment for additional information.
Myth: She is kept indoors and has little space to roam and is chained
Fact: Lucy is rarely indoors and is often found enjoying the outdoors year-round. On the rare days she stays inside due to weather conditions, she follows an exercise program designed by an animal rehabilitation veterinarian. Lucy is not chained; she is free to walk around. On rare occasions, elephants may need to be restrained as a safety measure for all. This is a requirement of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums Association. You can view our latest videos about Lucy's socialization and enrichment for additional information.
Myth: She is kept outside in freezing cold weather
Fact: When Lucy needs to be indoors due to cold weather she has a large heated building as well as a heated exercise barn. She does take walks daily even in the winter and her temperature and response to the weather are monitored closely by her caregivers during the walks.
Myth: Lucy stands on concrete all day causing serious foot problems
Facts: Lucy’s feet are in good condition. Her indoor enclosure floors are covered in rubber matting, sand or mulch to ease pressure on her feet. These floors are also heated. Lucy’s care team checks and conditions her feet daily as a preventative measure. You can view our latest health update videos for additional information.
Myth: Lucy is obese
Facts: Lucy’s weight is managed through her nutritional and exercise program. Her weight fluctuates but she is not considered obese.
Myth: The Zoo feeds Lucy a poor diet
Myth: Lucy is old and sick, with serious health problems
Myth: The Zoo hasn't diagnosed or treated Lucy's respiratory problem
Fact: Lucy has a respiratory problem due to a constriction of airway in her upper nasal region. Her breathing issue is managed when she is calm and comfortable. Under stress, Lucy’s ability to breathe is stretched almost beyond her capacity. You can view our latest videos about Lucy's health for additional information.
Myth: The Edmonton Valley Zoo violates zoo standards by keeping Lucy alone
Myth: The decision to keep Lucy in Edmonton is because of money
Myth: Lucy has never been examined by a third-party veterinarian or elephant expert. The Zoo is paying vets to say Lucy cannot be moved
Fact: The Edmonton Valley Zoo routinely consults with international experts to ensure Lucy receives excellent care. Many experts in the well-being of elephants who have examined Lucy have chosen not to lend their names to their findings due to harassment from animal rights activists. You can view our latest videos about Lucy's health for additional information.
Myth: Lucy doesn't walk enough
Fact: Lucy goes for multiple long walks each day and follows a drescribed exercise program. While research is still being evaluated, it is said that Asian elephants in the wild travel four to nine kilometers daily in search for food and water.