Former NHL player Georges Laraque doesn’t like the idea of elephants being locked up in confinement and has offered the mayor of Edmonton $100,000 if Lucy the elephant is moved from the Edmonton’s Valley Zoo to an animal sanctuary.
In a letter to zoo officials, Laraque writes:
“Because zoos can’t begin to fulfill the social and physical needs of these highly intelligent animals, even zoos in far warmer areas have started to phase out their elephant exhibits.
“Lucy’s serious health problems and the signs of mental distress that she has long exhibited are reasons enough to send her to a sanctuary in a warmer climate, but I hope that my proposal creates even more incentive.”
Although the zoo claims Lucy is in good hands and that moving the animal would only exacerbate her upper respiratory health issues, Laraque, along with the Canadian animal rights group Zoocheck and PETA, believe that Lucy’s living conditions are “cruel and unlawful.”
If released, Laraque will donate the $100,000 to a city project.
“I just want to help,” Laraque told CBC News. “This situation is making Edmonton look bad and Edmonton is my home. This is where I live and I want the situation to stop.”