Recently, Bob Barker helped get three Toronto Zoo elephants sent south to warmer weather at a U.S. sanctuary. Now, another celebrity is speaking up for a zoo elephant and asking that she be relocated.
Before her recent performance in Alberta, Joan Jett penned a letter to Mayor Stephen Mandel of Edmonton and director of the Edmonton Valley Zoo Denise Prefontaine asking the two to send Lucy, the zoo’s only elephant, to a sanctuary.
According to PETA, Jett wrote, “This animal is basically being tortured. I urge you to please release Lucy to a sanctuary before the unbearably cold Canadian winter weather returns this year.” The rocker writes that she also learned of Lucy’s poor health through PETA, and that there is an urgent need to relocate her. “I’ve learned from my friends at PETA that Lucy is very ill, suffers from severe psychological distress from being left alone without other elephant companions, and would thrive in a warmer climate…Lucy’s many health problems—including obesity and painful arthritis—are very serious for an elephant who should have decades, not days, left to live. Elephants are social, intelligent, active animals who need to be with others of their own kind and have a vast area to roam. There are sanctuaries in the U.S. that can give Lucy all these things that the zoo cannot, while also tending to her ailments.”
PETA adds, “Elephant experts agree that if elephants are not with others of their kind, these highly intelligent and social animals experience psychological distress, and Lucy has been the only elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo for more than four years. The cold climate and confinement to a small barn have also contributed to Lucy’s poor health.”
The animal rights organization is asking others to join Jett, Bob Barker, William Shatner, and ZooCheck in the campaign for Lucy.