Jane Goodall reverses stance, says Lucy the elephant should stay in Edmonton

Famous animal activist Jane Goodall has changed her mind about moving Lucy the elephant away from the Edmonton Valley Zoo.

After asking an independent third-party veterinarian to thoroughly review the case, Goodall said the “findings were consistent: the risks of moving Lucy outweigh the potential benefits to her.”

“Our founder asked for this review and supports its conclusion that Lucy should not be moved,” the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada said in a statement Thursday.

Read more: Jane Goodall adds voice to calls to move Lucy the elephant from Edmonton

In December, Goodall urged Edmonton City Council to “free Lucy the lonely elephant” and let her retire “in a more humane setting.” She posted a video message, asking that Lucy be transferred from the Edmonton Valley Zoo to a sanctuary in Tennessee.

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That push to move Lucy to a warmer climate included a request that a third-party vet conduct an assessment of the elephant and provide a recommendation “to ultimately determine whether moving her is in her best interests.”

Read more: Latest examination recommends Lucy stay at Edmonton Valley Zoo

“The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada has taken that step and has completed a thorough review of the credentials, and experience with elephants, of the team of veterinarians who have provided medical and behavioural assessments of Lucy,” the Feb. 18 statement reads.

“We have concluded that each veterinarian involved in Lucy’s evaluations was well-qualified to provide their opinion, being recognized by international certifying bodies for their specialty. The assessments they provided were thorough and independent.

“Their findings were consistent: the risks of moving Lucy outweigh the potential benefits to her.”

Lucy, a 45-year-old Asian elephant, has lived at Edmonton’s zoo since 1977. The zoo has long maintained that moving her to a sanctuary would worsen her condition or kill her.

In 2016, Lucy’s condition was  ‘World’s loneliest elephant’ begins new life in Cambodia