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Urge AZA to Help Elephant Lucky

April 25th, 2013 by Nicole Meyer

Tell AZA: Don’t Let San Antonio Zoo Keep Elephant Lucky Alone

The San Antonio zoo recently made the cruel decision to keep a female elephant named Lucky alone, following the death last month of another elephant, Queenie.

Now, the zoo is asking the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)—a trade industry organization— for a variance that would allow the zoo to maintain a solitary female elephant. Female elephants are profoundly social and naturally live in large, extended family groups. If approved, the variance would bypass the AZA’s requirement that elephants in zoos are kept in groups of three.

This is not the first time the San Antonio Zoo has applied for a variance to house one elephant—and this isn’t first time 53-year-old Lucky is alone. The AZA granted the zoo a temporary one-elephant variance in 2008 after Alport died, and again in 2009, giving the zoo until March of 2010 to find another elephant (Queenie). This is a clear indication that the AZA did not believe it was appropriate for Lucky to remain alone. Surely it is no more appropriate a mere three years later. The AZA states in its guidelines it will not grant variances after September 2016. If Lucky survives that long, what will happen to her after that?

Please join IDA in urging the AZA to step up to the plate and 1) deny the San Antonio Zoo’s one-elephant variance request, and 2) order the San Antonio Zoo to transfer Lucky to another facility in a more natural environment that uses protected contact, will offer her room to roam, natural substrates, and the companionship of other elephants of her own choosing.

The AZA could review the variance request soon, so please write now to the AZA president and CEO, and the chair and coordinator of the AZA’s Elephant Taxon Advisory Group and Species Survival Plan.

Please send an email and follow up with a brief phone call. Please keep both brief and polite. Suggested points to cover are:

• Please intervene on Lucky’s behalf and deny the San Antonio Zoo’s variance request to house her as a solitary elephant.
• Female elephants are profoundly social and naturally live in large, extended family groups. It is cruel to deny an elephant of one her most basic needs—the company of other elephants.
• Please work with the San Antonio Zoo to transfer Lucky to another facility in a more natural environment that uses protected contact, will offer her room to roam, natural substrates, and the companionship of other elephants of her own choosing.

Contact information:

Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Jim Maddy, President and CEO
Email: jmaddy@aza.org
Phone: 301-562-0777

Martha Fischer (St. Louis Zoo)
Chair, AZA Elephant TAG
Coordinator, AZA Asian Elephant and African Elephant SSP
Email: fischer@stlzoo.org
Phone: 314-646-4610

Please also sign onto this petition, hosted by One World Conservation—an advocacy group headquartered in Texas.

The San Antonio Zoo has long been a focus of IDA for its grossly inadequate elephant exhibit and for cramming Earth’s largest land mammals into a space smaller than many backyards, creating an unhealthy and dangerous situation. At a meager half acre, the exhibit has room for barely one elephant, much less two or more.

It is irresponsible and selfish for the zoo and the AZA to deprive Lucky of one her most basic needs—the company of other elephants. It would be equally irresponsible for the zoo to attempt to bring another elephant into its substandard and antiquated exhibit.

Read IDA’s press release regarding a letter IDA sent to the AZA urging the organization to intervene on Lucky’s behalf.

219 Responses to “Urge AZA to Help Elephant Lucky”

  1. June 10, 2013 at 5:52 am, Jenna Shokri said:

    Please do not allow Lucky to be with out the company of another Elephant, ( this is cruel) because as you are aware that Elephants are very sociable animals, and like the company of their own kind, or please transfer Lucky to a Elephant Sanctuary where she can live and thrive with her own species…thanks

  2. May 04, 2013 at 4:11 pm, Mary-Anne said:

    Please do not allow Lucky to be with out the company of another Elephant, ( this is cruel) because as you are aware that Elephants are very sociable animals, and like the company of their own kind, or please transfer Lucky to a Elephant Sanctuary where she can live and thrive with her own species…thank-you!

  3. May 04, 2013 at 10:27 am, t logan said:

    crass, wrong headed until we figure tis out we lose

  4. May 03, 2013 at 10:38 am, Anna said:

    А Лаки то плачет от боли, от мучений, от человеческой жестокости

  5. May 03, 2013 at 8:51 am, nancy wilson said:

    everyone needs someone. it would be a beter world if so.

  6. May 02, 2013 at 5:35 pm, nancy zebracki said:

    ‘bev’ YOUR REPLY IS TERRIFIC

  7. May 02, 2013 at 10:49 am, CSK said:

    humans are so inhumane in the way they treat other creatures …

  8. May 01, 2013 at 11:28 pm, Bev said:

    I am sick and tired of hearing about the cruelty committed on innocent animals. Lucky should be with other elephants to walk free, not to be in an antiquated enclosure where there is hardly enough room for herself and alone. Why is it that humans treat these magnificent animals with contempt and such appalling cruelty?
    It disgusts me.

  9. April 29, 2013 at 5:35 am, Rose Ogorzaly said:

    Lucky needs to be transferred to a sanctuary where she can socilaize with other elepants!

  10. April 28, 2013 at 10:45 am, Wendi said:

    Elephants are beautiful smart loyal family oriented animals so Lucky doesn’t deserve to be alone but with a family of her own & to be happy thank you!!!

  11. April 28, 2013 at 10:20 am, Gilles Dubois said:

    San Antonio Zoo should not Keep Elephant Lucky Alone. She need a companion.

  12. April 28, 2013 at 8:31 am, rosemary goeller said:

    Please allow Lucky to go to an animal sanctuary. Elephants are very social animals & need the companionship of other elephants to live a full & rewarding life. Please save Lucky.

  13. April 28, 2013 at 6:51 am, Chris said:

    “PLEASE” do not allow Lucky to languish alone; elephants are very social creatures and should have companionship. “PLEASE” release her to an elephant sanctuary immediately.

  14. April 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm, Honor Hannon said:

    Poor dear, she is not very Lucky is she? If your best and only friend died would you want to be punished even more by forced solitary confinement????
    DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU!”

  15. April 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm, stacey gavrilo said:

    Let Lucky live in a sanctuary! PLEASE!

  16. April 27, 2013 at 10:59 am, alexis kurjian said:

    this poor Lonely elephant!

  17. April 27, 2013 at 6:32 am, Dennis Williams said:

    A similar thing happened to us in Tucson. An elephant friendship was broken up. They told us the elephants could get better medical care in other facilities. They died. A lot of us saw that one coming but couldn’t do anything about it. How many elephants have to die alone before we figure this out?

  18. April 27, 2013 at 6:31 am, Maria Teresa necchi said:

    Please send Lucky to an Elephant Sanctuary where she will have friends and can go on with her life.

  19. April 27, 2013 at 5:22 am, kate lowe said:

    Please find a companion for Lucky. She needs a friend.

  20. April 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm, Linda Groves said:

    Please do what you can to relieve Lucy’s suffering, loneliness is a tragedy and for her it can be solved easily.

  21. April 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm, lina said:

    Please do not leave the alone but it would be much better for her to be sent to a sanctuary together with other elephants. She would get very sad and depressed if you leave her alone do not leave her suffer

    • April 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm, John Roe said:

      Let’s Pony up & do the right thing
      John Roe

  22. April 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm, Valeriya said:

    Shared

  23. April 26, 2013 at 11:54 am, Cindy Guarnieri said:

    Elephants are sensitive creatures that are highly intelligent and social. They need to be with other animals – either their own species or at least around other animals to make them feel happy. They get depressed being by themselves, just like people. Hope something good can be done for this elephant real soon.

  24. April 26, 2013 at 11:05 am, nsanati said:

    We know elephants require more than what San Antonio’s zoo can offer. Let’s do what is BEST for the animal & send her to SANCTUARY!

  25. April 26, 2013 at 10:27 am, John H Roe said:

    Pony up & do the right thing !
    Thank You
    John Roe
    Magnolia , Tx

  26. April 26, 2013 at 8:56 am, Siri Anmarkrud said:

    As far as I know, all animals are highly sociable and they life – their sanity – depend on contact with their kind. Yes, I know that f.ex. tigers & other big cats are solitar! And surely other animals as well. But this is a HIGHLY SOCIABLE ANIMAL we’re talking about. Just see how human beings get after a long periode in solitude… DO THE RIGHT THING! Let her have a family/friends.

  27. April 26, 2013 at 7:46 am, Carly said:

    Please do the right thing for Lucky.

  28. April 26, 2013 at 6:47 am, Christine Pylypowycz said:

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE OUT YOUR WHOLE LIFE ALONE AND ON CONCRETE 24/7?

  29. April 26, 2013 at 6:38 am, Corie Benton said:

    Elephants are social beings, and they need the companionship of other elephants. Do the right thing by here…

  30. April 26, 2013 at 5:44 am, ROCIO GALAN said:

    POR FAVOR, TENGAN UN POCO DE CONCIENCIA DE QUE TODOS LOS SERES VIVIENTES TIENEN SENSACIONES, SENTIMIENTOS, EMOCIONES Y DEJEN A LA POBRE ELFANTITA, DE LA QUE SE HAN BENEFICIADO DURANTE AÑOS, QUE SEA LLEVADA A DONDE ESTÉ EN UN MEDIO MÁS NATURAL Y MAS LIBRE.

  31. April 26, 2013 at 5:42 am, Athena said:

    Don’t let lucky be unlucky in love and companionship.

  32. April 26, 2013 at 5:24 am, Lilian said:

    Would you want to be kept alone behind a cage with no companionship?

  33. April 26, 2013 at 4:32 am, margaret linton said:

    let her go

  34. April 26, 2013 at 2:53 am, Miri Osborne said:

    Please deny the San Antonio Zoo’s one-elephant variance request, and order the San Antonio Zoo to transfer Lucky to another facility in a more natural environment that uses protected contact, will offer her room to roam, natural substrates, and the companionship of other elephants of her own choosing. Thank you.

  35. April 26, 2013 at 1:55 am, lindabadham said:

    LET HER LIVE A LIFE THAT ELEPHANTS ARE SUPPSED TO LIVE. CRUELTY IS A SIN. GODS CREATURES ARE HERE TO SHARE THE EARTH IN THE HABITAT THEY WERE GIVEN , AND NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF FILLING POCKETS !!

  36. April 26, 2013 at 12:31 am, maywel said:

    Instead of keep sending animals to the Zoos why don’t send Lucky to a facility that can meet her physical and social needs,like the Elephants Sanctuary in Tennessee… we have to stop many selfish zoos which just think on their money and at last on their animals welfare…!

  37. April 26, 2013 at 12:26 am, Irina said:

    Be human and treat her approriately!

  38. April 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm, Ayshe augustine said:

    Let her go!

  39. April 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm, Joy Beum said:

    Elephants are very social animals and should never be kept alone. Please review your methods and keep the best interest of the animals in mind. Thank you.

  40. April 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm, Ana Castanos said:

    Please do not leave Lucky alone, she really needs anther elephants to survive, and be happy.
    Like us elephants need from others to feel secure and love.
    Is is time to act and give dignity to the animal kingdom.
    In in your hands to help. Ana Castanos

  41. April 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm, g2-6f1c4e820bb3d4aaa3af5c494d9e1b6f said:

    Evil humans should be dragged from their families—see how they like it.

  42. April 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm, Nanette Sanchez-Cook said:

    PLEASE PLEASE LET LUCKY LIVE A HUMANE LIFE! SHE NEEDS A FRIEND, A PARTNER. ELEPHANTS ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS; THEY NEED TO BE WITH ONE ANOTHER. SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT SHOWING THE COMPASSION FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL. DO THE RIGHT THING…..HAVING LUCKY LIVE HER LIFE ALONE IS BEYOND CRUEL!!!

  43. April 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm, cybergent said:

    Do the right thing!

  44. April 25, 2013 at 7:31 pm, nancy lewis said:

    Do the right thing. Return this sensitive creative to its habitat and the company of other elephants. Contact Daphne Sheldrick at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Refuge or Johnny Rodrigues in Zimbabwe, experts in saving elephants, one elephant at a time!

  45. April 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm, Rachel said:

    Emailed and signed !! An elephant never forgets, It saddens me to think of what Lucky must remember..

  46. April 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm, Dawn said:

    It’s shameful that any organization that claims to be all about animals, teaching and support would ever consider leaving this beautiful animal in such distress. Transfer this poor elephant or send her to a refuge, stop being so selfish and irresponsible.

  47. April 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm, Meleen@luckymail.com said:

    It is not in the best interest of the animal. Obviously The San Antonio Zoo is ill equipped to care for such an animal and would only do so because this zoo is being run by irresponsible directors.

  48. April 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm, paula said:

    Very cruel. Lucky would love to be with other elephants and enjoy the rest of her life. Please let her go.

  49. April 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm, nancy z said:

    don’t leave lucky alone that’s just too cruel

  50. April 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm, Sonya said:

    If a situation such as this has been allowed to happen even though a simple resolution is achievable then I think the person/people responsible for the lack of action should be held responsible and charged with intentional animal cruelty.

  51. April 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm, Barbara Grimes said:

    Good grief. This is 2013 and even the average person knows how important it is for a herd animal to be amongst their own…even if it is only one more. Elephants suffer being alone. They also suffer standing on hard concrete they need to move. Do what is only humane for Lucky and get this animal a decent life for what ever it has left. You are being watched.

  52. April 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm, Marjorie Hass said:

    Elephants are social beings, and to isolate one is inhumane.

  53. April 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm, Wanda Crockett said:

    I am sure you have extensive information about elephants and their needs. This poor animal has been kept alone for too long. Her needs should be respected and honored, and she needs to be housed in the company of other elephants. Do the right thing.

  54. April 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm, Joan Zentarski said:

    Elephants are complex, social, sentinent beings. Please either send Lucky to a sanctuary with other elephants or get her a companion. Please-the world is watching! Thank you.

  55. April 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm, Barbara Modica said:

    Show some compassion. You take these animals out of their habitat and treat them horribly. Where is your humanity?

  56. April 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm, tina said:

    dreadful cruel barbaric

  57. April 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm, cathy houde said:

    Why don’t you people listen! Facts are Facts! Elephants need space and companions. This is a no brainer. Even a elementery school student could tell you that. LISTEN!!

  58. April 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm, Jude Evans said:

    Elephants are social animals. They NEED companionship and FREEDOM to roam and live a NORMAL LIFE… Being stuck in an enclosure that is cemented with no other turnout is WRONG, CRUEL and UNJUST…
    Imagine yourself NOT being able to leave your house or have any other socialization, this is what it’s like for these animals. They are out of their natural habitat. When you take on the responsibility of confining an animal then you better darn better provide them with the means to have socialization, freedom to roam in a “natural” environment with others of their type and species. Elephants are not cats and dogs where they have human companionship and adjust to our live styles. GIVE LUCKY her FREEDOM. It’s the RIGHT thing to do.

  59. April 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm, stacey mcrae said:

    WTF is wrong with people that they are TOO stupid to do the right thing?

  60. April 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm, roth woods said:

    For God sake, do what is right, humane and just!!!!!

  61. April 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm, Susan M. said:

    It is totally not right to keep Lucky at the San Antonio zoo and deprive her of what elephants needs most, socialization with other elephants This is cruel and inhumane and not in the best interests of Lucky. She deserves the right to live like an elephant, in a free roaming sanctuary and not in cramped spaces just so the zoo can profit! Make the right decision and let Lucky live the rest of her life where she belongs.

  62. April 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm, alice mullins said:

    alone is unhealthy for herd and social animals —you guys already know this.. you are a zoo and are supposed to care for and protect the animals…..do the right thing here…..

  63. April 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm, Myriam Giovannini said:

    Lucky was not born to live a life without another elephant, please help this animal that is not able to speak for itself.

  64. April 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm, RENEE L. ABOS said:

    NO ANIMAL SHOULD HAVE TO LIVE ALONE. WE KNOW THEY TALK TO EACH OTHER. LUCKY SHOULD BE IN THE WILD. IF YOUR GOING TO KEEP HER LOCKED UP AT LEAST GET THE ANIMAL COMPANY.

  65. April 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm, Stacy Walker said:

    Emails sent!

  66. April 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm, Thea Spicer said:

    It’s bad enough that we keep these animals caged for our amusement, must we knowingly torture them as well. Everybody need friends!

  67. April 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm, starsite10 said:

    We demand freedom for ourselves but we enslave other beings on this planet. We are a sick species.

  68. April 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm, Tamara Palmer said:

    The mere fact that this issue requires so much attention and support, is appalling. Most people, not motivated by greed, would choose to allow this creature to be with others.. How about setting up a web-cam, and put up a monitor where “Lucky” was?

  69. April 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm, Marjorie Coey said:

    You know that elephants are the most social creatures! We had a solitary elephant here in BC and many of us paid for her to be sent to a sanctuary in the US because she was alone and suffering! I miss seeing her every day but she was happy with the other elephants. NO ELEPHANT SHOULD EVERY BE ALONE!!!!

  70. April 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm, John W. said:

    This is not the first time I’ve seen nor signed this petition. I guess it’s falling on deft ears. May their days, be just as lonely.

  71. April 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm, Tucker said:

    MY GOD WHAT DOES IT TAKE?
    POOR UNLUCKY ELEPHANT NAMED LUCKY
    HAS BEEN IN THERE FOREVER!!!!!!
    SHE NEEDS TO BE IN A SANCTUARY WITH OTHER
    ELEPHANTS,FRIENDS,FAMILIES!!!!
    IT JUST SICKENS ME AND SHOWS WHAT TWISTED,
    SICK ABUSIVE ,CRUEL PEOPLE YOU ARE!!!!
    UNTIL THIS STOPS I WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD AND TELL FRIENDS,FAMILY AND EVEN PEOPLE I DON’T KNOW NOT TO EVEN GO TO YOUR ZOO!!!!!! ZOOS AREN’T FOR ANIMALS ANYWAY, THEY ARE FOR
    PEOPLE WHO DON’T THINK OR CARE ABOUT THE ANIMALS AND
    ONLY THINK OF THEIR SELVES!!!!! THEY SHOULD BE THE ONES LOCKED UP AND
    IN CAGES AND NOT SET FREE!!!!!

    THIS SICKENS ME!!!!! SOMEDAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE
    ZOOS WILL BE SHUT DOWN!!!!!! ,EVERYWHERE,!!!!! FOR GOOD!!!!!

    SORRY IF THIS COMMENT SOUNDS HARSH,BUT I AM NOT GOING
    TO SUGAR COAT THE SITUATION OR HOW I FEEL!!!!!

  72. April 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm, Save Queenie Save Elephants Page, Facebook said:

    These zoos have no clue what elephants need. The case of Sophie & Babe in Illinois is so sad. After a freezing winter in a tiny barn, they can now barely walk their feet are so bad. Elephants needs space and it is amazing that those who care for them are hard hearted enough not to provide space for them.