Urge The Board of Directors at San Antonio Zoo to follow the lead of other large zoos and release Lucky to the Elephant Sanctuary where her needs can be better met.
Lucky the last surviving elephant at San Antonio Zoo is lucky only in that she has managed to outlive her companions Alport and Ginny, both of whom have died prematurely in the last three years.
Elephants in the wild live in large groups and will walk for miles every day. Lucky has spent 46 years in her prison - a small, barren, concrete, zoo enclosure. It is estimated that over 60% of zoo elephants have arthritis or foot disease problems of the sort that killed her companions. Such an environment cannot meet either the physical or psychological needs of a large and social creature.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald Tennessee is willing to provide a more humane and natural lifestyle for Lucky - with 2,400 acres for Lucky to roam in with her new companions. The Sanctuary will also pay transport costs.
We the undersigned urge you to reconsider the future of Lucky your last surviving elephant. Please ask yourselves which would be better for her - continued confinement in a small concrete enclosure, or the freedom to walk many miles every day with other elephants?
With talk of animals welfare and conservation it is important to remember the natural "wild" lifestyle of elephants. They live in large social groups. They walk for tens of miles every day. Females such as Lucky do not live alone, they do not stand in barren concrete enclosures, and they do not live in such conditions for over 40 years!
They also live longer and breed longer - surely the best form of conservation.
There can be little educational value in keeping Lucky in such unnatural conditions. Many other large metropolitan U.S. zoos have considered the long-term alternatives for their elephants, have accepted that the small cramped conditions of a zoo cannot compare to the life of a wild elephant, have permanently closed their enclosures, and sent the elephants to sanctuaries.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald Tennessee is willing to care for Lucky. It is 5,000 times the size of your elephant enclosure. It will also arrange transport - at no cost to your zoo.
Such a move would be best for Lucky, and would show the world that San Antonio is capable of being a modern and forward looking city.
We thank you for taking the time to consider our views, and politely urge you to Free Lucky!
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