Lucky’s Favorite Activities:
- Likes to forage when she knows her favorite treats are in her yard
- Enjoys cooling off and completely submerging in her pool during summer months
- Enjoys getting dirty, especially after her daily baths - mud and dust baths are her favorite
Lucky’s Health and Well-Being:
- Receives a bath daily
- Receives a daily physical exam that includes: eyes, ears, trunk, mouth, and feet
- Receives training and enrichment sessions daily (this includes soaking her feet) as part of her preventive health care plan
- Her pool is drained as needed and cleaned every 3-4 days during the summer months.
- It also has a continuous fresh water supply, which helps keep it clean. A second water source is located inside the elephant barn that is cleaned and replenished with fresh water daily.
Get the Facts:
The San Antonio Zoo will continue to do what is best for Lucky, which is providing her the best possible care. Lucky is not handled like a circus elephant, which means we do not get in the same space with her. She is cared for in protected contact. Protected contact allows Lucky to be more of an elephant. So, unlike a circus elephant, Lucky cannot be simply led into a transport vehicle. A move would require her to get into a crate, be lifted by crane onto a truck, and transported hundreds of miles. At her age, with her less-than-social demeanor, and given the one-on-one attention she has received for the past 52 years, moving Lucky is not an option. Relocating Lucky would not only place her in a very high stress situation, it would be irresponsible of the San Antonio Zoo.
Lucky receives quality care from two veterinarians, a dietician, and over 100 years of combined elephant experience from the keepers who know her intimately. Our elephant staff spoils Lucky all day, every day. She receives daily training, exercise sessions, and active enrichment programs. All have kept her physically and mentally fit.
The median age for a female Asian elephant in captivity is 46.9 years; Lucky is 54. As biologists, conservationists, and veterinarians, we know that typical elephants are social animals and roam many miles a day, but the bottom line is, we are not talking about a typical, young elephant; Lucky is 54, has never been socially inclined, and doesn’t have to walk 10 miles for food or water. It is safer for her if she stays at the San Antonio Zoo, the only home she has ever known. She will continue to receive quality care, an excellent diet delivered to her doorstep, and the run of her entire exhibit. She is as healthy and content as she has ever been. Please know that we are doing what is best for Lucky.
Together, we can help all elephants.
We are doing our part to care for elephants. The San Antonio Zoological Society now urges you to do your part. Visit the 96 Elephants Campaign at http://www.96elephants.org/ to Save African Elephants from Extinction.