Lucky's Charm
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Lucky's Charm


By San Antonio Current News Team

Steve McCusker's getting a lot of unsolicited advice these days. The director of the San Antonio Zoo has been the target of a concerted campaign to get 48-year-old Asian elephant and retired amusement ride Lucky the Elephant released to a Tennessee-based elephant sanctuary. [See “Free Lucky,” July 30, 2008.]

Her impending entertainment obsolescence (a planned expansion of the Africa Live exhibit, which includes two African elephants, is sure to sideline Lucky) and a history of early pachyderm deaths prompted the advisory board of the City’s Animal Care Services to step into the debate with a call for Lucky’s release.

ACS board member Randy Murdock is no wild-haired tofu eater. “I’m one of those guys that say if God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them so tasty,” he tells Queque. That said, it only took a little research (including the average lifespans of captive elephants) to convince him that Lucky deserves better.

“Technically, it’s none of our business,” says Murdock, “but if you look into the history of that poor elephant — I mean, they have to work on [her] feet every day, because elephants are migratory ... Lucky doesn’t have any grass.”

So, the ACS board has joined Voice for Animals, Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, and Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation in calling for Lucky’s release.

“There is a no-cost alternative that will ensure a happy life for Lucky,” the board writes. “The elephant sanctuary in Tennessee has pledged they will relocate [Lucky] to their refuge and absorb all costs. After many years of faithful service to San Antonio, it is time to retire lucky and allow her to enjoy life with her own kind.”

Riding the wind is also a rumor that the City’s Parks & Rec board — which discussed Lucky’s fate at a meeting earlier this year — is prepared to deliver a similar letter in the weeks ahead.


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