A legal fight over the Edmonton zoo's only elephant is resuming early in the new year. An appeal is to be heard Feb. 2 of a judge's decision last summer to dismiss arguments that Lucy should be moved.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Zoocheck say Lucy is suffering and should be moved to an elephant sanctuary in the United States. The city says the 35-year-old elephant is comfortable in her familiar surroundings and moving her could kill her.
Lawyer Clayton Ruby, who acts for the animal rights groups, has asked Alberta's privacy commissioner to look into what they say is the city's refusal to give them proper access to
Lucy video. They say footage taken of her trunk would show the severity of her upper respiratory problems. The animal groups say the city has refused to provide copies of the video footage and instead requires that an appointment be made to watch them at city offices and in the presence of the zoo's veterinarian. They say that has made it "virtually impossible" for elephant experts in other parts of the world to view the videos.
The fight to move Lucy has been backed by retired game show host Bob Barker, actor William Shatner and former hockey player Georges Laraque. Earlier this month, Laraque offered to pay the city $100,000 if Lucy is moved.
"In addition to respiratory problems, Lucy continues to suffer from obesity, arthritis, and chronic foot ailments and faces another frigid winter in Edmonton," PETA spokesman David Perle said in a release Tuesday. "As the sole elephant at the Valley Zoo, she has been denied contact with others of her kind — something that is vital to these highly social animals."
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