NOTE: Today, the Supreme Court of Canada said it will not hear the case regarding Lucy the elephant. Once again, the City of Edmonton and the Valley Zoo get lucky and avoid being put in a position where they actually have to defend their multitude of nonsensical claims about Lucy. Despite the ruling, the campaign to relocate Lucy will proceed full steam ahead.
BY GEMMA KARSTENS-SMITH, FOR POSTMEDIA NEWS APRIL 26, 2012
Lucy the elephant appears to be staying put after a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday that it will not hear a case regarding her future.
The court rejected an application to hear the case between animal-rights activists, who want the elephant moved, and the City of Edmonton, which owns the Edmonton Valley Zoo where Lucy lives.
Lucy's plight has been in the spotlight for years, with several celebrities publicly calling for her relocation, including former The Price is Right host Bob Barker, ex-NHL enforcer George Laraque and William Shatner.
Activists, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Zoocheck Canada, launched a lawsuit in 2010, asking the court to declare the zoo's lone elephant was in distress. They said Lucy should be moved to a warmer climate where she could be around other elephants.
The zoo has said the 36-year-old Asian elephant is in no condition to move due to a respiratory condition.
"Moving Lucy would be life-threatening and this is a risk that we cannot and will not take," the zoo said in a recent statement.
But activists disagree and say Lucy's living conditions at the Edmonton Valley Zoo are exacerbating her ailments.
"Her health, in fact, is the reason she must be moved," said Julie Woodyer, campaign director for Zoocheck Canada.
"She continues to decline there and, if she's not moved, she'll die."
The Edmonton Humane Society investigated and, in early 2011, declared Lucy was being adequately cared for at the zoo.
Woodyer said Zoocheck will not end its campaign to move the elephant, however.
"We're not going to give up on Lucy," she said.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo moved their African elephant, Samantha, to a breeding program at the North Carolina Zoo in 2007.
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