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Lucy’s famous friend

A famous former game show host says he’s willing to fly to Edmonton to fight its city hall and staff at the Valley Zoo in order to free a sick elephant.

A famous former game show host says he’s willing to fly to Edmonton to fight its city hall and staff at the Valley Zoo in order to free a sick elephant.

Bob Barker, best known as the longtime host of The Price Is Right, says Lucy — an Asian elephant at the zoo — must be transferred to a sanctuary in Tennessee as she continues to suffer from arthritis, foot abscesses and respiratory problems.

“The sooner (they get her out) the better and I think she’s in terrible shape up there,” said Barker in a telephone interview with Metro. “I am going to do everything that I am asked to do on this … and if it requires me to come to Edmonton, I would gladly go to speak out.”

Lucy, the 33-year-old elephant, was born and captured in Sri Lanka. She has been living at the zoo for most of her life.

Staff at the zoo, including operations manager Dean Treichel, said moving Lucy out of the zoo would add more risk to her health.

“If we moved her, there’s a very high likelihood that she’ll die,” Treichel said in an earlier interview with Metro.

But Barker, a longtime animal rights activist, says Edmonton’s winter is forcing Lucy to stay indoors alone for six months of the year — something that’s detrimental to her mental health.

“She’s so alone and elephants are very social animals,” Barker said. “She should live the way mother nature intended.”

Barker has urged city council in a letter to transfer the elephant — something that’s welcome news to a local animal rights group.

“This raises the profile of this (problem) and our only concern has been for Lucy this whole time,” said Tove Reece, of Voice For Animals.

 
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