08/04/2011 02:33 EDT | Updated 10/04/2011 05:12 EDT

Lucy The Elephant: Alberta Appeal Court Sides With Edmonton In Fight To Move Her To Sanctuary


EDMONTON - Animal welfare groups fighting to see a lone elephant at Edmonton's zoo moved to a sanctuary in the United States have been dealt a blow by Alberta's top court.

In a split decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal sided with a lower judge who threw out an attempt to use the courts to have Lucy moved.

A year ago, Justice John Rooke ruled that the case launched against the City of Edmonton by Zoocheck and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was an abuse of process.

The judge found that there is provincial legislation that sets out how captive animals should be treated and it is up to animal welfare officials to enforce those laws.

Two of the three appeal judges agreed, but the third judge found that the case should be allowed to go to trial.

The animal rights groups argue Lucy should be transported to a sanctuary, but the city says the elephant gets good care in Edmonton and is too sick to move.