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Paul McCartney allows animal advocacy group to lobby at Edmonton concerts
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:03PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:05PM MST
A local animal advocacy group has received permission from Sir Paul McCartney himself, to use his two concerts in Edmonton to lobby for Lucy the elephant to be moved from the zoo.
Voice for Animals Humane Society asked the former Beatle if they could set up at Rexall Place for Wednesday and Thursday night’s shows to raise awareness about their fight to have Lucy transferred from the Valley Zoo to an animal sanctuary.
McCartney said yes.
“It’s showing a lot of support for Lucy and for doing what’s right for her. He obviously is showing his support by allowing us to be there,” said Tove Reece with Voice for Animals.
Reece said McCartney reviewed the group's materials on Lucy and approved and supports the group's campaign for Lucy.
“It’s a really great opportunity to get the message out again, to let people know that the city does respond to the public and to what they want. I think it’s a good opportunity to try and garner support.”
The group will have a table display at the concert with a petition they’ve been circulating.
“We’re going to urge people to contact the city and ask them to send Lucy to a sanctuary,” Reece said.
“We want Lucy moved to a sanctuary in a warm place. She would be with other elephants which are really a main issue for elephants, they should never be left alone.”
Lucy the Asian elephant has arthritis and protesters have been calling for her to be moved out of Edmonton for some time, saying her living conditions are poor, the weather is too cold, and she is in distress.
The zoo maintains that a move would be too stressful for the elephant.
It's a touchy subject that's being brought into the spotlight again, after Toronto’s city council spoke out about Lucy, suggesting she elephant be shipped to the California sanctuary and it's those comments that have upset Edmonton’s mayor.
"I am offended and I think Edmontonians should be offended,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said.
“It’s none of their business what we do in Edmonton. We don’t butt into their business, it’s not their business to butt into ours. I don’t appreciate it at all, neither do any of our councillors.”
Toronto council has voted to ship three of its zoo elephants to the PAWS sanctuary in California by the end of the year.
With files from Brenna Rose
Lucy the elephant's handlers, who withheld their names, walk the aging elephant at Edmonton's River Valley Zoo on Sept. 17, 2009. (Ian Jackson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)