Retired U.S. game show host Bob Barker stands beside Lucy, the Edmonton Valley Zoo's Asian elephant, last month.

High-profile Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby has been hired to take the City of Edmonton to court over the treatment of Lucy the elephant.

Ruby has been retained by Zoocheck and the advocacy group PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — which wants Lucy moved from the Edmonton Valley Zoo to an elephant sanctuary in California.

The organizations claim that in Edmonton, Lucy lacks the basic necessities and social interactions the elephant needs. They argue the city's cold climate and the fact that Lucy has been the only elephant in the zoo since September 2007 are detrimental to the animal's health.

Ruby is giving the city until Nov. 19 to voluntarily move Lucy or he will file a lawsuit alleging the elephant's rights under the Animal Protection Act have been violated.

Ruby said he does not concur with the city's argument that Lucy can't be moved because she is too ill.

Celebrities Bob Barker and William Shatner have recently added their voices to the lobby wanting to see the Asian elephant moved from Edmonton, where it has lived most of its life.