"Leider, a real estate agent and animal rights advocate, and the late actor Robert Culp filed the lawsuit in August 2007. Culp, known for starring opposite Bill Cosby in "I Spy," died in March 2010.
The suit, alleging animal abuse, is based on a "taxpayer waste" statute, which authorizes injunctive relief in situations involving unlawful conduct, government waste or injury to public property, in this case, the elephants.
The issue first came to Leider's attention in 1992, when an African elephant named Hannibal died as zoo officials were preparing to move him to Mexico. Leider joined protests against the confinement of elephants, and in 2007 he and actor Robert Culp filed a lawsuit against the city and its zoo director, John Lewis.
In the years it took for the suit to reach trial, Culp died and the zoo rejected an offer of land for a sprawling elephant sanctuary, said plaintiff's attorney David Casselman. In 2010, the zoo opened its new elephant habitat ..."
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