LOS ANGELES, June 19 (UPI) -- The City of Los Angeles said in court this week the elephants at the Los Angeles Zoo don't have it bad at all.
City lawyers are fighting a lawsuit that alleges the park's elephants are a mess due to the conditions of their captivity.
The trial began this week with the defense taking exception to the claims and contending the Griffith Park elephant exhibit meets all pertinent standards and then some.
"The evidence will show that the elephants at the exhibit are pampered, they are protected, they well cared for and, yes, they are loved," said Deputy City Attorney John Carvalho. "They are loved by their handlers at the Los Angeles Zoo."
The Los Angeles Times said Tuesday the Griffith Park elephants have been a "lightning rod" for animal-rights advocates who fear captivity takes a physical and psychological toll on the normally wide-ranging animals.
The plaintiff in the case, real estate agent Aaron Leider, alleged in court documents the enclosure is way too small and that elephants are considered "fungible chattel" by the zoo. Leider is seeking to have the elephant exhibit permanently shut down, the Times said.
The trial is expected to last until the end of the week.