Oregon Public Broadcasting

Packy the elephant has some friends in high places.

KOIN reports that former Price Is Right host Bob Barker included his name in a letter to Interim Zoo Director Teri Dresler, demanding that the Oregon Zoo's elderly elephant be released to a sanctuary. Other celebrities in support of Packy's release include Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Barry Kent MacKay of Born Free USA and actress Lily Tomlin.

Packy, who celebrated his 52nd birthday in April, has lived his entire life in the zoo.

Barker wrote in the letter, "After 52 years of service, Packy deserves to be sent to a place where he can enjoy his final years in peace and serenity. I strongly urge you to provide Packy with the retirement he so richly deserves."

The elephant has been a point of controversy for the zoo, especially this year.

Earlier this year, Packy and other elephants in the exhibit tested positive for tuberculosis, which can be passed to humans.

And during Packy's birthday celebration at Oregon Zoo, the animal rights activists Free Oregon Zoo Elephants protested outside of the park's gates. In May, FOZE campaigned to get Packy elected to the Metro Council via write-in ballots.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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