updated 4/30/2004 11:30:21 AM ET 2004-04-30T15:30:21

A judge gave a Tennessee zoo six months to convince him that an African elephant named Ruby is adapting well to her new home after being separated from a pachyderm friend in Los Angeles last year.

Judge George Wu ordered the report from the Knoxville Zoo on Thursday during a hearing in a lawsuit that seeks to return Ruby to the Los Angeles Zoo.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s the first time in America that we’ve had a Superior Court judge bend over backwards to see if an elephant is happy,” said Gretchen Wyler, vice president of the U.S. Humane Society’s Hollywood office.

Attorneys for the city of Knoxville say Ruby has not suffered since being separated from a companion named Gita nearly a year ago, when she was sent to Tennessee for a breeding program.

The lawsuit claims Ruby is lonely, spends most of her time by herself on a concrete floor and does not breed.

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