Oct 21, 2013
By Jane Brown
Three aging elephants from the Toronto Zoo arrived at their new home in California last night after a 70 hour trip by truck. PAWS officials at the animal sanctuary near Sacramento say Thika, Toka and Iringa are in great shape and settling into their new environment.
Animal activist and former TV game show host Bob Barker paid the 700-thousand dollar tab to move the elephants. “These elephants are important to me, just as animals of every description all over the world are important to me,” Barker explained to CTV News Channel, “I’m one of the very fortunate millions of people who was just born for a love of all animals and I have nothing but sympathy for people who don’t love animals, they’re missing one of the most wonderful things in life.” But 89 year old Barker had some unkind words for management at the Toronto Zoo. “The zoo found every possible obstacle to put in the way of PAWS,” he said, “The zoo said terrible things in the media about PAWS. The zoo has been totally uncooperative and when I was asked about the arrival of these animals in PAWS, I said I would believe it when I see them.”
The move was delayed several times after Toronto City Council voted in 2011 to send the aging elephants to the PAWS animal sanctuary after concerns were raised over their well-being in Toronto’s cold winters.