Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
Update: Animal friend and philanthropist Bob Barker is paying the entire cost of shipping Toka, Thika, and Iringa from Toronto to the PAWS sanctuary in California.
The following was originally posted on November 25, 2011:
To thank the three members of the Toronto City Council who spearheaded the vote to send the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo to a sanctuary, we sent them each a box of vegan chocolates and a Compassionate Legislator Award certificate. The City Council voted 31 to 4 to allow Iringa, Toka, and Thika to leave the freezing Canadian winters behind and spend the rest of their days roaming with other retired elephants at California's spacious Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary.
Elephants in Canadian zoos—including Lucy, the lone elephant in the Edmonton Zoo—spend much of their time indoors since they cannot tolerate the winter cold and snow. They often suffer from arthritis and other painful ailments as a result of the lack of exercise and standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods. While the compassionate city councillors recognized the need to send the three Toronto elephants to a sanctuary, zoo officials were battling to send Iringa, Toka, and Thika to another zoo. But last night the zoo voted to send the three elephants to PAWS.
Please click here to send a polite email to the Toronto Zoo thanking them for their compassionate decision to send Iringa, Toka and Thika to the PAWS sanctuary.
Written by PETA
Toka, Thika, and Iringa—the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo—will
soon be on their way to paradise. By a vote of 31 to 4, the
Toronto City Council overwhelmingly agreed that California's Performing Animal
Welfare Society (PAWS)
sanctuary is a much more appropriate home for these elephants. Earlier, there
had been a push to send the three to another zoo.
© Digital Vision | Just Elephants | Getty Images
PETA and our colleagues at Zoocheck Canada kept up the pressure,
writing to councilmembers and mobilizing Canadians to make their opinions
known. Now, these three elephants will know the joys of roaming freely,
swimming in ponds, taking dust baths, and socializing with other elephants.
PAWS has a history of healing and restoring quality of life to elephants who
have become debilitated from years in captivity.
TV icon and animal defender Bob Barker has offered to pay for the elephants' relocation to the sanctuary at a cost
estimated to be between
$100,000 and $300,000.
As an unrelated bonus, the City Council received a standing
ovation when it also voted to ban
the possession, sale, and consumption of shark fins,
with hefty fines for violators.
Now, it's Lucy's
turn. Please click here to ask Edmonton
to follow their Toronto colleagues' lead and send this ailing and lonely
elephant to PAWS, and click here to
urge the Toronto Zoo and City Council to send Iringa, Toka, and Thika to the sanctuary without delay.
by Jennifer O'Connor
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