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
I've got some great news and some not-so-great news. The great news is that the Toronto Zoo has heeded the call of animal defenders, including Bob Barker, and decided to close its elephant display, joining more than a dozen other zoos that have done the same thing. What's more, the Toronto Zoo has agreed that it will not send Toka, Iringa and Thika to any facility that uses bullhooks.
The not-so-great news is that instead of sending the elephants to the spacious comfort of a sanctuary, the zoo seems intent on sending them to another zoo. The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California is willing and able to immediately provide these elephants with the many acres of natural habitat that they need to thrive, warmer weather, and the companionship of other elephants. Toka, Iringa, and Thika deserve no less, and we're appealing to the zoo to send them to PAWS.
Another Canadian elephant in desperate need of retirement is Lucy, who spends her days alone in Edmonton's Valley Zoo. Please ask city officials to send Lucy south.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
… to sunny California. Not content with campaigning to get an ailing elephant named Lucy out of Edmonton's Valley Zoo, the tireless Bob Barker is now speaking out on behalf of Toka, Iringa, and Thika, the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo. Bob joins Toronto City Councilor Shelley Carroll, who is calling for the elephant trio to be moved to the more appropriate climate of a California sanctuary without delay—and for good reason. Seven elephants have died at the Toronto Zoo, none of old age. Some suffered and died from severe arthritis—one of the main reasons that captive elephants are euthanized—and joint disease.
Two of the elephants at the Toronto Zoo. loozrboy/cc by 2.0
As Bob eloquently points out, the California sanctuary offers elephants "acres and acres of land. They have a mud hole; elephants love to play in the mud. They have a pool; some of them stay underwater practically the whole summer. And there are elephants for them to socialize with. Elephants come in that have been mistreated and been lonely and depressed, and they just blossom. It's wonderful to behold."
Recognizing that elephants fare very poorly in captivity, progressive zoos all over North America have retired their elephants to sanctuaries.
Please let the Toronto councilors know that you support moving Toka, Iringa, and Thika to a home where they can thrive.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.