Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Barker Wants Elephants to ‘Come on Down’ …

Written by PETA | February 15, 2011

… 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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  • Sabrina Polla says:

    This one’s for you Tim: Animals do not exist for your children’s entertainment, and we cannot as ‘intelligent’ creatures really accept that keeping any animal in a elaborate cage (oh excuse me, enclosure) is justifiable because your children like to go there once in a blue moon and learn about elephants. There are other ways to learn about animals that does not involve their suffering. How about teaching your children about genuine respect for all animals, not just the ones you can afford to see in real life? What happens to parents? They think anything is justifiable for their child’s entertainment, its pathetic. Millions of people find a way to take their kids to Disney Land. Why not take them to a sanctuary like the one in California to see how happy elephants actually look and behave? This is about priorities, and your child’s entertainment is not high on the list.

  • Sabrina Polla says:

    This one’s for you Tim: Animals do not exist for your children’s entertainment, and we cannot as ‘intelligent’ creatures really accept that keeping any animal in a elaborate cage (oh excuse me, enclosure) is justifiable because your children like to go there once in a blue moon and learn about elephants. There are other ways to learn about animals that does not involve their suffering. How about teaching your children about genuine respect for all animals, not just the ones you can afford to see in real life? What happens to parents? They think anything is justifiable for their child’s entertainment, its pathetic. Millions of people find a way to take their kids to Disney Land. Why not take them to a sanctuary like the one in California to see how happy elephants actually look and behave? This is about priorities, and your child’s entertainment is not high on the list.

  • Running says:

    Just watched Bob Barker on Canadian news channel CTV. He offered $100,000 to the Edmonton Zoo in exchange for permission to have Lucy examined by actual elephant experts. He listed Lucy’s ongoing aliments and the fact that she has never been examined by elephant experts. He offered $100,000 for the Zoo to do whatever they choose, just to allow Bob to bring in experts to examine Lucy, just to save her life. You figure they would be thrilled. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel Disagrees, says Lucy is well cared for and is happy here. Unbelievable.

  • PETA says:

    Jesse- PETA would like zoos to stop importing captured animals for exhibition and instead become sanctuaries providing permanent homes for captive exotic animals who have been rescued from abusive situations. If wildlife as we know it is to survive, the primary focus must shift from collections of animals in captivity to habitat preservation. To learn more about ways to help animals—in zoos and elsewhere—please visit http://www.PETA.org/issues/Animals-In-Entertainment/default.aspx.

  • PETA says:

    Tim- Thank you for your comment and for sharing your thoughts about zoos. PETA believes that animals meant to roam, fly, or swim freely don’t belong in captivity. Animals kept in zoos are denied everything that is natural and important to them; every aspect of their lives is controlled and managed. They are housed in cages that don’t come close to the jungles, deserts, and forests that are their natural homes. They have no choice in their diets, mates, or living companions. What is a few fleeting moments of distraction for visitors means a lifetime of misery for the animals. The physical and mental frustrations of captivity often lead to abnormal, neurotic, and even self-destructive behaviors in animals, called “zoochosis.” This mental illness is marked by symptoms such as pacing, neck-twisting, head-bobbing, bar-biting, and other repetitive behaviors. Surplus animals are another of the zoo industry’s dirty little secrets. Zoo administrators know that nothing brings paying customers through their gates faster than newborn animals. But breeding programs, which are often conducted under the guise of species preservation, inevitably result in a surplus of less crowd-pleasing adult animals. As a result, many zoos—including the Toronto Zoo—routinely trade, loan, sell, barter, and kill adult animals that they no longer want. As long as people continue to think that it’s acceptable to confine wild animals in the name of “entertainment,” this cruel cycle will continue. To learn more about ways to help animals—in zoos and elsewhere—please visit http://www.PETA.org/issues/Animals-In-Entertainment/default.aspx.

  • Tim says:

    Unlike Bob Barker, and most of the posters here I have been to the Toronto Zoo and have seen how well the animals, including elephants, are cared for. My kids enjoy going every year to see and learn about the the creatures that share our planet. We cannot afford to see these animals in their natural habitat and TV is not the same. You would deny my kids and future generations the opportunity to see and learn about the creatures of the world because of some high minded and arrogant belief that you know whats best without getting all or any facts to back up your claims. This article is disgaceful and slanderous at best.

  • Kari says:

    I live in Edmonton, AB and I agree completely that the elephant that is kept there should be let out. She is forced to do strenuous tricks all day and her lodgings are absolutely awful. My sister and I took my nephew to the Edmonton Zoo last year and I was disgusted by the standards of this place; I can’t even bare to think what happens to these animals during the freezing winter months. The Edmonton Zoo quite honestly makes me very embarrassed to live here, especially in comparison to how nice the Calgary Zoo is; which is three hours away.

  • Jesse says:

    On another note, I saw on my AOL feed that Bob Barker also participated in the rescue of a bunch of lions. I never realized how much this man truly loves animals!

  • Jesse says:

    You will never rid the world of all zoos, but at least places like the San Diego Wild Animal Park is making a step in the right direction with its Heart of Africa exhibit.

  • Mich says:

    I don’t know enough about elephant physiology to figure out whether travelling to California would be harmful to these elephants, however this should just never been an issue in the first place. It is, once again, human intervention based on greed and speciesism that has led us to this point. Humans’ treatment of animals is pretty despicable.

  • jill says:

    Im sorry ‘Meg Schramm’. I do support moving the elephants, but I live in canada and it’s sad that your preception of canadian winters is “long and dark” we have daylight – 10 hours of it, and yeah some days its cold, but winters are only 3-4 months long. they are in toronto, which barely get’s snow during the winter. so please, before you speak maybe you should save some money and travel to canada, maybe you wouldnt be so ignorant.

  • Aimee Osmulski says:

    Can I just say, how much I love this guy! Thank you Bob, for being their voice, for doing something worthy with your stardom.

  • melmac says:

    I’ve read that moving these elephants can also kill them due to the extreme differences in temperatures. Why not petition that a new sanctuary is built in Canada for these elephants to roam in? That way they thrive with the similar things in LA but don’t risk dying of temperature shock?

  • Barbara Park says:

    Please let these three elephants retire at the California sanctuary where they can live out their lives being happy.

  • John says:

    Is California really a perfect place for elephants to live with heavy dangers of earthquakes, mudslides and wildfires? PETA should put their donations to great use and help ship these wonderful animals back to Africa & Asia in the wild.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Elephants belong in countries with warmer climates, such as Africa and India. They do not belong in Canada where they spend most of the year inside because of the long, dark, winters where the land is covered in snow and ice. For Canadians who want to see an elephant either save your money and go on a photographic safari, or take advantage of a wonderful invention called cable television and watch Animal Planet.

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