Monday, December 19, 2011

Media Monday - An Elephant Sized Problem

Recently, in my hometown of Toronto, Ontario there has been a rather large controversy over the moving of three aging elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a sanctuary run by PAWS near Galt, California called ARK 2000.  This controversy began last year when Bob Barker (he of Price is Right fame) stated that,

"They don't belong in zoos…they don't belong in Canada. Canada is a wonderful place, but it's too cold for elephants."

Read more:

after four elephants in four years passed away at the zoo.

Toronto City Council along with Zoo officials have fought for months over what is the best course of action in caring for these creatures.  It has gotten so nasty that even the Zoo's accrediting body, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) are threatening to pull Toronto Zoo’s accreditation over the city's decision to transfer three of its elephants to a sanctuary in California.  

The PAWS facility is accredited with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and has 2,300 acres of varied terrain for the animals to roam with lakes to bathes in as well as heated elephant barns with therapeutic Jacuzzi's. According to PAWS the sanctuary is "...the largest captive wildlife sanctuary in the United States and is the only sanctuary able to house bull elephants."  Several zoos including the Alaska Zoo have already successfully moved their elephants to the sanctuary.

Today, Bob Barker offered to pay for the relocation of the elephants to the Sanctuary.  This will hopefully end the controversy and allow these elephants to do as many Canadians before them have done and pack their trunks in order to retire to warmer climates.

No comments:

Post a Comment