Bob Barker Offers to Pay For Toronto Elephants to Come On Down


Call it the ultimate showcase showdown. In the battle between animal rights activists and Toronto Zoo elephant keepers over the fates of three female African elephants, it looks as though the former just gained the upper hand.

Legendary Price is Right host Bob Barker, who campaigned alongside activists to move Toka, Thika and Iringa to a California sanctuary, announced that he’s willing to pay for the cost of transporting the animals.

“I want [the elephants] to have the most efficient and humane transition to their new home,” the 88-year-old Barker said in a statement on the PAWS [Performing Animals Welfare Society] website. “I thank-.Toronto City Council for their diligent efforts on behalf of the elephants. I said this would not cost the city a penny and I want to assure them it won’t.”

The sanctuary, called ARK 2000 and run by PAWS, features heated stalls and Jacuzzis as well as plenty of open land and water. The conditions stand in stark contrast to the cold, difficult, unsuitable weather and enclosures that plague the elephants at the Toronto Zoo, according to activists. In October, Toronto city council voted to move the animals.

However, a group of elephant keepers is hoping to put a stop to the move, saying that the city didn’t allow them to find the best home for the animals, but rather chose the ARK sanctuary themselves.

Meanwhile, on the PAWS website, the organization is taking aim at “misinformed, but well meaning” Torontonians who they claim make “silly” comments about an “unusual weather system” that blanketed both of their sanctuaries in snow in 2008 as a argument against sending the elephants there.

“Galt, CA, sits at around 45 feet above sea level and is not in an area of ski resorts as one Toronto reader claimed,” the website reads. “San Andreas’ elevation is around 1000 feet. It’s highly unlikely that either location will see a white Christmas this year.“

-Mike Crisolago