Officials have decided a trio of elephants at the Toronto Zoo will have to wait until the fall before moving to a new sanctuary in Southern California.
Zoocheck Canada say the aging Asian Elephants won't make the trip to their new home until cooler weather arrives in September.
Toronto City Council approved the move to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Sanctuary last October, and after months of delays they were scheduled to leave August 2, but now the hot weather is being blamed for another postponement. Julie Woodyer of Zoocheck tells the Toronto Star, “The heat is a big problem because they are in steel crates.” “There’s no point in taking a risk for the sake of a month.” Even though the cargo plane would be climate controlled there are concerns about delays under the hot summer sun, as they are being loaded and unloaded from the aircraft. Woodyer tells the CBC, "We're in the middle of a heat wave and because the crates are made of steel and there's some radiant heat potentially. Although the aircraft itself is temperature controlled, you know when the animals are on the tarmac and there's clearance and so on that has to go on, just for safety sake we've decided that we're going to look at September."
The elephants, Iringa, 42, Toka, 41, and Thika, 31, have been the subject of protests for years at the Toronto Zoo and even this past weekend two small, separate protests were held. The Toronto Star reports one group is worried about a recent case of tuberculosis at the PAWS sanctuary and says it isn't the best place for the trio. The other group just says there's no need for delay, the elephants should be flown to their new home now.
Digital Journal told you in April that Animal Rights Activist Bob Barker had offered to pay $880 thousand dollars of the estimated $1 million price tag for the transfer.