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Toronto Zoo elephants going to PAWS sanctuary in California (October 30, 2011)

posted 1 Nov 2011, 12:09 by Rob Laidlaw   [ updated 13 Feb 2012, 09:34 ]

On October 25, 2011, City of Toronto Council voted 31 to 4 in favour of retiring the Toronto Zoo’s three surviving elephants, Iringa, Toka and Thika, to the PAWS sanctuary in California.


The motion to send the elephants to PAWS was introduced by Councillor Michelle Berardinetti and seconded by Councillor Raymond Cho. Many other Councillors spoke in favour of the motion and they are all to be congratulated.


While the Toronto Zoo had proposed sending the elephants to an American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) accredited facility, Council decided the more appropriate and compassionate choice for the elephants was the PAWS sanctuary.


The move to PAWS has been endorsed by many of the world’s leading elephant experts, including Dr. Joyce Poole,  Dr. Cynthia Moss, Winnie Kiiru and Dr. Keith Lindsay, to name just a few. In addition, animal welfare and wildlife protection organizations endorse the move.


A poll conducted by the professional polling firm R.A. Malatest and Associates Ltd. shows that Torontonians overwhelmingly support moving the Toronto Zoo’s three elephants to a sanctuary.


Here’s why the PAWS sanctuary is the correct choice for the Toronto Zoo elephants:


  • an 80 acre (323,748 m²) African elephant enclosure (1,938 times larger than the AZA minimum standard of 1,800 ft² [167 m²] adult elephant),


  • natural terrain with hills, other features and pasture for grazing throughout the year,


  • water pools for complete submersion and swimming,


  • 20,000 ft² (1,858 m²) “state of the art” elephant barn with rubberized flooring and heated stalls,


  • other African elephants to socialize with,


  • an elephant friendly climate,


  • world class veterinary care,


  • 24 hour monitoring of elephants and staff that live on the grounds,


  • highly skilled elephant caretakers with a solid track record of successfully moving old, injured and/or ill elephants.