CANADA (ANIMAL WELFARE) — Animal activist and famed ‘Price is Right’ host, Bob Barker, is lobbying for the Toronto Zoo to relocate three elephants to a sanctuary in California, which has a more suitable climate. Barker proposes replacing the zoo’s elephant exhibit with an interactive digital exhibit. Take action and show your support for Barker’s plan to help these animals as well as make the zoo more educational. — Global Animal
Montreal Gazette, Michael Fraiman
TORONTO — Famed TV personality Bob Barker is calling for the Toronto Zoo to allow its three elephants to be moved to a U.S. sanctuary and consider replacing them with a $15-million interactive exhibit.
“We hope it’s being considered that they be moved to a sanctuary,” the 87-year-old former Price is Right host said at a Friday news conference. “They’d be healthier at the sanctuary, I won’t hesitate to say that.”
Barker then gave the floor to five experts, who outlined the reasons why elephants were never meant to survive in Toronto. They suggested that all three could be driven to a proper home in California for just under $100,000.
“I’ll ante up a penny or two for that,” Barker said, though he wouldn’t give a precise number.
In place of the animals, Barker suggested a digital exhibit that would feature life-size elephants on enormous screens, complete with surround-sound noise effects.
This new exhibit would “truly be educational,” Barker said. “Unlike going and watching some elephant standing there, watching it bob its head . . . (and) sway back and forth because it’s so whacked out from being under such mental strain for so long.”
At that point, Barker had not yet met Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, but anticipated a different interaction from his controversial dealings with Edmonton’s mayor over the last two years, where he’s been arguing with the municipal government over treatment of their zoo’s lone elephant, Lucy.
“I have never been so unfortunate as to have to deal with people like the government of Edmonton,” Barker said.
Ford later said he is not convinced the elephants need to move, but would leave it to zoo officials to determine.
“Obviously, if elephants are being hurt or dying in these conditions, I don’t want to see any animal die,” Ford said. “But we’ve had elephants up here for a long, long time, so I’d have to see a pretty strong argument to move them out.”