Toronto Zoo mulls keeping elephants

Feb. 15, 2011 at 10:19 AM

TORONTO, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The Toronto Zoo is debating whether to spend $40 million for a new elephant exhibit or get rid of its three elephants altogether, board members said.

At a Monday board meeting, city Councilor Shelley Carroll appealed to the board to ship the elephants to a sanctuary in California, out of the frigid Canadian weather, the Toronto Star reported.

She said zoo visitors see the animals "swaying back and forth in pain" from foot ailments caused by inactivity in cramped space.

Since 1984, seven elephants have died at the Toronto Zoo, the report said.

Animal rights activist and former host of the "The Price Is Right" game show, Bob Barker, told the Star he hasn't lobbied the Toronto Zoo to ship the elephants to California because he hasn't been asked.

However, he said, "Canada is no place for elephants -- it's too far north."

The 87-year-old Barker is actively campaigning for the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Alberta to ship its lone female elephant named Lucy to the California sanctuary to live out her senior years with other elephants.

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