Bob Barker offers to pay for elephants' move
Published Sunday, December 18, 2011 11:15PM EST
Bob Barker, the former host of popular game show The Price is Right, intends to foot the bill to relocate three African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to California.
According to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) website, the popular host and animal rights activist told the organization's director that he would pay the cost to move Toka, Thika and Iringa to ARK 2000, a sanctuary in northern California.
"I do not want the transition of the elephants to be hampered in any way. I want them to have the most efficient and humane transition to their new home," he said in a statement posted on the group's website. "I said this would not cost the city a penny and I want to assure them it won't."
Toronto council voted in late October to move the animals out of the city following an outpouring of concern that the harsh Toronto climate was not suitable for the pachyderms.
Earlier, Zoocheck Canada offered to move the animals to California -- a move that would have cost the group between $100,000 and $300,000.
"Both Zoocheck Canada and PAWS were prepared to raise the funds because Mr. Barker is constantly the source of funding for relocation and rescue of animals, and we were disturbed that his generosity had generated unpleasant comments from disgruntled zoo staff," PAWS founder Pat Derby said.
"We were trying to prevent further diatribes against a man who has devoted his life to helping animals and people."
Earlier this year Barker visited Toronto to campaign against keeping the elephants in Canada. This came after four elephants died at the Toronto Zoo in the past four years.
"It's a matter of making people aware of the suffering involved for elephants," he said in a Canada AM interview in April. "They don't belong in zoos…they don't belong in Canada. Canada is a wonderful place, but it's too cold for elephants."