Toronto elephants to pack trunks in late April
Thika, one of the Toronto Zoo's three remaining elephants, walks around it's enclosure on Thursday May 12, 2011. The Toronto Zoo voted to relocate its three aging elephants Thursday but some critics argue the decision to move them to another zoo instead of an animal sanctuary is the wrong choice. (Pat Hewitt / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Thursday, December 22, 2011 9:54PM EST
Toronto's three elephants now have a moving date.
The African elephants, which were the subject of much debate earlier this year, will be heading to a California sanctuary in late April, zoo officials said Thursday.
Staff members returned recently from a tour of their new home at a sanctuary in northern California where they met with Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) officials to discuss shipping plans.
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 unsuitable for the pachyderms.
And late last week, popular retired game show host Bob Barker said he planned to pay the costs of moving Toka, Thika and Iringa to ARK 2000, the California sanctuary.
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.