Bob Barker wants Toronto Zoo to close elephant exhibit
Former Price is Right game show host Bob Barker has hit the airwaves once again, saying four elephant deaths at the Toronto Zoo over the past four years proves it's too cold in The Great White North for the species.
Barker told Canada AM's Beverly Thomson that he flew to Toronto in order to introduce a team of elephant experts to the Toronto Zoo Board on Friday.
He hopes the specialists will be able to convince members of the board, some of whom he says are already leaning towards releasing the animals, that elephants deserve a warmer climate.
The "white haired wonder," famed for his skinny microphone on the long-running daytime gameshow, says he wants the Toronto Zoo to close its elephant exhibits, just as zoos have in London, Scotland and New York.
"It's a matter of making people aware of the suffering involved for elephants," he said. "They don't belong in zoos…they don't belong in Canada. Canada is a wonderful place, but it's too cold for elephants."
In their natural habitat elephants can walk up to 80 kilometres each day. Barker said he wants to move Canada's elephants to California where they can enjoy "the nearest possible" environment to their natural habitat. The proposed location is a northern California sanctuary which has acres of space, a mud hole, pond and a herd of other elephants.
During the interview with Canada AM, he also raised the issue of Lucy the elephant who he said is still suffering in the Edmonton Zoo. He also praised the Toronto Zoo for considering the move, something he says the Edmonton Zoo is refusing to do.
The Toronto Zoo is looking at whether to close its elephant exhibit or spend $40 million on upgrades.
Barker has spent more than $1.5 million of his own money to help move elephants from Alaska, Illinois and Northern California.
He is considering donating money to the move if the Toronto Zoo goes through it.