Tuesday afternoon, February 21, 2012, the first transport crate for moving the Toronto Zoo’s three elephants, Iringa, Toka and Thika, to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in San Andreas, CA, was loaded onto a truck for its journey to Toronto, Canada.

The crate has been custom made to accommodate Iringa, with additional height to allow her to comfortably stand inside. The crate will be utilized by the zoo to begin the process of training the elephants for their journey, by truck, to ARK 2000. All training by the zoo is done with food rewards and zoo staff has already begun preliminary training.

As we often say once the process begins, “We’re on elephant time now.”

The target date for the trip is the end of April, but the elephants will ultimately determine when they are ready to move. When we moved Maggie from Alaska, we were amazed at her quick response to treats and training.

Wanda and Winky, two Asian elephants, were moved by truck, from Detroit Zoo, almost seven years ago. Detroit keepers and veterinarians joined our staff in the move which was quite successful despite some medical issues for Wanda.

Maggie’s and Wanda’s keepers, docents, zoo administrators and a myriad of fans continue to visit their elephants each year. We look forward to welcoming the Toronto Zoo elephants’ friends and fans to ARK 2000.

via African Elephants: Iringa’s Custom-Made Transport Crate – YouTube.

PAWS History
The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) captive wildlife sanctuaries are places where abandoned, abused, or retired performing animals and victims of the exotic animal trade can live in peace and dignity. For more than 25 years PAWS has been at the forefront of efforts to rescue and provide appropriate, humane sanctuary for animals who have been the victims of the exotic and performing animal trades.

PAWS investigates reports of abused performing and exotic animals, documents cruelty and assists in investigations and prosecutions by regulatory agencies to alleviate the suffering of captive wildlife.

Founded in 1984, by former Hollywood animal trainer and author, Pat Derby, and her partner, Ed Stewart, PAWS maintains three sanctuariesfor captive wildlife in Northern California.

Not a new story but worth watching again and again! So amazingly touching – the story of Shirley and Jenny, two crippled elephants reunited at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after a 22-year separation. The bonding was immediate, intense and unforgettable between the two former circus elephants. But long after the cameras were turned off, the wondrous moments would continue..

“I have watched most of the PAWS elephant videos but the one above still makes me fill up; how wonderful it is that 2 elephants snatched away from their homes, then forced to perform stupid tricks in the circus…finally found peace together at long last.”  It would be a dream come true if all circus animals could end up at this facility; freedom, love & contentment…Perfect!

Mission Statement

PAWS is dedicated to the protection of performing animals, to providing sanctuary to abused, abandoned and retired captive wildlife, to enforcing the best standards of care for all captive wildlife, to the preservation of wild species and their habitat and to promoting public education about captive wildlife issues.

http://www.pawsweb.org/index.html