Toronto Council votes to send zoo’s elephants to California — again

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 Elephants Going To PAWS At Last, Hope they have a Happy Christmas, best of luck to them all xxxx

After a year of political wrangling and opposition from Toronto Zoo staff, city council has reaffirmed its decision to send the zoo’s three ageing elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California.

Zoo management, who had opposed the move, indicated after the 32-8 vote that they will abide by council’s edict.

One of the Toronto Zoo’s elephants wanders near a transport crate placed in the elephant paddock for the animals to get used to. A year after the decision was made to send the last three to California, only to meet with strong opposition from Zoo staff, the original decision has been reaffirmed.

“I think it’s disappointing but we also have to accept the decision of council and move on,” said John Tracogna, the zoo’s chief executive officer.

Council has had the benefit of receiving a lot of information over the past year. It still thinks the sanctuary is the best place, and zoo management is now prepared to accept that, Tracogna said.

“The public debate on this issue has occurred, and so we’ve got the direction and we’ll move on.”

Zoo staff vehemently disagreed with council’s decision in October 2011, in part because of PAWS’s lack of accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and then because of concerns about disease at the sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. Staff hoped to send the elephants to a new, accredited sanctuary under construction in Florida instead.

“There was concern around tuberculosis at the facility,” Tracogna said. “But council’s heard all this and made their decision so we have to respect that.

We’ve had a public debate. The information has come out fully. Council has made a decision.”

He noted that there are logistical hurdles to overcome, and stressed it’s up to PAWS to come up with an acceptable plan to fly the elephants westward.

“A good part of it is having a sound transportation plan that is going to move the elephants safely,” Tracogna said, adding he believes retired game show host and animal advocate Bob Barker, who had offered to pick up transportation costs, is still willing to do so.

“Basically we need a transportation plan from PAWS that’s going to be safe and meet all the requirements to fly three elephants all that distance. Along with that, we need the proper permits and the proper crate training.”

Tracogna couldn’t give a timetable to move the elephants, but councillors who pushed for the move want to see it happen as soon as possible.

We just want to do what’s best for our elephants, and that’s what we did here today,” said Councillor Michelle Berardinetti, who has fought hard for the move.

We did that a year ago, but we saw that they dragged their feet. They found every reason to drag their feet. You saw a sound decision by council once again. Sending them to PAWS is the best place.”

Not so, said Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, who fought the move.

“They’re sending them to a facility that’s got TB, active TB. Why would you do that?” she said.

“I can’t understand what goes through some of these people’s minds. They are our elephants; one was born here. How could you do that to them? But council rules supreme, even though I certainly can’t agree with it.”

 News Link:http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1294168–toronto-council-votes-to-send-zoo-s-elephants-to-california-again

Adopt* A PAWS “Wild Child”

For Yourself Or To Give As A Gift

Adopting a PAWS animal helps us provide nutritious food, veterinarian care and an enriching habitat for your animal — and you’ll have the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re making a difference in the life of a PAWS animal.

Adoptive parents receive:

  •  Biography of their adopted animal
  • Certificate of adoption and a color photograph
  • A guest pass to one regular PAWS ARK 2000 open house (special events are not included)
  • Periodic updates about the adopted animal
  • Periodic mailings and invitations to special events
  • PAWS online E-NEWS (Adoptive parent’s email address must be provided. Recipient may opt out at any time and no email address will ever be sold or given away.)
  • Opportunities to take direct action to help captive wildlife

Happy ele day’s

PAWS:-http://www.pawsweb.org/about_paws_home_page.html

Toronto Zoo Elephants Need Your Help!

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The elephants at the Toronto Zoo – Iringa, Toka and Thika – need your help again. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) revoked the zoo’s accreditation last week because of a plan to send the elephants to a sanctuary. Now, some City of Toronto Councillors are wondering if they made the right decision when they voted to send the elephants to the PAWS Sanctuary in California.

Don’t let the AZA get away with these bully tactics meant to stop the transfer of the Toronto Zoo elephants to a large, natural-habitat sanctuary, and to intimidate other zoos that may want to do the same for their elephants.

Tell the City of Toronto Councillors that the world is watching!

Send a message to the City of Toronto Councillors, urging them to stay the course and send Iringa, Toka and Thika to the PAWS Sanctuary.

Personalize and submit the form below to send your comments to:

https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=2155

Related articles

Other Stories in the news regards the above:- 

Zoo chief says plan to move elephants at ‘an impasse’

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/zoo-chief-says-plan-to-move-elephants-at-an-impasse/article2418503/

Toronto Zoo loses accreditation over elephant move

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-zoo-loses-accreditation-over-elephant-move/article2406394/

Toronto Zoo Loses International Accreditation

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/18/toronto-zoo-loses-accreditation_n_1434740.html

Proposed legislation would ban elephant bullhooks

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TORONTO – Zoocheck has thrown its support behind proposed provincial legislation that would ban the use of bullhooks and other “weapons” on elephants in Ontario.

Legislation introduced at Queen’s Park is designed to protect circus elephants, says Liberal MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti. (QMI Agency photo)

The bill, if passed, could impact some circuses and animal facilities.

Julie Woodyer, campaigns director for Zoocheck Canada Inc., said bullhooks are not found at the Toronto Zoo but circuses make use of the sharp devices to force elephants to perform tricks.

“This is used to beat elephants and they’ll use it to hook elephants in the most sensitive parts of their bodies, behind their ears and under their legs,” Woodyer said. “It is a tool of discipline and it is based on the animals having fear of the tool.”

If it were used as a guide, as some elephant handlers claim, than why isn’t it made of foam, she said.

Progressive zoos use positive reinforcement to encourage the elephants to carry out activities such as lifting their foot to inspect for infection, she said.

Bill 69, introduced by Liberal MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti would prevent elephant handlers from using electric prods, bullhooks or similar devices to “shock, poke, strike, hit, stab, pierce or pinch the skin of an elephant.”

The use of chains and ropes to restrain elephants would also be severely curtailed.

Berardinetti said elephants are one of the few animals that has self awareness.

“They’re extremely intelligent and shouldn’t be in captivity, especially not in circuses because they’re forced to do stuff that they don’t want to do,” he said.

The bill says these types of elephant handling practices date back hundreds if not thousands of years and are used to dominate an elephant by breaking its spirit.

“Modern, progressive zoos around the world have stopped using fear or dominance-based training of elephants in favour of safer, more humane systems, such as protected contact management systems,” the bill says.

Ringling Brothers Circus, which has been the focus of animal rights campaigns in the U.S., says on its website that it has the most “pampered pachyderms” in the world.

“Our training methods are based on reinforcement in the form of food rewards and words of praise. Verbal or physical abuse and the withholding of food or water are strictly prohibited,” the circus says.

Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur said she will look at the bill to assess its possible impact.

“But the protection of animals is very serious, we take it very serious, and there’s no place in Ontario for any cruelty to animals,” Meilleur said.

News Link:-http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/03/proposed-legislation-would-ban-elephant-bullhooks

Correcting Misinformation About PAWS

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PAWS is not a zoo, we are a Sanctuary; we provide a dignified peaceful refuge to injured, abused, unwanted and retired animals. Zoos, on the other hand, seek to form collections of healthy, virile specimens to exhibit and breed in displays that are often inadequate. Fortunately, some zoos are changing their ways.

When it comes to our elephants, our medical issues arrive with the elephant. The same cannot be said for many zoos and circuses which often create foot problems, arthritis and skin diseases in elephants due to lack of space, poor facilities and unnatural substrates. PAWS inherits all of those problems when those animals are retired to PAWS.

Virtually every elephant that comes to PAWS has a history of physical and/or psychological illness, often untreatable.We are the last alternative to the painful and lonely death of an animal who may have suffered most of its life.

With the City of Toronto‘s decision to donate the Toronto Zoo elephants to PAWS, the question of TB at PAWS has become the focus of certain zoo personnel and other misguided individuals who are opposed to sending the Toronto Zoo elephants to PAWS in the uninformed belief that their presence at PAWS endangers their welfare.

Read more. . .

Pat Derby addresses the issue of tuberculosis at PAWS in her latest blog. To read . . . click here.

“Some great footage of the ele’s in the rain, I think PAWS  is a fantastic place for elephants, just a shame more zoo’s don’t send their ele’s their, no zoo can afford such space & amenities like PAW does. Surely they deserve to spend their older years in paradise after giving everything to entertain the public?”

AFRICAN ELEPHANTS: RAINY DAY ON THE MOUNTAIN

Published on 18 Apr 2012 by 

April 11, 2012 — PAWS’ ARK 2000 Wildlife Sanctuary, San Andreas, CA. African elephants Maggie, Lulu and Mara.

Related articles

Bob Barker Pays $880,000 for Private Elephant Flight

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“OMG…I would seriously love to give this gentle compassionate gent a big kiss!  If only more people felt so fondly of animals; much of their suffering would end”

Bob Barker is a hero. Seriously. He’s picked his cause and given not only cash and time, but heart – serious heart – something that is as noble and it is inspirational. One example of heroism would be enough to define a life, but Barker has a portfolio – and this is his latest.

The former “Price is Right” host has reportedly agreed to pay a staggering $880,000 for a private plane capable of flying three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to the Performing Animals Welfare Societyelephant sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif.

The original plan was to transport the elephants via truck – but after Barker learned that one of the animals would be unable to withstand the long trip, he decided air would be better.

Barker said the elephants “have suffered so much for so long and now they have an opportunity to live the rest of their lives at what has been described as `elephant paradise.’ To think that one of them might not survive the trip in a truck touched my heart and purse strings.”

Wow. According to reports, the elephants will travel in crates aboard a massive Russian cargo plane.

So, whatever you’re drinking tonight, remember to raise a glass to Barker. Actions such as these – whether for the betterment of mankind, the lives of animals, or in conservation of the planet – are worth pausing to admire.

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

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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

 

Help Elephants (IDA) – Top Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants – 2011

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2011 Top Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants

In Defense Of Animals Releases 2011 “Ten Worst Zoos For Elephants” List.

San Rafael, Calif. (January 16, 2012) – The 2011 list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants, released today by In Defense of Animals (IDA), once again exposes the hidden suffering of elephants in zoos, where lack of space, unsuitably cold climates and unnatural conditions condemn Earth’s largest land mammals to lifetimes of deprivation, disease and early death. The list is in its eighth year.

A promising trend toward the closure of inadequate elephant displays continued in 2011 and includes zoos that have appeared on IDA’s annual list. The most recent are the Central Florida Zoo and the Southwick’s Zoo (Mass.). The Toronto Zoo’s appearance on the 2009 list sparked a campaign that has led to the closure of that exhibit in 2012. This brings the number of zoos that have closed or will close their elephant exhibits to 22, and zoo experts report that the number is expected to rise.

via Help Elephants (IDA) – Top Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants – 2011.

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