TORONTO — The price may be right as Bob Barker could be paying up to $800,000 for three elephants to be transported from Toronto to California by truck.
PAWS sanctuary and its Canadian representative Zoocheck Canada, are hoping to have Toka, Thika, and Iringa — three elephants at the Toronto Zoo — moved by fall 2013 and are unwilling to wait for a response from National Defence as to whether or not travelling by plane could be an option.
Going by truck, the plan is to have one elephant on one truck and the other two on a separate vehicle. All of the animals would be in crates for the 50 hours journey across the continent.
So where does Bob Barker come in? Well, the former Price is Right host is an avid animal activist and has agreed to pay for the transportation costs to the sanctuary in California.
The trek would pass by seven or eight zoos on the way, just in case any assistance is needed. The elephants will have video cameras in their crates and a mist system is meant to keep the animals cool — approximately 20 C.
The plane option would take about eight weeks to organize, potentially delaying the move as PAWS and Zoocheck must wait until the fall for National Defence’s decision.
Julie Woodyer of Zoocheck says moving by truck makes the most sense. “It’s the tried and true method,” she says to the Toronto Star.
Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna must review, provide input and sign off on the transportation plan, but says that the actual moving responsibility comes down to PAWS.
Zoocheck and PAWS need this approval before they can begin scouting out trucking companies and crane operators — for lifting the crated elephants onto the trucks. Woodyer says she’s hopeful to get a response from Tracogna this week.
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