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Elephants: ‘California, Here We Come!’


They’ve been cleared for take-off. Barring last-minute holdups (and the Toronto Zoo says there may be some), Toka, Thika and Iringa, the three African elephants at the Toronto Zoo, will fly out to their new home at the PAWS sanctuary in California on August 2nd. On their checklist: [readon]

  • Russian cargo jet – rented
  • Fleet of trucks to be ready at each end – rented
  • Drivers and crews – hired
  • Crates for each elephant – built
  • Barn space sanctuary – ready
  • Hydraulic gates at sanctuary – reinstalled
  • Elephant prep – they’re getting used to being in crates and to the  noises they’ll be hearing along the way

In fact, two of the elephants have been on a plane before. Toka and Iringa, now in their 40s, were flown to Toronto from Mozambique, where they were captured 37 years ago.

The cost of the flight, at least $800,000, is being covered by Bob Barker, who led the drive to have the elephants released from their miserable conditions at the zoo and taken to the big, comfortable new spaces they’ll have at PAWS.

More about all the preparations is in this news story.

It’s been quite a marathon. For some of the background, see also: