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Prepare for Take-Off!


The three elephants at the Toronto Zoo have been cleared for take-off, and will soon be on their way to a new life at the PAWS sanctuary in California.

How are they getting there? They’re being flown door-to-door by the Royal Canadian Air Force. (Yes, that would be aboard one of their jumbo jets …..)

How much will it cost? More than $500,000, but less than the $850,000 that Bob Barker has already pledged to the effort. (Yes, the price is right ….)

Why are they flying, not driving? Four or five days on the road, shaking around in a truck would be too stressful on these senior citizens who already have foot troubles from standing around in a zoo for so many years.

Are they ready? You bet. The elephants were first given the go ahead nearly two years ago, but then got caught up in a lot of delaying tactics from the zoo industry, which was afraid that this highly-publicized event would be the thin end of the wedge, leading to more and more actions by animal protection groups wanting to rescue elephants from zoos. So Toka, Thika and Iringa had to suffer through two more miserable Toronto winters.

Right now, the three ladies are waiting for a final sign-off by Canada’s Defense Minister. And, according to the Toronto Star, “once the expected approval comes through, Operation Dumbo Drop will swing into action and the elephants will be moved almost immediately.”

More background on Toka, Thika and Iringa packing their trunks is here.