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Bob Barker: Elephants too cold in Toronto

An elephant soaking up the sun at the Toronto Zoo.
An elephant soaking up the sun at the Toronto Zoo.

Jill Colton, staff writer

April 19, 2011 — Bob Barker wants Toronto to relocate elephants to a warmer climate.

Barker wants the elephant exhibit closed.
Barker wants the elephant exhibit closed.

Bob Barker has been a longtime supporter of animal rights. He's now campaigning for the well being of elephants -- and came to Toronto to exercise his complaint.

Barker feels the city is too cold for the gentle giants, and wants them relocated to a warmer climate.

I'm here to talk with some of the city father about the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo, Barker said at a press conference last Friday at the Citytv building at Yonge and Dundas.

The former 'Price Is Right' host has been long arguing Toka, Thika and Iringa belong in a sanctuary in a much warmer climate.

It would be like having a polar bear in Las Vegas. Its not a place where they can be healthy or happy.

Despite the popularity of the elephants, at least one member of the zoo board agrees with Barkers sentiments.

These elephants have been there for 30 or 40 years. Just like us, they've worked hard for a long time and it's time to send them down south to enjoy their sunset years, much like most of our seniors want to do, said city councillor and zoo board member Glenn De Baeremaeker.

A vote is scheduled next month (May 12), and the councillor is positive that it will result in the closure of the pachyderm exhibit.

I think there's a lot of very positive momentum to protect our elephants and to free our elephants at the Toronto zoo, he told reporters compassionately.

At least four of the massive creatures have died at the Toronto Zoo in the past four years.

Elephants have been a staple of the facility ever since it's opening in 1974. Over the past three years, the zoo has studied whether to close the exhibit or spend $40 million on upgrades.

With files from City News and The Canadian Press

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