Elephants photographed at the Toronto Zoo Still waiting to be shipped to California.
Credits: Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
Bob Barker is endorsing a 10,000-signature petition calling for Toronto Zoo elephants to be moved to a sanctuary.
Zoocheck launched a campaign demanding Toronto city councillors stick to their decision and set a deadline for the zoo's elephants to be moved to the PAWS sanctuary in California.
Barker, former host of the Price is Right, has offered to pay the $880,000 bill to fly the three surviving African elephants to the PAWS sanctuary.
Barker has said he's "lost patience with the zoo's excuses" and is doing everything he can to make sure the elephants are moved quickly.
Toronto Zoo had announced it would be ending its elephant program and city council voted 31-4 in October 2011 to send the animals to California.
Barker is now encouraging people to sign a 10,000-signature petition started by Zoocheck on change.org.
Insiders claim the Toronto Zoo is planning on bringing the issue back to council, hoping it will send the elephants to PAWS.
"Four elephants died between 2006 and 2009," Barker said. "The delays are putting the elephants' welfare at risk.
"We have to put (their) needs as the highest priority and the PAWS sanctuary is recognized as one of the best elephant facilities in the world.
"This has gone on long enough, and council's decision to send them to the sanctuary was clear the first time and should be respected," Zoocheck executive director Rob Laidlaw said.
"The zoo is trying to make this the most difficult, prolonged move ever and people have tried to undermine it at every opportunity," Laidlaw said. "This is irresponsible and is jeopardizing Iringa, Toka, and Thika's welfare.
"We're hoping this petition on change.org will help convince the councillors of what they need to do. I know Mr. Barker is really hoping to get that $880,000 bill."
Zoocheck expects to deliver the petition to city councillors in a few weeks.