16 May 2011

Toronto elephants moving to new zoo

The Toronto Zoo is bidding goodbye to some of its largest tenants.

By a vote of 5-2, the Toronto Zoo Board of Management voted to move its three elephants to a wildlife park with a habitat that's more amenable to pachyderm life.

Though the Toronto Zoo has housed elephants for the past 36 years, animal rights groups such as Zoocheck Canada have been urging Toronto officials to move the elephants to a warmer climate for months. Former "The Price is Right" host Bob Barker is one of the more noted individuals lobbying for the move.

There's no indication the board bowed to the pressure, however, as board member Josh Colle told CTV Toronto that it would cost the zoo more than $17 million.

"The situation here has been a financial one," Colle told the station. "It is an opportunity for the zoo to renew, refocus and re-prioritize."

Any extra equipment the zoo needs won't be moved out of Toronto storage units any time soon, however, as officials said it could take two years to ready the elephants for their next destination.

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