Animals, News

Toronto Zoo Elephants Prepare For Trip To California

Elephant Toronto Zoo; Image by Scott Greenwood
Image: Scott Greenwood

For two years, the Toronto Zoo and Toronto City Council have been trying to agree on the best way to move three senior elephants to California.

The elephants are quite old and must be treated very carefully.

Now, if all goes well, Toka, Thika and Iringa will begin their trip next month.

At first, they were to make the move by plane, but that idea was turned down in favour of driving.

Now they will go in containers on a 50-hour journey with several stops along the way for feeding and the cleaning of the crates.

Veterinarians and handlers will go with them on the trip to make sure the animals are safe and not stressed.

The trip will cost more than $350,000. A former American celebrity named Bob Barker is paying for it. He is retired, now, from his job as TV host on the Price Is Right game show and is an animal activist.

He believes the animals will have a better life in California, now that they are older.

The warmer weather in California was one reason for moving the elephants there.

Space was another. The PAWS (Performing Animals Welfare Society) Wildlife Sanctuary has 80 acres for the elephants to roam around in. They will also have other elephants to socialize with there.

To prepare the elephants for the long journey, their handlers are putting melons and apples inside the crates to encourage them to enter.

Related Link

More information about the elephants can be found in this previous TKN article.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Animal lover, Bob Barker, believes that the elephants will have a “better life” in California. What do you think animals need in order to have a good life? What do humans need in order to have a good life? Are they the same or different?

Reading Prompt: Point of View
It has taken two years for several people to decide to move the three elephants to California. Over the past two years, many people have given their opinion on what should happen to the elephants. What do you think the point of view was of the following people involved:
1. people working at the Toronto Zoo
2. Toronto City Council
3. the elephants’ veterinarians and handlers
4. Bob Barker
5. people that work at PAWS

If the elephants could talk, what point of view do you think they would express?

Identify, initially with support and direction, the speaker and the point of view presented in a text and suggest one or two possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Grammar Feature: Commas
A comma (,) is a punctuation mark that tells us when to pause while reading.

Practice reading sentences that include commas using this article. First read the article all the way through without stopping for commas. Then read the article aloud a second time and add pauses. Remember, when you get to a period, make sure you have a long pause. When you get to a comma, stop for only a short pause.

Compare how the article sounded when you read it without pausing and when you read it using the proper punctuation. How did it sound different?