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5 years ago

October 17, 2013

The Journey To California,

For Three Canadian Elephants, Begins

Canadian elephants Toka, Iringa and Thika are on their way to California. View more photos here; check back for updates. PAWS' photographer, Lisa Worgan is traveling with the crew.

Visit the website of the CBC's Fifth Estate for ongoing photos and reports from the road. CBC has been given exclusive access to Toka, Thika and Iringa as they make the long journey from the Toronto Zoo to their new home in California. Producer Lynette Fortune and a CBC cameraman are the only members of the media on the road with the elephants, sending updates and photos throughout the journey until they reach the PAWS sanctuary.

Have you liked PAWS' Facebook page yet? Signed up for our Tweets? If not, you'll be missing PAWS' updates, photos and video from the road, as Toka, Iringa and Thika make their way from Canada to California and their new home at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary.

Sign up now and join the journey!

5 years ago




SEE THE PAWS WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION - and pictures, info. re Toka, Iringa, and Thika. I am hoping they will either have a live cam for the arrival or lots of YouTube videos! So exciting!!

5 years ago


I think they left Thursday night October 17/13 and should be arriving at PAWS Sanctuary tomorrow, October 20!

One girl turned 33 on this trip. She was given a birthday banana!

The Canadian police escort ended at the border and then an American police escort took over and will be with them all the way there.


5 years ago

Pictures of the girls... their age is showing on them. I don't know their history right now but some of them have been at the Toronto Zoo for quite a long time.



ssAt least these sisters have one another. Better than poor Twiggy on the elephant thread who has been totally alone for so many years.

5 years ago

Here's one of the eles at the sanctuary.... so cute, and she sure vocalizes!

Annie Goes Swimming

Annie is one of five Asian elephants living at the Performing Animal Welfare Society's ARK 2000 wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas, CA.

Annie was captured in Assam, India, in January, 1959. She was part of a group of 18 juvenile elephants captured at a natural salt lick that had attracted the herd.
Read more through link.

5 years ago

THIS IS WHERE WE CAN KEEP UP-TO-DATE... but watch for more links. PAWS will probably have something too.

Visit the website of the CBC's Fifth Estate for ongoing photos and reports from the road. CBC has been given exclusive access to Toka, Thika and Iringa as they make the long journey from the Toronto Zoo to their new home in California.

5 years ago

i am so glad they are out of the zoo thanks sis for this uplifting post 

5 years ago

Cheryl you beat me to it.  Was looking for updates on their journey this morning and found the same two links you posted.  PAWS has nothing new on their website since Thursday which I found strange, thought they would be overjoyed to be able to report on the journey's progress and use it to drum up some donations. 

The only thing that worries me about that place is that they have active TB in some of their elephants and at least one has died of it.  Hope they have it under control by now and the Toronto 3 are going to be safe in their new home.  Thanks a million for all the posts.  Can't wait until that very long journey is over for the 3 girls.  They are going to really love their new home because of the warmer temperatures and the ability to walk on grass, have a swim whenever they want and sleep outside under the stars!

5 years ago

thanks Cheryl 

5 years ago

Good morning Mary, Sue and June! So happy you are here and find it as happy and exciting event as I

Sue, living in Ontario, you must be quite aware of everything that has happened to get the "Toronto 3" on their way to this sanctuary. It's been many years of political probs and 'fighting'. There is certainly a lot of emotion as at least one or more of the eles has been there for 40 years! So many people grew up with them. Again, in the end it comes down to what's best for the eles, as it did for Tina, an ele that lived fairly close to me here in BC who was finally moved to TES. At the time she was moved I knew very little about the wonderful depth to elephants. I had gone to see her when my son was little and little did I realize the impact it would have on me years later. I did read something about TB as I was pouring over volumes of past info. yesterday. Perhaps the Toronto 3 will be quarantined, as was one of the eles at TES for about a year. Yes... all those wonderful things.... green grass, long walks, swimming, and sleeping under the stars await them. God bless these eles!

Here's a bit of news I just found - so they will be arriving TODAY, Sunday October 20/13!

Sunday morning, and Toka, Thika and Iringa are getting closer to their destination! The team estimates they'll arrive at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAW sanctuary later this afternoon - Pacific time.
Last night, the convoy faced 50 mile/hour winds, but the experienced elephant team made sure the elephants stayed safe and warm.
by stuart_cbc 8:31 AM

Sunday, October 20/13
5 years ago
Sneak Peek of our new documentary on the Toronto Zoo elephants

The fifth estate has exclusive access to Toka, Thika and Iringa as they make the long journey from the Toronto Zoo to their new home in California. Here is a sneak peek of our new documentary on the elephant trek which airs on the fifth estate on Friday, November 1st at 9 PM on CBC Television.

Read some of the comments at the bottom people are making. There were a few sour grapes comments yesterday, but clearly there are many watching, waiting, and happy.
5 years ago

I was just looking at the few short videos on the above link and got all

October 21st Toronto news item
5 years ago

Glad to hear the elephants arrived safely.  Not too much news around about them, nothing new since last night except this little article.  But the comments are mostly awful, seems Torontonians in the most part wanted to keep the elephants.  There is also mention of the Bowmanville Zoo and it's obviously overly stressed animals.  Especially their elephant that keeps its face to the wall all the time.  Will try to find more info on the Zoo.  Here is the link for the Toronto news article on the 3 sisters.

Oct. 21/13
5 years ago

Thanks so much for the link Sue. I have done a few screenshots and will post. They look healthy (eating well) and I am so happy there are three of them to share the adventure with.

You're right about the comments. Some Torontonians are really happy to know the eles will have such a huge place to roam and many fun things to do. But some are very upset, even bitter. It's great that two of the zoo's caretakers got to travel with them and that probably gave the eles some comfort with people they know well. But I imagine it was terribly hard for them to say, "Goodbye." I listened to Bob Barker, God bless him, and he's still upset at what uncooperative, delaying tactics he said he found with the staff (and government). He's going to be 90 years of age soon, he says, and there's the secret: BE INVOLVED!

There's a new date posted for the documentary (or at least one of them). The one I posted above is  Friday, November 1st at 9 PM on CBC Television.

But.... here's another post for a sooner time:

5 years ago

Watch the full documentary on the elephant trek Friday, October 25th at 9PM on the fifth estate. Of course, we all will have different stations and times. Staff
Published Sunday, October 20, 2013 1:05PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:14PM EDT

Three aging Toronto Zoo elephants have arrived at their new California home after a long journey.

Toka, Thika and Iringa left Toronto Thursday night for the Performing Animals Welfare Society sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. The trio of pachyderms arrived at PAWS just after 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

The elephants left the Toronto Zoo after long delays that saw the animals parked in two-by-four metre crates for hours.

Read more:

5 years ago


They have spread out to investigate!

It will seem like heaven roaming those hills!

5 years ago

I was flipping through channels this afternoon and saw The Fifth Estate was on and checked to see what the subject was. Lo and behold... it was the documentary of the three elephants' journey to California!! It was a really wonderful show and I hope everyone gets to see it sooner or later. They really did have the very best of care all the way there, and parts of the trip were difficult... like when one truck broke down and the other two had to go ahead. So many people along the way - bystanders along with the border crossing people - were surprised and captivated!

I haven't found YouTube videos yet but here's a link to some information and they have a few clips (look at the links provided):

It was funny to see them try to walk up and down just little hills as their muscles weren't used to it, and of course, they didn't have the advantage of walking up and down hills at the zoo. Now they will be walking miles and miles! It was so cute that one or two of the eles at the PAWS sanctuary whole heartedly were welcoming the three! Apparently one in particular just loves to welcome new eles.

New videos and updates on the 3 sisters
5 years ago

Cheryl, thanks for the post with the  link to the CBC article.  I had looked yesterday and found nothing new online.  This morning there is news on the PAWS website here.  Second article down on the right.

Also some videos have been posted to their You Tube channel, watched all 7 of them this morning!  The girls look great and are having fun going up and down those hills, slow though they are right now.  In the press conference videos not a lot of good is said about the team from Toronto!

Loved that fabulously noisy welcome they got when they arrived in the barn.  Can't wait until they can join the other 3 eles and have fun with them.

5 years ago

Forgot to say I watched the documentary last night.  Had taped it Friday and really enjoyed it.  Thought it was fair and very glad it mentioned Lucy.  We have to see what we can come up with to help her gain her freedom too.  I've been signing petitions for her for years but it does not seem like anyone in Edmonton is willing to give her the freedom she deserves.  Grrrrr.

5 years ago

caught up..thanks Sue + Cheryl

5 years ago

Hi Sue and Wendy. I just watched the arrival videos and they are wonderful! There is something about those big trucks pulling in to their destination that is so exciting. When they had the webcam set up for arrivals at TES (Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary), you could feel the excitement come right through the computer in every post watchers made. When the eles were coaxed off the truck and entered the barns for the first time... wow... just like when Toka walked into the barn and other eles were trumpeting and hootin' and hollerin'.

One of the eles in the barn has a real scary rumble. I really laughed listening to them. Toka got off the truck so beautifully - just stepped backwards, then gave herself a good dusting. Didn't seem rattled at all. It was awesome.

4 years ago

New photos of the three sisters are on the Paws Facebook page.  Here is the link.

They seem to be settling in really well and enjoying wandering up and down all those hills.  They must feel like they are in 7th heaven now.  On the Paws website they say the girls are enjoying the acorns and branches from the oak trees they are able to visit now.  Link....

Dec. 14/13
4 years ago

THANK YOU, SUE! I had to take a screenshot of Thika. I'm so glad you checked in and found this update! She looks so happy and free and having a good time exploring. Look like her toy is going to be that tree. lol


I have to go back and read more news on that site... I saw something about other eles that need to be free!

4 years ago

thanks Sue for the update + Cheryl for the pics have enjoyed following their journey



4 years ago

New pics, just look at those beautiful ears!

4 years ago

Thanks June and Sue. Must remember to keep looking in on these girls.

It seems Thika goes on her own and Toka and Iringa travel together. I wonder if they were like that at the Toronto Zoo or if it's something new?

4 years ago

Hi sisters i am so happy that they will get to spend their old age in a better place older animals need a bit of tlc and these girls surely deserve that at least

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