Barker has been lending his support to various zoo animal related causes for years now, and has been voicing his support for the release of Lucy from the Edmonton Valley Zoo for some time.
It has only been recently, however, that Barker has voiced his support for sending all Canadian zoo elephants south to sanctuaries in warmer climates. Barker says the only reason he never let his wider support be known was because no one had asked him.
“Canada is no place for elephants,” Barker told the Star.
Barker voiced his support for Councillor Shelley Carroll, who has been campaigning for the removal of Toronto Zoo’s three elephants to a sanctuary in California. Barker called Carroll his hero.
Four elephants have died in the past five years at the Toronto Zoo, and seven have died since 1984. In light of this, the Toronto Zoo is debating how to deal with its elephants. It could choose to keep its elephants, to send them south to a sanctuary, or it could choose to keep them and go through with a proposed $40 million renovation and expansion of the elephant habitat.
While $40 million sounds like a lot, Barker says that more than that was spent to expand the elephant habitat in the LA Zoo and it was still too small for their one elephant, but that didn’t stop them from bringing in two more elephants afterward.
If the Toronto Zoo expands its habitat, they might make the same mistake.
The only ethical solution for the Toronto Zoo and all Canadian zoos is to send their elephants south to sanctuaries in the U.S. Lucy has had a hard enough life already, and if zoos across Canada don’t make the right choice and release their elephants, they’ll only have more deaths on their hands.
No animal deserves to be locked in a zoo for the amusement of humans, and elephants are among the animals that suffer the most in confinement because of their size and social nature. The only thing worse for an elephant than a zoo is a zoo as far north as Canada where they can add a horrible frigid climate to the miseries of living in a tiny enclosure cut off from interaction with most other elephants.
When asked why zoos are resistant to freeing their elephants, Bob Barker said it came down to one thing: greed. A zoo that cared more about animals than it did about making money wouldn’t be in business very long. Animals do not exist for our entertainment any more than they exist for our consumption. Boycott zoos, circuses and rodeos and all other animal entertainment.