Questions that need to be answered about the future of #Toronto's 3 elephants Toka, Thika and Iringa
Issues of Concern in the Matter of the Three Toronto Elephants:
- In the opinion of Toronto Zoo veterinarian professionals are the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo currently in an immediate health risk that they absolutely need to be relocated?
- If there is no health risk, (a) what is professional reason why the Toronto Zoo is planning to move the elephants and, (b) is there an internal professional recommendation of the Toronto Zoo veterinarian professionals that the three elephants be relocated when there is no need from a health risk perspective for them to even be relocated?
- If the Toronto Zoo is of the opinion that three elephants absolutely need to be moved due to a health risk, what assessment was taken as to the options that are available to best look after the long term interests of the elephants?
- What are the results of the due diligence that the Toronto Zoo has obtained regarding the PAWS facility and were they reviewed by the veterinarian professionals at the Zoo?
- What assessment has been done that these elephants can survive a long distance trip? In particular, reference is made to the case of Wanky that died in transport in 2005 from the Chicago Zoo. Please make public a copy of the proposed plan to move the three Toronto elephants to PAWS.
- Please certify that: (a) the PAWS facility is a disease free environment including tuberculosis free (including instances where TB results are reactive and positive) and (b) the PAWS facility is an environment equal to or better as currently exists at the Toronto Zoo for the three elephants.
- Confirm whether the agreement between the City of Toronto/Toronto Zoo and PAWS permits the City of Toronto/Toronto Zoo to object to the transfer to the PAWS facility if in the opinion of the Toronto Zoo veterinarian professionals the move to the PAWS facility is not in the best interests of the three elephants, and if so, confirm whether the City of Toronto/Toronto Zoo is prepared to exercise its rights in this regard.
- If a move is absolutely necessary, provide explanation why the three elephants cannot be relocated to The National Elephant Center in Florida or a similar AZA approved facility.
- If a decision to reconsider was made, from the perspective of the health of the elephants, in the opinion the veterinarian professionals at the Toronto Zoo, would the elephants be adequately cared for at Toronto Zoo to allow sufficient time for the full Toronto City Council to properly debate and properly assess the options and the current facts.
- Zoo officials make readily available to all City of Toronto Councillors all files in its possession or control relating to the matters of the Toronto Zoo and the PAWS facility.
- Zoo officials permit all City of Toronto Councillors who wish to do so to be able to speak directly and frankly with the veterinarian professionals at the Toronto Zoo to obtain their opinion and to ensure that the Councillors are fully informed about:
- the three elephants,
- the PAWS facilities,
- the issues regarding TB,
- alternative facilities such as The National Elephant Center,
- the risks involved in transporting elephants including the case of Wanky who died during transportation in 2005,
- the cancellation of the Zoo’s accreditation with AZA and the impact on the Zoo programs including the upcoming Giant Pandas exhibit,
- the options available to the Councillors including:
- deferring the matter for reconsideration at a future date
- improving the Toronto Zoo elephant facility
- moving the elephants to The National Elephant Center
- any other options available
- Zoo officials immediately make publicly available:
- the information obtained during the due diligence,
- the agreement with PAWS regarding the three elephants,
- the staff recommendation report from the Toronto Zoo staff referred to in the Toronto Star article by Donovan Vincent dated Thursday May 12, 2011 wherein it is stated in the article:
“a Toronto zoo staff recommendation suggested there are numerous questions about the standard of care at that facility and another sanctuary in Tennessee that also isn’t AZA approved.”“There are too many unknowns involved as far as I’m concerned,” Eric Cole, supervisor of the zoo’s elephant enclosure told reporters.“The sanctuaries don’t have any standards that they publish that are equivalent to AZA standards,” Cole said.