We applaud the decision by the Toronto City Council to send Toka, Iringa and Thika to PAWS! Having observed the elephants at PAWS and seen the positive changes in individuals who have been placed there, we have no reservations in saying that this decision is the right choice for Toronto’s elephants. Joyce joined Toronto City Councillor, Michelle Berardinetti, and Linda Bronfman of Everyone Loves Elephants on NEWSTALK 1010 on 23 November to call for the zoo to support the Council's decision. Jane Goodall, too, has added her support for the move. Click on the image to read her strong words regarding captive elephants.
Accreditation is important - when it is used to ensure that the welfare of animals are protected; but accreditation by the AZA and CAZA also means abiding by rules that have nothing to do with the welfare of elephants; indeed some of these can be detrimental to them. When it comes to the daily well being of elephants, PAWS’ standards far exceed those of the AZA. Indeed, the standards required for accreditation by the AZA and CAZA fall far short of what is needed to meet the well being of elephants.
The bullying tactics by the AZA machinery consists of the same old tired rhetoric heard each time a zoo considers sending an elephant to one of the sanctuaries. This noise is not about elephant welfare, but about an institution feeling threatened by the winds of change. The continuing misinformation and, we're sorry to say this, outright lies, emanating from the AZA about captive and even wild elephants, is tiresome, and does nothing to improve the welfare of the elephants in their institutions nor does it help the conservation of wild elephants.
It is time that we all work together to do what is best for the individual elephants held captive and for the continuing protection of a species that should, actually, remain in the wild.
Joyce & Petter
A few related articles:
- Toronto Zoo an Insiders' Club. (Toronto Sun, 23 Nov., 2011)
- Toronto Zoo to send elephants to California reserve. (National Post, 24 Nov., 2011)
- Will Toronto get the first elephant exhibit without elephants? (ElephantVoices, 9 May 2011, with link to previous statement)
- Result on Google Seach - "toronto zoo elephants"