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Will Toronto get the first elephant exhibit without elephants?
We are following with substantial interest and excitement the current discussion in Toronto where, on 12th May, the Toronto Zoo Board will decide whether the city's Zoo should phase out their elephants. We're encouraged to read in a recent report that the Toronto Zoo staff are recommending that the zoo should let their three aging African elephants, Iringa, Thika and Toka, go. And, we are willing to contribute our expertise and our elephant sound recordings from our collection to Toronto Zoo if they decide to build a new elephant exhibit without elephants!
ElephantVoices will support any high-tech, interactive, science-based elephant exhibit without elephants, and for many years we have hoped that a progressive zoo will grab the opportunity of being the first one out. We're convinced that such an exhibit will educate visitors about elephants, their behavior, their complex communication, their interests and the threats to their survival in the wild in a way that is dynamic and stimulating. We also believe that most of today's zoo visitors understand why elephants should not be confined in an urban zoo, and this should be even easier for people to grasp considering Toronto's cold climate. Toronto Zoo will gain respect and increased interest by such a move, rather than the opposite.
On 6th May in Toronto's thestar.com, City Councillor and Toronto Zoo Board Member, Glenn De Baeremaeker, is quoted saying: “Overall I’m very pleased with the report". And, "It’s cold in Toronto especially in January... You have a moral responsibility to the animals you shipped into this country to take care of them. And they’re currently in a space that is grotesquely too small.