Thanks to a donation from former “Price is Right” host Bob Barker, three former zoo elephants have completed a long journey to the PAWS sanctuary in San Andreas.
The African elephants were transported from the Toronto Zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s ARK 200 compound. The nearly $1 million trip was funded by Barker.
The elephants, Toka, age 43, Thika, age 33, and Iringa, age 44, will eventually share an 80-acre natural habitat with the sanctuary’s three resident African elephants, Mara, Maggie and Lulu. The Toronto Zoo decided to end its elephant program in 2011, and officials with PAWS have spent the past couple of years coordinating the trip to San Andreas.
Barker was in Calaveras County when the elephants arrived on Sunday, and has released the following statement: “This move has been a long time coming, but what matters is that the elephants are here. I am so excited for Toka, Iringa and Thika. The PAWS sanctuary is a place where elephants can just be elephants. It truly is a paradise for these magnificent animals.”
The video above was created by PAWS and shows the elephants getting acclimated in San Andreas.