Three Elephants Take Flight to PAWS Courtesy of Bob Barker
An Animal Rights Article from


Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
March 2012

30,000 Pounds of Precious Cargo to Fly First Class!

(San Andreas, CA) - Once again, Emmy Award-winning television personality Bob Barker has pledged to make the transportation of three African elephants, Toka, Thika and Iringa, as safe and as expeditious as possible. Their air travel itinerary will take them from the Toronto Zoo to their new home at the Performing Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) ARK 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas, CA. The massive cargo jet, and the transport crates that will house the elephants during their flight, are currently being prepared for the late spring journey.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming Toka, Thika and Iringa to ARK 2000 where they will be introduced to their new companions, Mara, Lulu and Maggie, PAWS three well-socialized African elephants. Although flying the elephants will be challenging to say the least, we are excited to be able to provide a peaceful retirement to them. And we are so thankful to Mr. Barker for his genuine concern for the safe travel of Toka, Thika and Iringa. I simply can't imagine a better friend to elephants than Bob Barker," Pat Derby, PAWS president and co-founder stated.

PAWS has considerable experience in relocating elephants after successfully moving elephants from San Jose Zoo, Detroit Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo and Alaska Zoo.

Ed Stewart, PAWS' co-founder, and director, added, "When we airlifted Maggie, one of the three African elephants currently residing at ARK 2000, from the Anchorage Zoo, we thought one flying elephant was challenging enough, but three flying elephants will be a triple dose of a monumental undertaking." The "Maggie Migration" went very well, and today she enjoys the California sunshine with her African elephant buddies, Mara and Lulu.

During their historic travel experience, Toka, Thika and Iringa will have PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Jackie Gai, and director, Ed Stewart, to constantly monitor their well-being. Mr. Stewart quipped, "I never thought one of my career highlights would be to be known as an Elephant's Flight Attendant."

The ARK 2000 Sanctuary is the largest captive wildlife sanctuary in the United States and is accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries. PAWS has also been honored by numerous wildlife agencies around the globe and its ARK 2000 sanctuary is considered a world model for the humane housing of elephants and other captive wildlife. 

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