Toronto Zoo confirms three elephants arrived safely at U.S. sanctuary

TORONTO – The Toronto Zoo is wishing its three former elephants the “very best” in their new home in California.

The zoo says Iringa, Toka and Thika safely arrived at the Performing Animals Welfare Society sanctuary near Sacramento at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Toronto Zoo staff were on hand when each elephant was unloaded from individual steel crates.

A statement from the zoo says all three aging elephants “travelled extremely well, ate quite regularly and were very calm during the trip.”

Toronto’s city council voted in 2011 to send the zoo’s remaining elephants to the sanctuary after animal rights advocates voiced concern for their welfare.

After many delays over how best to handle the move, the animals were finally loaded into their crates Thursday for the long journey by truck to the PAWS sanctuary.

Upon their arrival, the sanctuary tweeted: “We made it!”

The Toronto Zoo says its staff worked with the elephants over the last several months to prepare them for their journey.

“Our thanks goes out to each of these staff members who were so dedicated and committed to ensuring their safety during this long trip,” the zoo said.

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