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Dear Friends of Animals,

The Toronto Zoo recently had another elephant death.  Tara was the 7th elephant to die at the facility, 3 of which died in the past 18 months.  The average age of death for Toronto Zoo elephants that live past infancy is 31.  Tara was one of the oldest to die at the facility at age 40.  In the wild elephants live into their 60’s and even 70’s.  Due to Toronto ’s cold climate during the winter months, the elephants are locked inside a barn for a significant portion of the year.  The elephants at the Toronto Zoo exhibit stereotypic behaviour, especially in the winter months when they are locked inside the small barn.  When visitors to the zoo began to express concern about the stereotyping elephants, the zoo simply closed the barn to zoo visitors so that people would not see the animals suffering in silence.  Since the death of Tara, only 3 elephants remain at the Toronto Zoo, Iringa, Toka & Thika all of which are about the same age that Tara was, if left there they will probably die very soon. 

Elephants are highly social and must be housed in groups.  The American Zoo Associations’s Elephant Taxonomy Group advises that elephants should be housed in groups 3 individuals or more.  Now that the Toronto Zoo has only 3 elephants left they must make a decision about whether they should bring more elephants to Toronto’s cold climate or to send the existing animals to a more appropriate facility in a warmer climate.  To date the zoo’s board has said they want to keep elephants at the zoo despite the fact that these animals are dying young and locked inside during the cold winter months and are already talking about acquiring more elephants. 

Zoocheck Canada is asking the Toronto City Council to step in and recommend that the Zoo move the remaining 3 elephants to one of the two sanctuaries for elephants in the USA just as the Detroit Zoo did in 2005.   Please support the campaign to get elephants out of Toronto by sending a letter to the Toronto City Council asking that they not provide any further funding to the zoo until there is agreement to move the elephants to a more appropriate facility.

mayor_miller@toronto.ca

councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca

councillor_ashton@toronto.ca

councillor_augimeri@toronto.ca

councillor_bussin@toronto.ca

councillor_carroll@toronto.ca

councillor_cho@toronto.ca

councillor_davis@toronto.ca

councillor_debaeremaeker@toronto.ca

councillor_delgrande@toronto.ca

councillor_digiorgio@toronto.ca

councillor_feldman@toronto.ca

councillor_filion@toronto.ca

councillor_fletcher@toronto.ca

councillor_ford@toronto.ca

councillor_giambrone@toronto.ca

councillor_grimes@toronto.ca

councillor_hall@toronto.ca

councillor_heaps@toronto.ca

councillor_holyday@toronto.ca

councillor_jenkins@toronto.ca

councillor_kelly@toronto.ca

councillor_lee@toronto.ca

councillor_lindsay_luby@toronto.ca

councillor_mammoliti@toronto.ca

councillor_mcconnell@toronto.ca

councillor_mihevc@toronto.ca

councillor_milczyn@toronto.ca

councillor_minnan-wong@toronto.ca

councillor_moeser@toronto.ca

councillor_moscoe@toronto.ca

councillor_nunziata@toronto.ca

councillor_ootes@toronto.ca

councillor_palacio@toronto.ca

councillor_pantalone@toronto.ca

councillor_parker@toronto.ca

councillor_perks@toronto.ca

councillor_perruzza@toronto.ca

councillor_rae@toronto.ca

councillor_saundercook@toronto.ca

councillor_shiner@toronto.ca

councillor_stintz@toronto.ca

councillor_thompson@toronto.ca

councillor_vaughan@toronto.ca

councillor_walker@toronto.ca

A personalized letter is always better than a form letter, but if you don’t have time to craft a letter here is a sample, feel free to take it and change the first paragraph to show the council they are individual letters.

Dear Mayor Miller and Toronto City Councillors,

I was saddened to hear in the news that Tara , an African elephant at the Toronto Zoo, passed away recently at the young age of 40 years old. 

As you may know, elephants are highly social animals that have evolved to live in warm climates and walk over great distances.  Because of their biology, elephants in zoos suffer from captivity related illnesses such as arthritis and chronic foot problems that result in premature death.  In addition, the lack of ability to socialize normally causes the animals to become stressed which can lead to the development of stereotypic behaviours.  These problems are made worse by being kept in zoos in cold climates because they are locked inside for long periods of time in the winter and have little to do.

Now that there are only 3 elephants left at the Toronto Zoo, (the minimum number according to the elephant taxonomy group) and given that It is not possible to provide enough space for the elephants at the Toronto Zoo, especially in the winter months, I hope you will consider recommending that the Toronto Zoo move the remaining elephants to a more appropriate climate with other elephants, such as one of the two accredited sanctuaries in the USA..   I understand that you may not have direct control over the zoo, but given that the City of Toronto provides significant funding to the zoo, a council recommendation will certainly be considered seriously.  I hope that you will also consider stopping all funding to the zoo until the elephants are moved out of Toronto . 

I look forward to hearing back from you about your position on the future of elephants in Toronto. 

Yours truly,






PAWS
Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
(209) 745-1809 fax
info@pawsweb.org

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