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Spike – 75 Hour Road Trip


Spike, a 32 year old Asian bull elephant from the Calgary Zoo just made a similar road trek which has been proposed for the Toronto Zoo elephants. The journey he took to Tampa, Florida is just a few hundred kilometres more than the transport from Toronto to PAWS Sanctuary in California.

I can hear the PAWS supporters now “See, Spike made the journey just fine so the Toronto Zoo elephants will fine also”

Spike is a 32 year healthy bull in the prime of this life

  • He has made this same journey once before so he is used to the stresses of transport
  • He was transported by an experienced elephant transport company
  • Florida is south and east of Calgary, the  temperature increased with every kilometre travelled
  • Spike had heat and air conditioning available to him in his truck
  • The logistics of moving one elephant vs three are entirely different, a herd of three can play off each others sounds, fears and stress setting off a domino effect. They are a family group and will react to one another
  • Two of the Toronto Zoo elephants are at the median age for captive elephants, 43 and 44 to develop joint and arthritic conditions
  • The oldest elephant Iringa has some arthritis and has just recently recovered from a long standing foot ailment
  • Driving to PAWS means driving west, not south  but west into the colder and more inclement weather systems of the rocky mountain system
  • No one has ever moved 3 protected contact elephants this distance by road before

Spike’s trip took 75 hours with few stops.

PAWS and Zoocheck claim the Toronto Zoo elephant transport will only take 50 hours. Three elephants, two vehicles is a slower drive and recent flooding and forest fires in Colorado and Utah means potential detours. Their transport will easily exceed 75hrs and could go as long as 100hrs. That is four days. Four days, trapped, immobile, stressed, scared.

Could you do this? At any age let alone middle aged or older. Stand in a crate travelling on a truck for four days straight?

Could your pet handle being trapped in a crate in a car for four days straight, standing up, chained on three legs with no relief?

This proposed transport is inhumane. Toronto City Council promised air transport, they claimed that a 30hr road trip to Florida was “inhumane”.

Zoocheck and PAWS cannot get a plane and Council refuses to relinquish their ideological stance against zoos so they quietly support a road trip which they have already declared at Council meetings to be inhumane. They are in contravention of their own motions and statements at City Hall.

If 30hrs in a truck is inhumane then 80+ hrs in a truck is too.

80hrs is > than 30hrs

I remember my daughter learning this in grade three.

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