Before you go any further please take the time to read this blog post.
This will tell you the whole truth about this transfer and how facts and evidence were censored by Toronto City Hall and how PAWS and Zoocheck withheld the truth about tuberculosis issues from the zoo, the people of this city. In fact they didn’t just withhold the truth they twisted it, in some cases they outright lied about TB and about the staff at the Toronto Zoo. They don’t care if Toka and Iringa die in transport its Thika our youngest elephant who will give them years of donations and campaigning. She is their golden ring. The facts changed everyday to suit their agendas and now they promote an inhumane transport they would otherwise denounce if any zoo, circus or factory farm company transported an animal over 80 hrs by truck, chained. Oh we know they will not tell the truth about the length of time the trip takes because they wont tell anyone when they are leaving and they have denied zoo staff the right to accompany the transport. Nothing but secrets and lies from start to finish.
When Calle from San Francisco Zoo died of Tuberculosis she died 8 years after her initial infection and treatment. Sabu and Rebecca who died from Tuberculosis at PAWS both had previous active forms of the disease and treatment 10+ and 10 years earlier and still their TB came back to kill them! Not just one strain of Tuberculosis but two strains each.
How many years will it be before we know the truth about that bronchial mass that vets observed on necropsy was found on Ruby’s lung at time of death at PAWS? She was an African elephant who died three months after Rebecca and when the TB outbreak infected two more elephants and she died just two months before the Toronto Zoo announced phasing out it’s elephant exhibit. PAWS and Zoocheck had been lobbying for these elephants since 2009. The vets at the Toronto Zoo fought to access those medical documents on deceased African elephants and when they found suspicious anomalies on two recently deceased African elephants they asked for tissue cultures to make sure it was not tuberculosis. And guess what?
PAWS didn’t have the tissue cultures. Extensive freedom of information requests proved the cultures were never done. Knowing full well they had just had a TB outbreak that they didn’t even diagnose until after an elephant already died and that they would lobby for the Toronto Zoo elephants why didn’t they have those cultures done so they could prove there was no TB in the African herd? So they could not only assure the Toronto Zoo but also themselves that they would not be introducing disease free animals into a potentially infected herd. The Africans and infected Asians shared one barn for over five years, that alone should have been a disease risk factor worth making sure that tissue cultures were done on every single deceased elephant. they had six deaths in four years! They harsh on the Toronto Zoo vets for their elephant deaths while they had deaths, and deaths form a deadly contagious disease which was transmitted ON SITE.
With an incubation period of 1-20 years will anyone care if ten years from now Thika gets TB and dies? We will care. This was never about zoos vs sanctuaries this was about disease vs no disease transparency vs dishonesty trust vs distrust and the actual factors which will affect the health and welfare of these elephants in the future.
They have been used and exploited by animal rights activists and politicians. And their propaganda and lies have people convinced it was the zoo who used them? Who didn’t care? We were never out to “get” PAWS our goal was to protect our elephants and to promote a safer alternative for relocation. For this we were attacked and we had no choice but to research the facts. We did that and our argument against PAWS as a home for these elephants is supported with overwhelming facts and evidence. if this challenges what some people wish to believe in, an anti zoo ideology then that is good. Because its not about zoos vs sanctuaries it is about what is bezt for these individual elephants and somewhere along the line animal rights activists decided it was more about their anti zoo cause than about what was really best for Iringa, Toka and Thika.
It is the greatest animal rights lie ever told.
And our elephants may pay the price for that lie. We will never stop telling this story and we will never stop researching these facts. Ever.