A petition with 1,100 signatures against moving three elephants from a Toronto, Canada, zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in San Andreas has been filed despite a vote by the city's council in October.
A Toronto newspaper reported this week that elephant keepers at the Toronto Zoo are urging the city council to reconsider its decision. The petition asks that zoo staff be allowed to continue searching for the "best home that meets all the needs of the elephants."
The zoo's board of management meets next week to consider how to move forward with relocating its three aging female pachyderms, Toka, Thika and Iringa.
Many of the keepers are angry that the city council stepped in late last month and voted to send the animals to PAWS, which is not accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to the newspaper.
In a letter accompanying the petition, the keepers said that while they're aware various elephant researchers have recommended PAWS, those recommendations don't negate the need for zoo staff to do its own comparisons.
But the keepers' bid to rethink the move is being challenged by PAWS supporters, including animal rights group Zoocheck and Councillor Michelle Berardinetti. She made the successful council motion.
She visited PAWS earlier this month and said she was very impressed.
At this point it's unclear exactly when the elephants will be moved from Toronto. Permits required from the United States and Canada can take several weeks to secure.