Edmonton to Toronto: Butt out of our elephant business
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:43AM EST
Edmonton’s mayor is bristling after Toronto city council suggested the Alberta city follow in its footsteps and ship a zoo elephant to a California sanctuary.
“I’m offended and Edmontonians should be offended,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said this week. “I don’t butt into Toronto business. It’s not their business to butt into our business.
“I don’t appreciate it all, neither does any of our councillors.”
Mandel’s words come after Toronto city council voted late Tuesday to ship three Toronto Zoo elephants to the PAWS sanctuary in California by the end of the year.
Council then recommended that Edmonton follow suit and send Lucy, a 37-year-old Asian elephant, at the Edmonton Valley Zoo to PAWS as well.
“We just want to do what’s best for our elephants,” Toronto Coun. Michelle Berardinetti said of the decision. “That’s what we did here today.”
But Lucy’s vet says leaving her at the Edmonton Valley Zoo is the best option for their city as her breathing problems could become life-threatening with the added stress of a move.
Edmonton’s mayor agrees and said the city has always acted in the elephant’s best interest.
“We have been told emphatically that if we ship her, she will die,” said Edmonton Coun. Kim Krushell.
Even Sir Paul McCartney – playing a concert in Edmonton Wednesday night -- stepped into the fray of the elephant debate when he allowed protestors seeking Lucy’s relocation to rally at his show.
“More cities now are starting to send their elephants to sanctuaries, admitting that you cannot keep an elephant humanely in a zoo,” said Tove Reece, of the Edmonton-based Voice for Animals Humane Society.
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Brenna Rose