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Bob Barker to pay cost of moving Toronto Zoo elephants to U.S.

Retired celebrity TV host Bob Barker lashes out at Edmonton's mayor and city council on the Edmonton Zoo's treatment of it's captive elephants during a press conference April 15, 2011 in Toronto.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Former game show host Bob Barker will apparently cover the full cost of transporting three elephants from the Toronto Zoo to California.

In a statement on its website, the PAWS organization says Mr. Barker will pay an unspecified amount to move Toka, Thika, and Iringa to their new home.

Toronto city council voted in late October to send the African elephants south of the border to a warmer facility with more open space.

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The elephants will be housed in a facility run by PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) near Galt, California called ARK 2000.

It will provide them with a large terrain to roam, lakes to bathe in, and barns equipped with heated stalls and therapeutic Jacuzzis.

A team from the Toronto Zoo was scheduled to visit the sanctuary this weekend to check it out and plan details of the move.

"I want them to have the most efficient and humane transition to their new home," Mr. Barker is quoted as saying on the PAWS website.

"I said this would not cost the city a penny and I want to assure them it won't."

The October vote by Toronto city council to move the elephants followed a campaign by animal rights activists, including Mr. Barker, who argued that Canada is too cold for the giant animals.

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