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May 3, 2012 / V A Nichols

Toronto elephants still waiting

Elephants stuck in Toronto for now

May 03, 2012

Donovan Vincent

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Toronto Zoo has crates on site to move its elephants to California.

TORONTO STAR STAFF/RENE JOHNSTON

Toronto Zoo officials are no closer to settling on a date to send its three elephants to the PAWS sanctuary in California, despite a meeting Thursday morning in the mayor’s office held to try to solve the impasse between the two animal centres.

Councillors Michelle Berardinetti, Giorgio Mammoliti, and Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna emerged solemn faced from the meeting to say legal “sticking points’’ are still holding up an agreement that would see the elephants flown out in a cargo plan to the sanctuary near San Andreas California.

As a result, Mammoliti, the mayor’s representative on the file, Berardinetti, who is pushing hard for the elephant transfer, and representatives from the zoo including its top veterinarian will fly to PAWS sometime over the next little while.

Mammoliti said he and Berardinetti will pay their own way for the trip.

It will mark the second trip there for Berardinetti who went to PAWS with councillor Raymond Cho last year and gave the sanctuary the thumbs up. Zoo officials have also already been to the sanctuary.

A major sticking point is the disclosure of medical records from PAWS. One issue is the zoo’s concerns over reports of tuberculosis exposure among elephants at the sanctuary.

The zoo has asked for tuberculosis status reports on all wildlife at PAWS, which goes beyond a Feb. 9 legal agreement between PAWS and the zoo.

A source said that part of the problem with PAWS handing over the records is confidentiality agreements with other institutions that sent their animals to the sanctuary.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1172477–elephants-stuck-in-toronto-for-now#.T6LTPBCK9Xo.facebook

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