Toronto Zoo Issued Notice of Potential Legal Action from PAWS Facility

TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo has received a letter from the Performing Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) American attorneys threatening legal action against the Toronto Zoo and certain individuals arising from a Status Report update in September.

On September 25, 2012, the Zoo's CEO and Senior Veterinarian issued an Elephant Transfer Status Report to the Board of Management to update the Board on the progress of the transfer and to explain the outstanding issues regarding the due diligence being performed by Zoo staff with respect to the appropriateness of the PAWS facility.  The purpose of the due diligence review is to ensure the safety, security and ongoing wellbeing of Toka, Thika and Iringa.

The Board meeting was followed by an opportunity for the media to ask questions of senior Zoo staff with respect to these issues.

"The Toronto Zoo has been and remains committed to following the Toronto City Council and Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo directives for the safe and humane transfer of Toka, Thika and Iringa to the PAWS sanctuary in northern California."

Toronto Zoo staff continues to carry out their obligations under the Elephant Transfer Agreement entered into between PAWS and the Zoo Board of Management.

There are four main areas where delays have occurred—Permits, Transportation Plan, Crates and Training, and a Due Diligence review of the PAWS facility.

At this point, no decision has been made as to the outcome of the due diligence review.

As the Board has received a notice of potential legal action from PAWS, it would not be appropriate to provide any further statements to the media until the legal considerations have been addressed. 

While the issues regarding the transfer of Toka, Thika and Iringa have raised much controversy, there can be no doubt that the Zoo, the City and PAWS are all seeking what is best for Toronto's elephants.

"It is anticipated that the Transfer Status Report will be considered by the City of Toronto's Executive committee on November 5, 2012.  However, this still has to be confirmed."

About Toronto Zoo:
The Toronto Zoo is Canada's premier zoo and a leader in animal preservation and environmental protection.  More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats - from species reintroduction to reproductive research.  A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.

SOURCE: Toronto Zoo

For further information:

Media Contact:

Hugh Mansfield  
W: 416-599-0024 ext 237
C:  416-918-4791  

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