BB: “Well, uh, Pat Derby called me and said that, uh, they had the three elephants, they thought they were going to be able to get them.
Host: “Um hmmm”
BB: “And they said that, uh, they could bring them by, uh, truck and it would take, I think, about three weeks. And she was concerned about the one elephant that has the foot problem surviving a three week ride”
Host: “Um hmmm”
BB: “And, uh, she said, ‘we could fly them’ but she said, “it costs around eight hundred and eighty thousand dollars’. I said, I will… I have eight hundred and eighty thousand dollars and I will be happy to pay it. Uh, I want them to fly,..
BB: “… rather than go by by truck.” So, she said, ‘great, that Is great and so they made the proposal to them and now the zoo…, uh, the City Council voted that that… in favor of the three elephants from Toronto Zoo going to PAWS. But the Zoo has… now I have not been a part of these negotiations but they have used every impediment possible to prevent it. (Elephant Spoken Here presents this article as “a look back” thus this interview with Bob Barker took place in 2012 after Maggie the elephant’s successful release to PAWS sanctuary in 2007 and during negotiations for the rescue of the Toronto Zoo elephants by PAWS)
Host: “So much of, uh, environmental debate has become politicized in recent years…”
BB: “Well certainly the el … the elephant, uh, debate has become politicized and zoos in general.”
Host: “Yeah. Do, do… would people see you as having political motives in… this?”
BB: “Well, I have no political motives.”
Host: “No, but would you be criticized by some on the other side, if that is the right term for…
Host: “…for doing this politically.”
BB: “Uh, I have never… no… I do not know of anyone who has ever criticized me politically. I have certainly been criticized. I was the whipping boy of the fur industry for a long time after I resigned from the Miss USA and the Miss Universe pageants.
BB: “ and we had caused fur flap 1 and fur flap 2.
BB: “But it is the best thing that ever happened. The fur is… uh, the fur campaign… we went downhill from then on.”
Host: “So, I I I gather from what you have just said that being called an animal rights activist is not anathema to you. You do not … you do not mind that at all.”
BB: “No, I am proud of it.”
BB: “ I am … I am happy to be identified as an animal rights activist. Sure. I, uh, believe in what I am doing and, uh, con… plan to continue to my dying day doing what I am doing, and, uh, if I am identified as an animal rights activist good for me.”
Host: “Yeah… Is there a larger issue here, do you think that that as far as the zookeepers and the, uh, Association of Zoos and Aquariums are concerned that this is not only about Lucy or the three elephants at the Toronto Zoo it is about the future of zoos.”
BB: “Well, it is the future of zoos, yes, I suppose, and certainly the future of animal… of elephant uh, habitats in zoos.
Host: “Um hmmm”
BB: “Uh, the, um, when as I say… the the better informed, the more progressive zoos of the world, are closing their their elephant exhibits, uh, that ain’t good for the people who want to keep zoos open with any kind of animal that they want.”
“And, uh, I think that, uh, they are concerned about that… they are concerned… it is money… they are… they are… they are probably concerned about their jobs, uh, the zoo keepers… so on.”
“And, uh, the Mayor, I do not know why he is so obdurate there in, uh, in, uh, Edmonton but he is, apparently, if what I was told was true. And, uh, it gets… as I said, and and keep saying, not only to you but to anyone who listens, money, it is all based on money…”
BB: “And, uh uh, if you can remove the profit from it they are not going to be interested in keeping elephants or anything else in zoos.”
Transcribed and Bob Barker images from Creative Commons Video “Bob Barker on Zoo Elephants and the Roots of His Animal Activism” by The Fifth Estate (1)
Images: CC Flickr by derekp Toronto Zoo Elephants (2)
(1) cc video “Bob Barker on Zoo Elephants and the Roots of His Animal Activism” by The Fifth Estate https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=jSIfGO3y3NI
(2) cc flickr by derekp Toronto Zoo Elephants https://www.flickr.com/photos/derekp/albums/72157605919926429
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