Toronto Zoo loses its accreditation and Rob Ford loses his cool

Toronto Zoo loses its accreditation and Rob Ford loses his cool

Thika, Iringa or Toka—we still haven’t figured out how to tell them apart (Image: Phil Marion) 

We’ve been following the saga of the Toronto Zoo’s efforts to relocate its trio of elephant dames for months, but things just got serious (even more serious than Bob Barker’s offer of a private aircraft). The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has taken away the zoo’s accreditation, apparently because city council voted to send Iringa, Thika and Toka to a California sanctuary not recognized by that illustrious body. Without the AZA’s stamp of approval, the zoo can’t take part in species survival programs. Plus, exchange programs with accredited zoos must be assessed on a case-by-case basis (don’t worry, though—the giant panda visit is still a go). Rob Ford took the opportunity to deliver some political jabs, unleashing what sounded like several weeks of pent-up anger at council, whose vote to send the elephants to the sanctuary had overturned recommendations by zoo staff. “Council sometimes thinks they know better, and this is a perfect example of when they don’t know better,” he told reporters. No prizes for divining what other examples he may be thinking of. [Globe and Mail]