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In 2013, people across North America were riveted by the story of Toka, Thika, and Iringa, the last three elephants at the zoo in Toronto, Ontario. Lonely for a larger herd, sick from the cold climate, and weak from standing for long days in a too-small concrete enclosure, the elephants desperately needed a change. The zoo and animal activists agreed that they should be moved to a healthier home, but the best option – the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in distant California – seemed like an impossible dream.
In Elephant Journey, leading activist and award-winning author Rob Laidlaw unfolds the journey of how that impossible dream was realized. In clear, straightforward prose, he describes the elephants' experiences on the journey of three days and 4,100 kilometers that brought them to the sanctuary at last. Celebrated illustrator Brian Deines' oil paintings, based on actual footage of the trip, provide an intimate window into the experiences of Toka, Thika, and Iringa as they braved their long road to a new life. Extensive back matter includes an index, photographs, and further information about this miraculous Elephant Journey.
"I highly recommend that you read Elephant Journey. Rob Laidlaw and Brian Deines have produced a beautiful story in colour of the rescue of three elephants from a zoo, and their heartwarming arrival at the PAWS sanctuary where they can live out their lives as the good Lord intended.
– Bob Barker, game show host and animal rights activist