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Pachyderms on a plane: Bob Barker's $880,000 elephant flight to a CA sanctuary


Photo by Simczuk / Kasia via Flickr Creative Commons

Dumbo is about to have some company in the air.

Three elephants are preparing to take flight aboard a private plane financed by longtime animal advocate and occasional Echo Park visitor, Bob Barker.

According to a spokesperson, the 88-year-old activist and television icon offered to fund the $880,000 plane ride after learning that one of the massive creatures was not healthy enough for truck transit due to a serious foot problem.

The Plinko master will travel the pachyderms -- Thika, Iringa and Toka --from their current home at the Toronto Zoo to a California sanctuary, The Performing Animals Welfare Society, that Barker described as "paradise."

"To think that one of them might not survive the trip in a truck touched my heart and purse strings," he said.


Previously in elephants: Orange County Fair ends elephant rides after a quarter century over liability, safety


Bob Barker came on down to Echo Park for PETA headquarters opening

Pets New Year Resolutions

Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP

Dec. 13, 2011: Retired game show host Bob Barker holds his 8-year-old rabbit Mr. Rabbit at his home in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Don't forget to spay or neuter your hipsters!, a certain type of cynical person might say about the reception for PETA's West Coast headquarters in Echo Park, and the Bob Barker appearance therein. Ironyception.

It is the case, however, that the longtime animal-advocate Bob Barker did come on down Thursday night for the red-carpet, grand opening event, the Eastsider LA recounts.

Nearby restaurants Mohawk Bend, Elf, and Sage Organic Vegan provided food, local celebrities walked the red carpet, and Barker -- whose $2.5 million donation helped convert the former Art Deco-style auto showroom on Sunset Boulevard into the eco/pet-friendly hub -- held court on a swanky rooftop wood deck." Welcome to Echo Park, circa 2012," the Eastsider LA aptly notes.

The new offices are bringing in 60 jobs, and will house a number of PETA's campaign, outreach and media departments.