Los Angeles Zoo to Bob Barker: Price Is Wrong

Park turns down $1.5M offer to relocate controversial elephant
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2009 12:44 PM CST
Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash holds a sign during a demonstration outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles in support of keeping Billy, the Los Angeles zoo's only elephant, at the zoo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Los Angeles Zoo responded forcefully—and negatively—late yesterday to a $1.5 million offer from celebrity Bob Barker to relocate the zoo’s last elephant to a sanctuary, the Times reports. “Billy’s home is at the Los Angeles Zoo, not a distant location that is both inaccessible and unaffordable for the working families and schoolchildren of Los Angeles,” said a statement.

The zoo is trying to build a larger enclosure for Billy, but animal-rights activists think he should live as free as possible, KNBC-TV adds. Barker implored the zoo to let the animal go: “The thousands of Angelenos who agonized over Billy’s tragic life at the Los Angeles Zoo will rejoice to learn that now Billy will have the opportunity to roam over countless acres,” the former game-show host wrote.