It may be a stretch to contemplate the promise of our own longevity from the story of the aging elephants on the move last week from the Toronto Zoo to their new home at PAWS in California. Thika (33) Toka (43) and Iringa (44) have been in the news for some time, over the question of whether they would be better off living out there lives in a better warmer environment more conducive to their health than the restrictive colder limits of a northern zoo.
Considering the fact that the longevity of elephants living in the wild can be up to 70 years, perhaps the risks of the caged truck ride were worth giving these three a better shot at a restorative life in their remaining years.
But given their condition, Thika, Toka and Iringa most likely won’t see 70. So is this their version of a retirement or short term care residence?
Whatever your views on this cross-border move, the lesson for ourselves is that as we age, unlike the elephants where others made decisions for how they should best be served; we do have the ability to make our own choices as to the right living space and conditions we think best for us as we age. Where is our PAWS?
Elephants have been a symbol of elegant greatness to me, larger than life, sometimes sorrowful looking, yet soulful in their social manner. Let’s wish the Toronto threesome the best. Of course an elephant never forgets – (Toronto where?)