Bob Barker Pitches in to Help Reid Park Elephants

Folks working to keep the masters of Reid Park Zoo from separating longtime-companion elephants Connie and Shaba received a much-deserved dose of good news this week, when it was announced that Bob Barker would kick in up to $500,000 to have the animals resettled together in a bucolic California sanctuary.

His pledge would go into effect only if local volunteers are able to raise an equal amount.

While getting that hefty pledge from the former Price is Right impresario is a big, big deal, it’s only half the fight. The other half is raising that other half-mil to ready the PAWS sanctuary for the elephants arrival—and doing it before zoo officials manage to ship Connie off to the San Diego Zoo.

Other hurdles include prodding stubborn Reid Park officials into acknowledging that a roomy sanctuary might just be a better fit for elephants than cramped zoo quarters, and getting the City Council to go along.

To donate and help get Tucson’s deserving elephants to a better place, email Tracy Toland at