The 89-year-old spent $1 million of his own money to move three elephants from Canada to a California animal sanctuary. He showed up at the Performing Animal Welfare Society's ARK 2000 compound near San Andreas on Sunday to welcome the animals.
"It was more than emotional for me, for all of us," Barker said, according to the Associated Press. "I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. It's hard to believe they are finally here."
The African elephants had been kept at the Toronto Zoo, but the city agreed to let them go after animal activists, including Barker, lobbied to have them released.
The Price is Right host then paid the $1 million it cost to transfer them to California, but it wasn't an easy trip. The Sacramento Bee reports that each elephant had its own customized trailer during the four-day trip across the continent.
Barker and the other activists said large animals like elephants shouldn't be kept in zoos. The three elephants, Iringa, Thika and Toka, will now be living with eight other elephants.
The sanctuary covers 2,000 acres of land and also includes other animals like tigers, many that were previously in the circus.
The owner of the sanctuary, Ed Stewart, said the elephants will be given special plans to help them adjust to their new lives, but it will take some time to make them feel at home.
"Our job will be to give each elephant the best care and their own time and space in which to adjust," he said.
During his 35 years hosting The Price is Right, Barker reminded viewers every day to have their pets spayed or neutered. He spoke out against the show last year when they gave away a trip to a stampede. He said his new mission is to help animals in any way he can.
"I had a job that I loved. I was very well paid for it, and now I'm spending my money," Barker told Fox40 in Sacramento. "I intend to die broke."
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