The former host of CBS morning mainstay The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, has once again proven he’s on the side of the animals. Barker, who used to always sign off his hit show by asking viewers to “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered,” has put his money where his mouth is…or rather his property. The Daytime Emmy winner recently did just that when he donated almost 500 acres to Donkeyland, a reserve for donkeys, reports CBSLA.
The reserve was previously sprawled on only 30 acres and is a refuge near Moreno Valley “where donkeys and burros can be rehabilitated and be protected from getting hit by cars.” Barker, 94, wouldn’t reveal how much he spent on the acreage but he did tell CBSLA, “I think its money well spent. I’m very pleased with it.” This move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Barker, who has led a life of animal’s rights activism. CBSLA added that Animal Defenders International is planning to honor him with its Lord Houghton Award. In the past, the former game show host “has paid to have large cats airlifted from Bolivian circuses and donated millions to stop whaling ships in Japan. ADI said Barker’s activism before Congress and his efforts to help elephants, bears, and chimps were especially worthy of the award.”
Those efforts are numerous in number. In 2011, when five chimps couldn’t make the trip to a sanctuary from a research lab because of their HIV status, he donated $380,000, which enabled Chimp Haven in Keithville, La., to build a special care facility at their sanctuary, and he also took care of its operating costs for the first full year, according to Care2. They also report that he helped PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) get new office space for their west coast office by buying them a building for $2.5 million in Los Angeles.
Care2 also reports that he offers money to universities to stop animal testing on cats, helped “fund a $200,000 airlift of 25 lions rescued from eight Bolivian circuses,” and in 2013, after years of trying, he finally got three African elephants relocated from the Toronto Zoo to a sanctuary in southern California.
“It was more than emotional for me, for all of us,” Barker told the Sacramento Bee when the marvelous day finally arrived and the elephants made it to their new home. “I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. It’s hard to believe they are finally here.” There have been many more instances over the years of Barker helping the animals. Now there will be some very happy donkeys and burros who get to spread out and enjoy the rest of their lives.