10/23/2013 AT 1:15 PM ET
One million dollars was the right price for Bob Barker.
The former The Price Is Right host gave nearly that much to transport three elephants from a zoo in Canada to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. On Monday, he was there to see them roam around in their new digs – all 2,000 acres of it.
According to Sacramento news station FOX 40, elephants Iringa, Thika and Toka were released with little cooperation from their former zoo. A Toronto City Council vote from two years ago, which was heavily lobbied by Barker, paved the way for them to “come on down” to California, The Sacramento Bee reported.
“I had a lump in my throat, I had tears in my eyes. I’ve discovered that the older I get, the easier I cry,” Barker, 89, told FOX 40 from the grounds of the sanctuary, which also houses three African elephants, three Asian elephants and two bull Asian elephants. “The ones that were crying the most were those miserable zoo keepers in Toronto.”
The former game show host intends to spend every last penny on causes close to his heart.
“I had a job that I loved,” he said. “I was very well paid for it, and now I’m spending my money. I intend to die broke.”