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PAWS IS HOME TO
3 ASIAN AND 5 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS
PAWS Contributes to Animal Protection, Welfare and Science
In addition to rescuing and providing safe refuge for captive wild animals, PAWS contributes to furthering the cause of animal protection, welfare, and science through our biennial International Captive Wildlife Conference (coming in November 2018) and participation in professional conferences.
PAWS President and Co-founder Ed Stewart will be participating in a panel at The Animal Law Conference, presented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon, October 13-15. The panel, entitled "Animal Sanctuaries - More Than Just a Place to Live," takes place on Saturday, October 14, 2017. For more information about the conference click here.
In June, Catherine Doyle, PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy, participated in the International Society for Anthrozoology Conference at the University of California at Davis. She presented a poster on her research titled "Do African elephants in a zoo and a sanctuary show a preference for certain keepers as measured by responses to olfactory and auditory cues?", which looked at elephant-keeper relationships from the elephants' point of view.
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15-Year Anniversary at PAWS
It was in 2002 that a small, human-dependent coyote (pictured above) first arrived at PAWS. We named her Jackie. She had been found by the side of a road by a well-meaning person who, instead of leaving her alone or taking her to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, took Jackie home and fed her with a bottle as if she were a young domestic dog. In a home setting, with intensive human contact, Jackie quickly became very attached to the person who found her, losing her natural fear of people. This made her a poor candidate for successful return to a life in the wild.
It is critically important for young coyotes to learn from their own mothers how to survive. Wild mothers often leave their small pups alone and hidden for extended periods of time while they look for food. When people come across these pups they may mistakenly think they have been abandoned or orphaned, and attempt to intervene. Unfortunately, once a young coyote becomes habituated to people it is extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to completely "re-wild" them. They will always remember that people are a source of food and shelter. If a hand-raised coyote is released into the wild there is always a chance the animal will seek human attention and may end up being killed because coyotes are often seen as a danger to humans and pets.
Jackie's enclosure at our Galt sanctuary is filled with tall grasses to hide in and soft soil for digging. She likes to curl up and watch the world from hiding spots she has created among tufts of grass. Although she remains rather aloof with most of her keepers, she seems to enjoy visits from PAWS' co-founder Ed Stewart and veterinarian Dr. Jackie Gai. Jackie was also especially fond of PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, who often "sang" with Jackie, resulting in a joyous display of tail wagging and howling from this sweet coyote.
One November morning just over a year and half ago, Jackie suffered a stroke. It was a sudden and devastating event that rendered her partially paralyzed and disoriented. Because of her trust and affection for Dr. Gai, whom she literally leaned on for support while re-learning to stand and walk, she gradually regained her strength and mobility over a period of several weeks. (To read more about Jackie's stroke and her journey back to health, click here.)
Thanks to her strength and determination, as well as supportive medications and nutritional supplements, Jackie recovered well from this setback and was soon back to her playful, curious self. In terms of coyote lifespan, Jackie is considered elderly and although she has a hitch in her gait due to neurologic damage from the stroke, she is content and active and still enjoys visits with her favorite people.
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20 Year Anniversary of PAWS'
Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge
The Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge opened in 1997, and is one of three northern California sanctuaries operated by the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Consisting of 75 acres of beautiful, rolling grassland studded with shade trees, the refuge is located in the Rancho Seco Recreational Area not far from PAWS' Galt Sanctuary. It is currently home to Scimitar-horned Oryx (pictured above, and below) and a flock of emu, but during its 20-year history has provided a peaceful and protected home to many other animals such as fallow deer and African eland.
The Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge was created and named in honor of Amanda Blake (shown above with PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby), the actress who is fondly remembered as "Miss Kitty" from the popular television series "Gunsmoke." A museum filled with mementos from her life is located on the property and is open by appointment only.* Amanda dedicated her life to animals, as well as to the conservation of wild places. She made yearly treks to Africa until her health would no longer allow it. In 1971, while living in Arizona, she joined with others to form the Arizona Animal Welfare League, today the oldest and largest "no kill" animal shelter in the state. For a time she was a member of the board of directors for The Humane Society of the United States. She was a close, personal friend of Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, and during the final years of her life chose to live with them on the grounds of the Galt sanctuary. They were at her side when she passed away in August 1989.
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Pictured above: Kenny, an inbred white tiger.
Photo courtesy of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.
More PAWS Advocacy. . .
Fighting the inhumane breeding
of big cat hybrids
PAWS is proud to be part of a group of organizations that recently submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeking to end the creation of "Frankencats" - tiger and lion hybrids that include ligers, tigons and liligers (see descriptions below). The breeding of these unnatural hybrids produces cats who are more likely to experience a range of debilitating health problems than other big cats. Other group members include Animal Legal Defense Fund, Big Cat Rescue, Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Keepers of the Wild, Lions, Tigers & Bears, PETA Foundation and The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Ligers are the result of breeding a female tiger with a male lion, and tigons result from breeding a female lion and a male tiger. Liligers are the result of breeding a male lion with a female liger. White tigers are also highly inbred, and, contrary to misleading claims, have no conservation value. While better-run zoos prohibit such breeding, these unfortunate big cats can be found in roadside zoos across the U.S.
For more information on the efforts to outlaw the breeding of "Frankencats", click here to read the article, "Ligers and tigons: activists aim to outlaw 'inhumane' breeding of frankencats" published on May 19, 2017, by theguardian.com.
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PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby, and African elephant 71, walking through the hills at ARK 2000. Pat and Ed rescued 71 in 1986; she was PAWS' founding elephant. 71 died in 2008 - read about her here.
Pat Derby: A Life Dedicated
to Protecting Captive Wildlife
Pat Derby, co-founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, was a champion for captive wild and exotic animals, particularly those used in “entertainment.” Working side by side with her partner, current PAWS’ president and co-founder Ed Stewart, they set a new standard of care for captive wildlife, including establishing the first elephant sanctuary in the U.S. Sadly, Pat lost a long battle with cancer and passed away on February 15, 2013. But her spirit continues to live in PAWS’ rescue, sanctuary, and advocacy work.
Taking Action for Performing Wild Animals
In the 1960s and 70s, Pat was best known for her work as an animal trainer on Hollywood film and television productions, including “Gunsmoke”, “Lassie”, “Daktari”, and “Flipper.” She was the trainer for cougars Chauncey and Christopher, who graced the Lincoln Mercury “Sign of the Cat” ad campaign, and were the most recognized advertising symbols in the country at the time. Behind the scenes, Pat witnessed the pervasive neglect and abuse of performing wild animals and decided to take action. She wrote a tell-all book, The Lady and Her Tiger, exposing the inhumane treatment and calling for better standards of animal care and handling. The book went on to win an American Library Association Award and was a Book of the Month Club selection. With this bold action, Pat became the first to champion the cause of performing wild animals – and later campaigned for those in circuses and other “entertainment” – and inspired modern animal protection organizations to take up this important cause.
The Performing Animal Welfare Society is Born
Pat met Ed Stewart in 1976, and the two spent the next few years promoting The Lady & Her Tiger with television appearances on the “Today Show”, the “Tonight Show”, “The Merv Griffin Show” and other national media outlets. They also toured extensively, educating people about the serious welfare problems suffered by performing animals. In 1984 Pat and Ed established the Performing Animal Welfare Society to formalize their captive wildlife protection work. Their first effort was to create standards for the care of captive wildlife in California, which they achieved that same year with the enactment of Assembly Bill 1620. They also began investigating, protesting and exposing the abuse of wild animals in circuses. In 1986, Pat and Ed established their first sanctuary in Galt, California, to care for abused and abandoned captive wildlife. Today, under Ed’s leadership, PAWS operates three sanctuaries in California for captive wild and exotic animals, including the 2,300-acre ARK 2000 natural habitat refuge in San Andreas that is home to elephants, big cats and bears. It is the only accredited sanctuary in the country to house male elephants.
Leadership in Animal Care and Advocacy
Pat remained an outspoken advocate for captive wild animals until the end. As a recognized expert on the care of captive wildlife, she testified twice before Congress on efforts to end the use of elephants in traveling shows. She also served on several state committees to set standards for the care and handling of captive wildlife, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director’s Advisory Committee on the Humane Care and Treatment of Wild Animals, a position now filled by Ed.
Pat’s Legacy for the Animals
Pat’s bravery and vision for a better life for captive wildlife helped lay the groundwork for the profound changes we are seeing today, including the public’s increasing rejection of the use of wild animals in entertainment, whether elephants and tigers in circuses or orcas in marine parks, and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to an end. Her battle against the use of cruel elephhant bullhooks has resulted in statewide bans in California and Rhode Island, with PAWS playing an integral role in their passage.
Pat remains an inspiration to everyone at PAWS and to the greater animal protection community. Her determination and fighting spirit continue to drive PAWS’ efforts to create a more just and humane world for captive wild animals, each and every day.
Read Ed Stewart's 2013 tribute to Pat Derby here.
The following videos were created in honor of Pat Derby and shown during the PAWS 30th Anniversary Gala and the International Captive Wildlife Conference in November 2014.
The early years. (click on the picture to play video.)
It had to begin with elephants. (click on the picture to play video.)
Through our public awareness campaigns, more and more actively concerned individuals are becoming aware of the problems inherent in the breeding of wildlife in captivity and the use of animals in entertainment. Learn More »
PAWS is deeply committed to tigers, who are desperately in need of help both in the wild and in captivity. As part of our commitment, we rescue and provide lifelong care for tigers in great need. The tigers at PAWS receive top notch daily and veterinary care, and live in a natural habitat environment in which they can heal from the stress, abuse, or insufferable living conditions they may have had to endure before coming to the sanctuary. We also actively support legislation to bring about the changes needed to end the suffering of tigers in captivity.
Dedicated to Rescue
PAWS has a long history of rescuing tigers, but our greatest undertaking took place in 2004, when we saved 39 sick and starving tigers from Tiger Rescue in Colton, California, a facility that once offered tours to the public and photos with tiger cubs. It was the largest big cat rescue in U.S. history at the time. When state officials closed the facility and confiscated the animals, they found more than 90 dead tigers, 58 dead tiger cubs in freezers, and dozens of live tigers in terrible condition. The rescue was an enormous undertaking for PAWS, and 13 years later we continue to care for the remaining aging tigers at great expense. The cost to date is estimated at $3.75 million for their housing, food, staff and veterinary care.
Earlier this year PAWS provided safe refuge for eight tigers from a defunct roadside zoo in Colorado that was breeding the animals to produce cubs the public could handle for a fee. These operations must constantly breed to maintain a supply of cubs, who can only be used for a short time. Once larger and even more unsafe for the public to handle, the young animals become unprofitable. They are then sold to unscrupulous dealers, roadside zoos, private menageries, or as exotic pets, and often end up living in miserable conditions.
Tigers Roy, Kim and Claire have been with PAWS for 14 years now, since they were just four months old. They are the product of exploitation by a roadside zoo that was breeding big cats for other disreputable zoos, the exotic pet trade, and "pay to pet" operations. The siblings have been spayed or neutered, as PAWS never breeds any of the animals in our care.
Zeus (left), Jake and Apollo arrived at PAWS in April 2012. They were part of a rescue of 32 wild and exotic animals from a failing facility in Ohio. Today these tigers roam an expansive natural enclosure filled with bushes, trees and grass.
Click here to learn more about the tigers living at ARK 2000. As space allows, and with your help, PAWS plans to rescue even more tigers in need.
Working to end the problem
Facilities that breed big cats for profit care only about producing more cubs and making money. They couldn't care less about the ill effects that irresponsible and uncontrolled breeding can have on the health and welfare of the animals. That's why PAWS not only rescues captive tigers in need, we also advocate for an end to the non-stop breeding of big cats that causes so much suffering.
PAWS is strongly supporting a federal bill, The Big Cat Public Safety Act, that would end the rampant breeding of big cats for "pay to pet" operations. Introduced by Congressman Jeff Denham of California, this bill better protects the public and the animals, and it needs your support.
How you can help: Please call your U.S. Representative (click here to locate name and phone number). You don't have to be an expert on the issue. What is important is that your Representative knows a constituent supports the bill.
When you call: Tell the aide who answers the phone that you live in the Congressman's district, and give your zip code. Then simply say you are calling to urge the Representative to cosponsor HR 1818, the Big Cat Public Safety Act. (Click here to see if your Representative has already cosponsored the bill.) Always be calm and polite. Because few people call their legislators your call will have much more impact than an email.
Tigers are the largest of the big cats, and they are on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 4,000 living in less than four percent of their former range. Only 100 years ago, 100,000 tigers roamed across Asia.
Poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, overhunting of prey species by local people, habitat loss and fragmentation, and human-tiger conflict are driving the disastrous decline of the tiger population.
There are 5,000-10,000 tigers held captive in U.S. backyards, petting zoos and even truck stops - more than the number of tigers in the wild!
An estimated 5,000-6,000 captive tigers are "farmed" in China for their skins, bones and body parts, which are sold as status symbols and in medicinal markets. There may be as many as 8,000 tigers on farms across Asia and Southeast Asia. Tiger farms are also found in South Africa.
Domestic and international trade in tiger parts has grown, despite a 2007 international agreement that tigers should not be bred for this purpose.
Captive operations like tiger farms in Asia (above) and petting zoos in the U.S. do not help conserve tigers. National Geographic reports that tiger farms range from small operations to industrial-size facilities, like those in China. Some are promoted as zoos or sanctuaries to attract tourists who come to gawk at the tigers, especially cubs. The tigers are later slaughtered, and their pelts, bones and body parts sold. Conservationists agree that tiger farms simply increase the demand for products derived from tigers and remove the stigma surrounding their purchase, encouraging even more sales. This in turn fuels the poaching of wild tigers. Many consumers prefer "medicines" derived from wild tigers believing they are more potent than those from captive-bred tigers.
In the U.S., "pay to pet" operations are continually producing more tigers. Their main concern is about profits and not the welfare of the animals, or whether the facilities to which tigers are sent can provide proper care. Tigers sent to private owners are likely to go unmonitored by government officials, making them easy targets for the black market. Those sales threaten wild populations by driving the demand for products derived from tigers, which leads to more poaching.
Through irresponsible and unethical breeding practices, roadside zoos across the U.S. are creating "Frankencats" (right) - tigers with birth defects due to incestuous inbreeding to produce white colored coats, and tiger-lion hybrids such as ligers, tigons and liligers - hybrids that would never occur in nature. Earlier this year, PAWS was part of a group of organizations that submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking to stop the breeding of these unnatural hybrids. These cats are more likely to experience a range of debilitating health problems than other big cats. White tigers are also highly inbred, and, contrary to misleading claims, have no conservation value. Better-run zoos prohibit such breeding.
Actions you can take to help tigers include:
Avoid visiting roadside zoos.
Never have your photo taken with a tiger cub.
When traveling to Asia, avoid attractions that allow you to pet adult or young tigers, or force tigers to perform tricks.
Do not attend circuses with wild animals.
Never buy any product derived from tigers.
Share what you've learned about tigers with friends, family and colleagues, through word of mouth and social media.
Support an organization that fights to conserve and protect wild tigers such as Environmental Investigation Agency, Wildlife Trust of India, or Panthera.
Make a donation to PAWS!
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Second Dental Procedure
by Dr. Jackie Gai, PAWS Director of Veterinary Services
Earlier this year, African elephant Maggie underwent a second dental procedure of mammoth proportions at ARK 2000. A team of 28 animal care professionals worked together to safely put Maggie under general anesthesia and address her dental problems. The team was organized and led by representatives of the Colyer Institute, and included professionals from the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Oakland Zoo, the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and 15 members of PAWS' elephant care and veterinary staff. It "takes a village" to accomplish a procedure of this size, and every individual played a significant role.
Maggie's dental team was made up of five people, including two veterinarians and a dentist who treats both humans and animals. Surprisingly, elephants have a very small mouth relative to their enormous body size. There is actually room for only one person to perform work inside the oral cavity at a time (photo, below). Heavy equipment and power tools are necessary to place the elephant's head and mouth in the proper position and to trim or extract their massive teeth.
General anesthesia is a very delicate and tricky procedure for an elephant. Elephants can suffocate under the weight of their own organs if they lie down in certain positions, so it was critically important to carefully and quickly assist Maggie onto her side once the anesthetic drugs began to take effect. Strength, special equipment and choreography are all necessary to assure safe positioning. PAWS' president, Ed Stewart, led members of our elephant care staff in both assisting Maggie down and giving her support in getting up at the end of the procedure (photo, below). The anesthesia team was composed of 12 people, each with a specific task such as administering I.V. fluids or anesthetic drugs, monitoring vital signs and maintaining ventilation.
Dental problems appear to be fairly common in captive elephants in the U.S., and can lead to death from malnutrition or infection if not corrected. Elephants usually have six sets of molar teeth during their lifetimes, which erupt from the back of the mouth, migrate forward toward the front of the mouth, and are eventually shed in segments while a new molar grows in from behind. Unfortunately, some elephants have deformed teeth that become impacted instead of shed, or curve towards the cheek or tongue. While the definitive cause of these deformities is not yet known, it is speculated that inadequate nutrition at a very young age may play a role. All of the teeth that an elephant will have in his or her lifetime are present as small buds in the upper and lower jawbones when they are babies. These immature teeth can be permanently damaged by poor nutrition during important developmental stages of life, causing deformed teeth to erupt decades later.
Maggie has three abnormal molars, with the two bottom molars most affected. Normal teeth are oval in shape, and move straight from the back to the front of the mouth, but Maggie's teeth are curved and are moving towards her tongue and cheek instead of forward. An additional complication is that her jawbone has grown firmly around the base of at least one tooth, anchoring it in its abnormal position and preventing normal movement of this tooth and the teeth behind it. Because of the severity and complexity of Maggie's dental problems, she will probably need procedures like this on an annual basis until they are corrected.
We are grateful to the Colyer Institute for bringing together some of the world's most experienced elephant professionals to help Maggie. Their team members have successfully anesthetized hundreds of elephants, and have a vast amount of experience with elephant dentistry. Some of the participants in Maggie's procedure volunteered their time and expertise, and we are also very grateful to them for their generosity.
The total cost for this procedure is approximately $70,000 and includes not only fees associated with the visiting team, but a virtual mountain of fluids, medications, diagnostic materials, and other consumable veterinary supplies.
Please make a donation to help offset the cost of Maggie's procedure and support our mission of providing excellent care to all the animals at PAWS. To make a contribution, click here. To everyone who has already donated to Maggie's dental care, we sincerely thank you!
Maggie (above left) recovered beautifully from her dental procedure and the next morning was outside mud bathing and happily munching on grass with her close friends Lulu and Toka.
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Above: Alexander, black leopard
PAWS' Animal Habitats Designed
to Encourage Natural Behaviors
Every animal living at a PAWS sanctuary receives expert care tailored specifically to the individual's needs and preferences. This comprehensive approach to animal care incorporates a broad spectrum of factors intended to promote physical and emotional health and overall well-being. Habitats at PAWS' 2,300-acre ARK 2000 sanctuary are thoughtfully designed and constructed to give animals room to roam and include elements that encourage them to express their natural instincts like digging, climbing, swimming, and foraging for food.
Wild leopards will often climb trees to find a safe place to rest and when not in trees they are experts at hiding in tall grass where they stalk their prey. Though PAWS' black leopard Alexander was born in captivity, like most captive wild animals he is genetically hard-wired with the instincts of a wild leopard. Alexander's habitat at ARK 2000 includes a majestic oak and many pine trees, but one of his favorite places to spend his days is resting high up on a specially-designed platform where he can watch birds and observe all of the activities of the sanctuary.
When Alexander moved into his new habitat at ARK 2000 in 2013, he explored every inch of it and seemed especially excited about a tall platform with big logs leaning against it. From atop this elevated perch, he can alternate between taking comfortable naps and gazing at the world below. When watchful keepers noticed that an area of the platform was beginning to wear down and needed replacement, they put the word out and PAWS volunteer Joey Harvey stepped up to make repairs and build a beautiful new ramp for Alexander. Joey has generously given his time and talents over the past several years to construct a number of elevated wooden platforms for PAWS' lions and tigers, which the animals truly enjoy.
Confiscated from a private home in Texas after injuring a child, Alexander was 11 months old when he arrived at PAWS' Galt sanctuary in 1998. He lived in Galt for 13 years, and although he was comfortable, it was the dream of PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby, to give Alex a special place to live: a much larger, tree-filled habitat that he could explore and enjoy. Pat's dream was made possible by an incredibly generous donor, and in 2013 Alexander moved from Galt to his new home at ARK 2000. Click here to watch the video of his move.
PAWS is forever grateful for the support of our donors and volunteers, whose dedication to the animals greatly enhances the quality of care that we strive to provide. Heartfelt thanks to Audrey Steele Burnand and family for donating the funds to build Alexander's habitat, and to Joey Harvey for building the new ramp for Alexander.
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Thank you July Amazon
"Wish List" Donors
Carole Bognar: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium. Karen Buchinger: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat. Anonymous Donors: one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo, one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium, one bottle of AminAvast 60#, two bottles of CosequinDS 132#, two Libman push brooms, one box of 42 gallon trash bags, one pack of AA batteries (24 ct.), two 10 lb. bags of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat, one gallon of bleach.
View wish list items that are needed, but not included on our Amazon list here.
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