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PAWS IS HOME TO
5 ASIAN AND 6 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS
PAWS — 30 Years of Rescue,
Sanctuary, Education & Advocacy
This is a very special year for PAWS, and we invite you to join us in celebrating our 30th year of rescue, sanctuary care, advocacy and education for captive exotic wildlife and performing animals. It is you, our friends and supporters, who have helped realize our great strides on important issues affecting animals, and ensured that the bears, lions, elephants, tigers, eland, Canadian lynx, and many more animals at PAWS continue to live in peace. With your help we will continue to accept animals in need, including elephants, and provide the refuge and rehabilitation they so desperately need.
Pat Derby and Ed Stewart with baby elephant 71, shortly after her arrival in 1986. "Ed and I built ARK 2000 for 71, and all our programs were developed from our experience with her. Without 71, there would be no PAWS." (Pat Derby, 2009)
Started in 1984 as the dream of co-founders Ed Stewart and the late Pat Derby, PAWS has become a vital and thriving organization. PAWS established the very first U.S. elephant sanctuary, and today we successfully operate the largest captive wildlife sanctuary in the U.S., home to rescued and retired animals. We value advocacy as a means of putting an end to the exploitation and suffering of captive wildlife, and we have made many advances, including introducing and passing laws that better protect the health and welfare of captive wildlife used for entertainment and as exotic pets.
In 2013 alone, PAWS played a leadership role in passing a bullhook ban in Los Angeles, making it the largest U.S. city with such a restriction on circuses (the bullhook is a weapon used by handlers to control elephants through painful punishment). And we welcomed three African elephants from Canada - Iringa, Thika and Toka - to their spacious natural-habitat home at ARK 2000, bringing the total number of elephants we care for up to 11.
PAWS looks forward to another exciting year in 2014, as we continue our battle against the exploitation of exotic animals used for circuses, elephant rides, and other forms of "entertainment," and the exotic pet industry. At the same time, we will be stepping up our efforts in the fight against the decimation of African elephants for the illegal ivory trade. And we will continue to educate the world about all these important issues.
And there is much more to come!
We look forward to sharing an exciting future with you, as we fulfill our vision of creating a better life for captive wild animals. Our vision includes continuing the process of creating habitats at ARK 2000 for the animals still living at our original sanctuary in Galt, Calif., creating an additional facility for female Asian elephants, building additional barn space for African elephants (our 20,000-square-foot African barn is now at capacity), and completing the expansion of Bull Mountain (PAWS is the only sanctuary to take male elephants).
Be sure to subscribe to our newsletters where we'll be providing more information on our campaigns, rescues, and ways you can help the animals. And don't forget to save the date for PAWS' International Captive Wildlife Conference in November, featuring some of the most progressive voices on key animal issues.
As always, it is you, our supporters, who really make a difference for the animals. For that we are forever grateful.
Please make a donation to PAWS today, as a way to help us kick off this very special and hopeful 30th anniversary year. Your gift of $30 - one dollar for each year that PAWS has existed - goes directly to caring for the many animals at PAWS, helps educate more people about important animal issues, and ensures our advocacy efforts will be as effective as possible.
PAWS' Ed Stewart Featured
In Scientific American
An Update On Alexander,
PAWS' Black Leopard
In December of 2012, Mrs. Audrey Steele Burnand and family surprised us with an extraordinary and generous donation that enabled us to build a new enclosure for black leopard Alexander at ARK 2000. Mrs. Burnand's daughter Alyson Rossi, son-in-law Cecil Rossi, her granddaughter Kristin Stewart and Kristin's husband Mike, made a special trip to ARK 2000 to present Mrs. Burnand's check to PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart. Moving Alexander from our Galt sanctuary to San Andreas was a dream of PAWS co-founder Pat Derby, and she was able to hear the construction of his spacious new habitat from her bed before she passed away last February.
With heartfelt appreciation, we once again thank Mrs. Burnand for her incredible donation and all of the wonderful things it has made possible for Alexander. We also remember and thank her family members who were at ARK 2000 to welcome Alexander to his new home when he arrived from Galt last May (view arrival story and videohere; view new video of Alexander here).
In Memoriam: Tiger Ray Charles
PAWS is saddened to report the passing of Ray Charles, one of 39 tigers rescued from deplorable conditions of abuse and neglect from a facility in Colton, California. These were the last of more than 50 big cats needing emergency placement after the defunct "Tiger Rescue" pseudo-sanctuary was closed down by authorities in 2003. Over 90 dead animals were found on the property, included dozens of tiger carcasses on the ground and 58 dead tiger and leopard cubs in freezers. Many of the living tigers were covered with wounds and in poor health. Two African lions, 11 leopards, two alligators, as well as numerous fallow deer and chickens were also rescued and found suitable homes at sanctuaries around the country.
The owner of "Tiger Rescue" was eventually found guilty of 56 felony counts and sentenced to two years in prison, five years of probation, and could never again possess animals, care for, or volunteer for, any place with animals.
To move them to PAWS, each tiger was coaxed into a spacious transport cage filled with a thick bed of straw. Each cage was loaded into an enclosed trailer, and groups of six to eight tigers at a time were transported to ARK 2000. Ray Charles was the very first tiger to enter a transport cage, on the first day of the first trip. PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Jackie Gai, recalls vividly that day back in 2004: "All of the major media outlets were there to cover this historic rescue. Ray was the first to step into a cage, enticed by the comfortable bedding (something he had probably never had before) and the scent of a piece of meat. Once safely inside the transport cage, he slept peacefully through most of the trip north to ARK 2000."
Ray was special in many ways. The first thing that we noticed about him was that he had crossed eyes and appeared to have poor eyesight. After allowing him several weeks to settle into his new home, Dr. Gai enlisted the help of ophthalmologists from the University of California, Davis (UCD), School of Veterinary Medicine, to perform a thorough examination of his eyes. He was diagnosed with a congenital birth defect, commonly seen in inbred cats, which affects the muscles behind the eyes and causes them to cross. He was also diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, further compromising his eyesight. Crossed eyes are a common consequence of irresponsible inbreeding of cats, and occurs when people breed closely related tigers to enhance gene expression or to produce white tigers.
Ray thrived during his 10 years at PAWS, exploring his large habitat, lounging in the tall grass and swimming in his pool. Over the years he has enjoyed the companionship of several other tigers, most recently Amelia - another Colton tiger. Ray succumbed to renal failure at the estimated age of 20 years old. Since none of the tigers from this group came with any sort of medical record, their exact ages are unknown, so he may have been even older. Amelia has moved to a nearby enclosure, so that she can be close to Jake, Apollo and Zeus, and she seems to enjoy their company.
Handsome, dignified and stoic, Ray Charles will be missed by all.
The biggest tiger rescue in U.S. History
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Colton tiger rescue. There will be more to come this summer as we remember this monumental project, including thoughts from PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart, stories from ARK 2000 tiger supervisor Renae Smith, and memories and photos from PAWS' veterinarian Dr. Jackie Gai who personally escorted each tiger to ARK 2000, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey for all.
The Toronto Elephants
Visit our Facebook page for photos and updates on Toronto elephants Iringa, Toka and Thika.
View our latest videos of the Toronto Elephants:
The Mud; Iringa | Exploring The African Habitat
to act out natural behaviors in the comfort of their individually designed enclosures. PAWS' animals are not bred, traded, sold, rented or forced to perform in any way. PAWS educates the entertainment industry, public officials and the general public in humane care and treatment of captive wildlife.
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 »
Pat Derby out for a walk with 71. This was her favorite photo.
PAWS Marks One-Year Anniversary
of the Passing of Co-Founder Pat Derby
It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed
since the loss of PAWS co-founder Pat Derby, who was
a leader, an inspiration, visionary and dear friend.
Pat died on February 15, 2013, after battling throat
cancer. Not a day goes by that we don't think about
Pat - her great accomplishments, her wisdom and experience, her sense of humor, and her special way
with the animals at PAWS.
Following Pat's passing, it was no surprise that she would be recognized internationally for her life's work, and that she would be honored from city halls in Los Angeles and Toronto, to the California State Assembly, to the U.S. Congress, including having a flag flown over the nation's capitol in Washington, D.C., in her honor.
Ed Stewart, along with PAWS' staff, long-time friends and celebrities - including Bob Barker, Kim Basinger, Tony LaRussa, and Kevin Nealon - gathered together with hundreds of PAWS' supporters at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. Through tears and laughter, Pat's life and legacy was celebrated. A commemorative DVD of this special evening is available from our giftshop.
Early 1990s at PAWS' sanctuary in Galt, Calif.
Pat with her beloved cougar Christopher, once the star of the "Sign of the Cat" car commercials for Lincoln Mercury. From the time he was a baby he would suck on Pat's thumb and purr.
Pat was the first to champion the cause of performing
wild animals, and she put her heart and soul into their rescue, care and protection. She was full of dreams, but unlike many people, she realized hers with a vengeance! Pat's cherished dream of creating a spacious refuge
where performing animals could express their wild
natures in an enriching, natural habitat became what is now ARK 2000 in San Andreas, Calif. - a thriving
2,300-acre sanctuary where we currently care for
11 elephants, 21 tigers, 4 lions, 7 bears and one black leopard.
No one but Pat could conceive of and realize an event
as spectacular as "Circus PAWS," which debuted in Hollywood, Calif., in 2012. The circus used only human performers to entertain and to teach young and old
alike that wild animals just don't belong in circuses.
for the legislative work that we continue today. Always
at the forefront, they inspired and passed milestone legislation in California, and stormed the halls in Washington, D.C., bringing the suffering of elephants
in circuses and traveling shows to light with moving testimony before members of Congress.
Jack Hanna has long used wild animals as "props" on TV talk shows. Once these captive-bred
animals are too old to be "entertaining" (or
safely handled) their futures are uncertain.
Always one to speak her mind, Pat signals her opinion of Hanna's activities in this photo taken
by Ed Stewart outside the Columbus Zoo.
Firm believers in education, Pat and Ed began presenting conferences intended to bring together disparate factions in the captive wildlife field, in order to understand, learn, and, yes, to disagree - but always with respect and with the goal of advancing the welfare of captive animals. On November 8-10, 2014, in Los Angeles, PAWS will again bring together the best and most progressive minds to discuss the welfare of elephants and other species held
in captivity for human convenience and entertainment (watch for conference registration details to come).
continues to thrive and to grow, and to help even more captive wildlife in need through rescue, education and advocacy. And we have. In 2013, PAWS did Pat proud, achieving landmark victories, like the ban on bullhooks in Los Angeles, welcoming three African elephants from Canada to ARK 2000, and helping to educate the public through our appearances in the media, including the acclaimed HBO documentary, An Apology To Elephants, narrated by PAWS' friend Lily Tomlin.
In this, PAWS' 30th year of work for captive wild animals and those still performing and held in intolerable conditions, we will strive for even greater achievements and to inspire compassion and change.
All the while, we will feel Pat's presence with us - her determination, her fire, her fearless nature - urging
us to reach even higher than before, because the
animals need us, and they need you, our dedicated supporters, to stand up for them and to be their voice.
Pat loved cooking gourmet vegetarian meals, collecting cookbooks and watching cooking
shows. A 2012 birthday weekend in the Napa
Valley included a trip to the St. Helena campus
of the Culinary Institute of America. Its New York campus was once called "the Harvard of cooking schools" by famed chef Julia Child. Pat, by the
way, could do a "spot on" impression of Julia.
Photo by Ed Stewart
From the archives:
February 19, 2013
February 28, 2013
April 29, 2013
June 7, 2013, in honor of Pat's birthday
"Celebrating A Remarkable Life," view slide show
From The Associated Press, June 2009
The Hollywood years. . . Pat on "What's My Line"
From the Sacramento Bee
Monday, Feb. 10, 2014
Dec. 2002: Pat Derby with Asian elephants Tammy and Annie Photo by Randy Pench, Sacramento Bee
Animal Sanctuary Continues
To Grow After Losing Founder
SAN ANDREAS -- In her final weeks, as cancer sapped
her strength, Pat Derby would gaze out the window at
the elephants and other wild creatures that inhabit the sanctuary she founded in the golden hills of Calaveras County.
Lying in her hospital bed in the living room of her home
at her ARK 2000 compound, she no longer could chirp
out greetings or groom the pachyderms, bears and big cats that occupy the spectacular 2,300-acre haven she created for retired performing animals. . . Read the entire article, and view more photos, in today's Sacramento Bee, here.
Our sincere thanks to the Sacramento Bee, Cynthia
Hubert and Randy Pench for this beautiful tribute to
Pat, Ed and PAWS.
PAWS Supports Critical Legislation
To Combat Ivory Sales
PAWS has joined forces with animal protection and conservation organizations around the world, becoming a signatory to letters that were presented as testimony in support of legislation to ban the sale of ivory in Hawaii and New York. These bills have been passed unanimously out of the states' House Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, respectively.
PAWS Receives Another
4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator!
Charity Navigator has once again given PAWS its coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Because PAWS has received a 4-star rating for four consecutive years, we are now rated among the top 7% of Charity Navigator-rated charities in America. Read the letter we received from Charity Navigator President and CEO, Ken Berger, here.
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