|Contact Us: |
Galt, CA 95632
1995 TO 2009
PAWS has a long history with the Davenports and their violations of the Animal Welfare Act (see video links, below). We have been lodging complaints and petitioning the USDA to permanently revoke all Davenport permits since 1995.
Save These Dates!
Animals' Holiday Celebration
Noon - 2:30 p.m.
No reservations taken. Please purchase tickets at the gate.
Elephant and Tiger Holiday Open House
San Andreas, CA
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pre-paid reservations required!
Call (209) 745-2606 or
P.O. Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(Directions to ARK 2000 sanctuary provided with paid reservations.)
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|A Message From Pat Derby |
A Visit With Tina & Jewel
Ed Stewart and I were invited by the management and staff at the San Diego Zoo to visit elephants Tina and Jewel. We extended our recent trip to Los Angeles and drove on to San Diego.
We were both very pleased to see how the two elephants, who had previously lived on chains -- dodging bull hooks and scrounging for food -- responded to the keepers and other staff at the zoo.
When we arrived, both elephants were out in the small yard in the quarantine area. As soon as we entered Tina moved inside, eagerly accepting treats and words of praise as the keepers inspected her feet and moved her through a short training session. Tina is very much like our Gypsy, animated and excited at the prospect of interaction with keepers.
Jewel came in after Tina; she had stopped to scoop up the last remnants of her morning meal. She is still very thin although she has gained 800 pounds since she arrived. Her appetite is quite good, so she should gain more weight after surgery on her teeth which are causing most of her problems. She also has a significant abcess on one of her feet which is under treatment. She is a sweet, affectionate elephant, and I noticed one of the female keepers rubbing her trunk and talking to her. Both elephants were very responsive and relaxed with the keepers who fed them treats and positioned them using positive reinforcement.
We were pleased and relieved to see the two elephants, who had suffered for so many years, in a place where they could move about freely with keepers who do not use bull hooks or dominance in their daily care.
Jewel's condition is still critical, but she is improving daily. The two elephants will be in quarantine for some time until Jewel's health issues are resolved, but they are obviously enjoying their new home and new friends.
Thank you to Bob Wiese, Jeff Andrews, Carmine Penny and all the management and staff at San Diego Zoo for their commitment to the two elephants.
Pat Derby, PAWS President
Tina & Jewel
at the San Diego Zoo
For those of you reading about Tina and Jewel for the first time, the following is background information on the two elephants.
On Saturday, August 22, 2009, PAWS' elephant trailer arrived at San Diego Zoo with Tina and Jewel, two of three circus elephants owned by Wil Davenport (Wilbur Davenport, dba "Maximus Tons of Fun"), and confiscated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Leggett, Texas. The two elephants were a closely bonded pair that might have been separated permanently if the PAWS trailer, which can carry two elephants at a time, had not been available.
PAWS was asked to provide the trailer knowing that the two elephants would go to a zoo, not a sanctuary. Tina and Jewel would be freed from chains, bull hooks and a miserable existence traveling with a circus, so we did not hesitate to donate the trailer to free the two elephants.
USDA-APHIS, our federal regulatory agency responded to the letters, petitions and pleas of animal advocates across the country to help the elephants. The choice of San Diego Zoo was the agency's decision, and we were pleased that a facility that does not use bull hooks and chains in their management program was chosen.
Personnel from San Diego Zoo spent four days without sleep assisting in the rescue and safe transport of Tina and Jewel. They fed, watered and comforted the two animals non-stop until they arrived at the zoo. Their reports that the two were traveling well, eating and drinking voraciously, and were "two sweethearts" made me realize that caring about animals is not limited exclusively to animal rights activists.
When Tina and Jewel arrived at the zoo, their life changed from the horrible existence of standing on three feet of chain and waiting to be fed once a day, if they were lucky, to having food and water available all the time, freedom to move about and elephant companions with which to socialize. No chains, no bull hooks, no filthy, hot trucks and no tricks to perform. To Tina and Jewel, the zoo IS their sanctuary.
Sadly, Queenie (Boo) could not be taken at the same time. The agency left her behind, where she remained chained to a tree on Davenport's property. Davenport surrendered his USDA exhibitor's license at that time.
We hope Queenie will soon be rescued and allowed to live her remaining years in peace and freedom. PAWS stands ready to offer her a permanent home at ARK 2000.
On October 26, 2009, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed formal charges against the elephants' handler, Wilbur Davenport for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The charges state that "the gravity of the violations alleged...is great" and that Davenport has "not shown good faith" in his repeated unwillingness to comply with the AWA and its regulations and standards. (View full story here.)
Queenie giving rides
Sadly, Queenie remains in Leggett, Texas.
USDA-APHIS, our federal regulatory agency, responded to letters, petitions and pleas of animal advocates across the country and removed Tina and Jewel.
Now it's time to save Queenie!
Please write and thank Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and Kevin Shea, acting administrator of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, for taking action to protect Tina and Jewel, and urge them to return to Leggett, Texas, for Queenie and send her to a sanctuary where her safety and well-being can be assured. PAWS is ready and willing to take her.
Do not allow the USDA to claim it has no jurisdiction over Queenie's care. Since Davenport voluntarily surrendered his USDA license, the agency has plenty of legal avenues to pursue to bring Davenport to justice and secure Queenie's rescue.
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea