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Captive Bull Elephant Facts
(Information current as of April, 2009)
There are currently 89 bull elephants in captivity in the United States. Of these 89: 51 were captive born in breeding facilities; 38 were captured in the wild where they were separated from their mothers, and many saw the mass slaughter of their families during culls. Some of these 89 bulls are now with circuses or are used in the entertainment industry; some are in zoos, and many live in tiny, isolated cubicles, "retired" from performing or breeding programs. One, Nicholas, lives at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary.
Most captive bull elephants have only one function, breeding. They are only wanted if they continue to be a "proven breeder."
A musth elephant is primed to mate, and fights other bull elephants, attacks other animals, and may destroy inanimate objects in its way. A musth elephant in captivity is extremely dangerous to its human keepers.
Most captive bulls spend their lives alone. . . living in concrete bunkers or chained in tiny spaces.
PAWS' ARK 2000 is the only sanctuary in the U.S. offering refuge for captive bull elephants.
Caring for elephants, in general, is extremely expensive, but bull elephants, because of their size and strength, require stronger, more costly barns, stalls and fencing. 
PAWS' bull elephant fencing costs $168 per linear foot.
PAWS is compiling research on captive bull elephants in the United States and throughout the world.  If you know of, or have information about a captive bull elephant in peril, please contact us at or (209) 745-2606.

Contact Us:   
Galt, CA 95632
Fax 209/745-1809
Email us:
Web site: 
PAWS has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
 Elephants in chains
Open Houses
Save These Dates!
Animals' Holiday Celebration
December 5
Noon - 2:30 p.m.
$20 adults
$15 seniors
$15 children
No reservations taken.
Please purchase tickets at the gate.
Elephant and Tiger Holiday Open House
ARK 2000
San Andreas, CA
December 12
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$50 adults
$25 seniors
$25 children
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.)

PAWS 2010 Summit for the Elephants Conference 
March 25-27, 2010, has been chosen for PAWS' 2010 "Summit for the Elephants" conference. Please mark this on your calendar today!  More information will be announced as it becomes available. 
Help PAWS and the animals by spreading the News!

If you have a friend, family member, neighbor or a co-worker who might be interested in hearing about Tina, Queenie, Jewel, or the animals in our care, our sanctuaries, and the work we do, please use the "FORWARD EMAIL" link below to send them this copy of PAWS' E-News. Add PAWS to your FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter or other favorite social networking sites using the SHARE feature at the bottom of this page.
Go E-Viral for PAWS
See link below.
A Message From Pat Derby 
Above: Ted, a fifty-year-old bull elephant at the Zacango Zoo in Mexico.
Bull Elephants
Need Your Help
The largest and most magnificent land mammal, regarded by observers in the wild as an "awesome sight" -- the bull elephant in captivity epitomizes all that is wrong with captive breeding programs which produce almost as many bull elephant calves as females.
Over the past 25 years, PAWS has researched and documented the births and untimely deaths of many bull elephant calves, born in zoos acclaimed for their successful breeding programs, and sent off as tiny infants to be brutally trained to perform in circuses until they rebel, usually at an early age.
PAWS' young bull, Nicholas, performed until age five when he became "unmanageable" and was fortunate enough to be retired from performance to live with Gypsy. Our files are full of sad tales of unwanted bull elephants, born in captivity, who have died tragically.
When PAWS agreed to provide a home for Nicholas, we began a program that was our dream for many years: SAVING BULL ELEPHANTS. Today Nicholas is roaming the hills of San Andreas with trees, grass, a pond and elephant neighbors nearby. We have a long list of other bulls in peril and a determination to provide them with the freedom and peace Nic now enjoys.
Please join our "Bucks for Bulls" campaign -- give just one dollar to save a captive bull elephant (see below).
Pat Derby
PAWS President

DID YOU KNOW? The average bull elephant in captivity experiences the trauma of being transferred to different owners or facilities at least three times in his lifetime.
nic summit 
Nicholas in his habitat
Save Bull Elephants
Join PAWS' "Bucks For Bulls" campaign, today!
The "Bucks For Bulls" premise is simple. Every friend of PAWS donates one buck.
That's right, just $1 for a bull elephant. And then each friend asks one of their friends, or a family member, a neighbor or co-worker to donate $1. And those people in turn ask one of their friends, a family member, co-worker, neighbor -- well, you get the picture.
Imagine what we could accomplish if PAWS friends across the country took up this cause! One buck each, for a bull elephant in need.
Thousands of bucks for bulls!
Or, you could step it up a notch. Organize a community fundraiser -- a bake sale for bulls, a yard sale, hold a raffle, sell items on EBAY, put together a car wash, maybe even turn the "Bucks For Bulls" campaign into a classroom project at a school in your area. Does anybody remember what happened when Oprah asked everyone to save their spare change?
A million bucks for bulls!
All "Bucks For Bulls" monies will be used for habitat enclosures (fencing), barns, transportation costs involved with rescue, and veterinary care of captive bulls.
Flyers and fact sheets will soon be available on our Web site for you to download, print and distribute in your area. Post them on an office bulletin board. Give copies to your friends. If you're a teacher -- share the information with your students.
Post this information on your Blog, on Facebook, MySpace or other favorite social networking sites. Twitter for bulls! Link this E-News using the "SHARE" feature at the bottom of this page. Go E-Viral for bull elephants!
Join our "Bucks for Bulls" campaign today!
For more information on PAWS "Bucks for Bulls," email PAWS representative Tracy Ross at, email our office at, or call us at 209/745-2606.

DID YOU KNOW? Circuses and zoos continue to breed elephants, creating a surplus of unwanted bull elephant calves who are torn from their mothers and sent off to other facilities when they are less than a year old; a time that wild elephant calves spend in the loving care of their families. The resultant physical and mental trauma is irreparable and often fatal.
Benny, at the Zacango Zoo, near Mexico City 
Free Benny the Bull!
Help us fill Ned's empty barn with one of his siblings
Ned was the sick, malnourished bull elephant seized last year by the USDA. Too ill to make the journey to PAWS' ARK 2000, Ned was taken to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee where they fought to save his life. Sadly, Ned did not survive.

Ned's barn and nearly-completed habitat at ARK 2000 now sit empty -- ready and waiting for other bull elephants.

Ned's father, Vance, sired several calves including Mickey, Benny, Bo and Luke, all young bulls in peril. Mickey is with Carson & Barnes Circus, Luke is with circus trainer Patti Zerbini, Bo is with the George Carden Circus, and Benny is in Mexico.

All of these bulls were born at Busch Gardens in Florida and owned by circus trainer Roman Schmidt. Mickey and Ned's sad stories have been reported in the PAWS publication, Everything You Should Know About Elephants, and on our Web site as part of our "Bucks For Bulls" campaign. But Benny and Luke are among the forgotten bulls. We continue to work on freeing Mickey, Bo and Luke, but we believe, that with a strong effort, it may be possible to obtain Benny's release sooner than the others.

Like Nicholas, Benny was separated from his mother when he was a few months old and trained to perform when he was still a baby. He was sold to Trunks & Humps, an infamous circus company out of Texas, and then, according to our records, Trunks & Humps illegally sold him to a Mexican circus. He was transported to Mexico to perform, and then seized by the Mexican government and moved to the Zacango Zoo in Toluca, near Mexico City, which is part of the government's protected area for captive wildlife.

The illegal selling and transporting of Benny into Mexico happened because our federal agencies that should have been protecting endangered species and performing animals--U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the USDA--did not enforce our laws.

We need your help to free Benny from Mexico and bring him to ARK 2000. An empty barn is waiting for him on Bull Mountain.  More than three-quarters of the fencing for a new bull enclosure around that barn has been completed. PAWS bull elephant fencing costs $168 per linear foot. We need to finish the enclosure. Please consider joining our "Bucks for Bulls" campaign.
To view PAWS' recent video of Benny in Mexico, CLICK HERE.
1.  Write letters to your federal legislators and ask that Congress conduct hearings on the lack of enforcement by federal agencies which allows circuses to play the shell game with endangered animals.
2. Write, call, or email the Minister of Tourism in Mexico and ask that Benny be returned to the United States. He should not be living in a tiny space as an attraction for tourists.
Rodolfo Elizondo Torres
Minister of Tourism
Av. Presidente Masaryk #172
Chapultepec Morales 11587
Mexico City, Mexico
Tel. +52(55)
Contact Mexico tourism offices in the United States:
Mexico Tourism Board
21 East 63rd Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10021
Telephone: 1-800-44MEXICO
Mexico Government Tourist Office
4507 San Jacinto, Suite 308
Houston, TX 77004
Telephone: 1-713-772-2581
3. If you plan travel to Mexico, voice your disapproval of Benny's situation. Try to get support from Mexican citizens and animal welfare organizations.
4. Make a donation to PAWS in Ned's name to help bring Benny to Ned's empty barn.