The beginning of a new year is always exciting, filled with new projects and the hope of dreams materializing.
At PAWS, we are also grateful for another year with our old friends and the prospect of new residents, rescued from neglect and abuse, to find peace and dignity at the sanctuary.
Although we had a few days of frigid weather, we are enjoying a very mild winter of warm, sunny days with intermittent rain and fog. This is elephant weather, and the Africans leave the barn early in the morning to climb the mountain and graze far up the hill. They are not visible from the barn areas, so we drive to the top of the mountain to watch as they move silently through the mist, looking like grey battleships slipping through the fog. (View "Elephants in the Mist" HERE.)
Maggie and Mara usually lead the way with Ruby and Lulu trailing behind. They are a tightly bonded group now, and their raucous greeting, when separated even momentarily, is deafening. The rumbles and trumpets reverberate through the hills and the quieter Asians stop to listen, rumbling in response. (View "African Greeting" HERE.)
Annie and Rebecca spend their days sleeping in the sun or grazing voraciously on the tender, new grass. They enjoy the early vegetation more than any of the other elephants.
Gypsy and Wanda wander across the big habitat pulling branches out of the trees and throwing dirt, until Wanda (right) carefully positions herself and eases her huge bulk down to the soft ground for a nap. Gypsy stands guard for awhile, then lies down next to her dear friend. When they awaken, Wanda barks and chirps and Gypsy responds with deep, heavy rumbles signaling their pleasure in the beautiful day and their peaceful companions. (View "Wanda & Gypsy" HERE.)
Nicholas keeps busy dragging stumps into the lake and monitoring the activities of the girls down below. He is incredibly patient, gentle and interested in all the daily activities. We are anxious to see his reaction to the new habitat and new companions when they arrive.
The Colton tigers are growing older, enjoying the peace and serenity of their habitat, fighting less with their neighbors. Sunita, the last of the small Sumatran females, has a quiet place in the habitat where she sleeps or watches as Ravi, Ray and Amelia wander down the hill to explore.
Bo and his group still stalk keeper's vehicles as they arrive at work, and Mookie walks the fence line, vocalizing and watching for visitors. With the exception of the usual ailments due to old age, all the cats are in good health and enjoying their peaceful release from stress. Each individual is carefully monitored by our dedicated tiger staff and veterinarians so their remaining years can be spent with dignity in natural surroundings.
In Galt, the bears, tigers, lions, mountain lions, monkeys (Capuchin monkey Groucho, left), leopard, bobcat and serval wait for their turn to move to ARK 2000. We are hopeful that funding will be available to move some of them this year.
Sosha, the mountain lion, purrs and chirps at everyone who passes by his grassy enclosure; Roy, Kim and Claire, the young tigers, splash and play in their pool and peer through the trees at Manfreid, the Kodiak bear, as he forages in the new grass.
Alexander, the black leopard, sits on his perch in the plum tree and stalks the jays who taunt him from the rose bushes that line his habitat. Sheba, the
lioness, spends sunny days playing with her barrel (right). It is a new year and time to make plans for the future.
Thank you to all our loyal supporters who have
helped us care for the animals. May we all enjoy a productive and happy new year.
Pat Derby, President