Queenie giving rides.
Shocking News!

USDA To Send Queenie To The San Antonio Zoo!


Despite our repeated efforts and negotiations to bring Queenie to ARK 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forced an agreement between Will Davenport and the San Antonio Zoo that will send Queenie to live in a pitifully small enclosure with only one other elephant.


At ARK 2000, Queenie could have shared a 50-acre area with four Asian females and one Asian bull. PAWS directors, Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, and staff have more than 50 years experience socializing elephants and have successfully integrated many African and Asian elephants into social groups. Our 20,000 sq. ft. Asian elephant barn allows easy access for elephants to touch and explore new companions safely, with separate stalls for escape of hesitant individuals, and separate, smaller yards for further socialization of new arrivals.


The San Antonio Zoo's tiny yard and cramped barn is far smaller than our Asian barn and there is little, if any, opportunity for introductions. Queenie's new companion, Lucky, because of her limited space and deprived history, is not highly social. Lucky should have been relocated to another facility with larger yards and barns and a functioning group of elephants. The zoo's reluctance to provide her with a better quality of life and their cavalier attitude in taking Queenie with no concise plan for the future of the two elephants is indicative of the prevailing malaise at this small and poorly equipped facility.

Under constant political pressure from the American Zoo Association (AZA), the USDA has been lobbied to send confiscated circus elephants only to AZA accredited facilities despite space limitation and other inadequacies.


Although PAWS supported the relocation of Tina & Jewel to the San Diego Zoo, we are opposed to this recent transfer of Queenie who is healthy and would have survived a longer trip with no problems and a much better future.


We urge Queenie's loyal fans and supporters to write to 

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

Mr. Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250


Phone: 202-720-3631
Fax: 202-720- 2166

Email: agsec@usda.gov In this particular case it may be best to make phone calls or write letters rather than sending emails. We have been told that emails might be ignored or may not even go through.


Tell Secretary Vilsack :


1. Confiscated elephants should not be placed back into the stress of public exhibition, in confined spaces with little social stimulation and limited access to a natural environment.


2. AZA and most individual zoos have never assisted in monitoring substandard circuses. They have no written policy on the use and care of elephants in circuses, and they have done nothing to prevent the tragic circumstances that preclude confiscation.


3. Animal welfare organizations and individuals have invested time and money into the monitoring of abusive conditions in circuses and, often, through their lobbying and intervention, have saved elephants like Tina and Jewel. They should have a voice in the critical issue of placement of confiscated animals.


4. Sanctuaries exist to care for abandoned, abused and retired elephants. They do not use sanctuary animals for public display or any form of exhibition or promotion. Elephants who are sent to a sanctuary enjoy a stable existence for the rest of their lives. Zoos consistently trade, relocate and loan elephants to other zoos, often severing important social bonds among elephants and their offspring.


5. Criteria should be developed for the placement of confiscated elephants, and animal welfare groups and sanctuaries should be included in the discussion.


Whenever possible, please send copies of your letters to PAWS.


To view the elephant habitat at the San Antonio Zoo, click here.
To view the Asian elephant habitat at ARK 2000 click here.

For more information on Queenie, Tina and Jewel, CLICK HERE and HERE. 

In October of 2009, PAWS made a formal offer to the USDA to take Queenie. To view that offer, CLICK HERE.

Dumbo performing a few days before she killed her trainer. Photo by Pete G. Wilson/The Times Leader
Dumbo Is Now In Limbo

Dumbo, the Shrine Circus elephant who kicked her trainer to death last week in Pennsylvania, will be sent to some obscure hiding place until the furor over her trainer's death subsides. She will then be recycled back into the circus industry, probably with a new name.

The prevailing misconception that the U.S. Department of Agriculture can regulate circuses and enforce the Animal Welfare Act enables the continuation of the long history of abuse and neglect to the animals and injury and death to the trainers and keepers who work with them. The shell game of "find the elephant" continues.

The final indignity is the ruling from Luzerne County coroner, John Corcoran, that the trainer's (Andrew Atherton) death was "positively an accident." Everyone who works with and studies elephants knows that elephants seldom do anything by accident. Whether Dumbo intended to kill Atherton or not, she did intend to kick him, and the details of the necropsy indicate that she delivered many lethal blows before she was restrained.

The state of Pennsylvania may soon become famous for these "accidents." During Shriner's performances of The Great American Circus in Reading and Altoona, PA, elephants attacked trainers and rampaged through large crowds full of children. Two elephants crashed through a store window in Hanover, PA during a circus parade and rampaged through a parking lot injuring several people in the panicking crowd. Perhaps legislation to prevent these deadly "accidents" should be considered in that state.

The Irem Shrine Circus was responsible for this atrocity. Despite numerous requests to the International Organization of Shriners for a meeting regarding their continued use of animal acts, we have been ignored. Several of the elephants which have been confiscated by USDA were former performers for the Shrine Circus.
Please contact Shrine circus and ask them to discontinue the inhumane practice of using animals for their circuses.
For a list of upcoming Shrine Circus performances, CLICK HERE.
Also, contact USDA: Elizabeth Goldentyer, Eastern Regional Director, USDA APHIS, Animal Care, 920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27606-1401.
E-mail: aceast@aphis.usda.gov. Phone: (919) 855-7100. Fax: (919) 855-7123. Ask that they investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of animal trainer, Andrew Atherton, killed by the elephant, Dumbo, who is owned by Joe Frisco, Wonderful World of Animals. Request that Joe Frisco's license be suspended.

Your calls and letters do make a difference!
To view news reports on this incident involving Dumbo the elephant, and to read Pat Derby's statement, CLICK HERE.
To read an editorial from the Scranton Times-Tribune, CLICK HERE.

A Big, New, Beautiful Home for Alexander!


Funding for Alexander's new habitat at ARK 2000 will come from a bequest from Paul and Gottfriede Engel.


Due to this generous legacy gift, we will soon be able to construct a spacious natural habitat at ARK 2000 for Alexander, our black leopard. 


PAWS rescued Alexander after he was confiscated by the Houston SPCA.  He had been kept in a backyard as a personal pet. Sadly, he represents everything that is wrong about captive breeding and the critical issues surrounding exotic pet ownership.


Alexander currently resides at our Galt sanctuary. He will remain there until his new home at ARK 2000 can be completed.


PAWS is extremely grateful for this bequest from Paul and Gottfriede Engel. 


Support PAWS
With Every Purchase You Make


Every time you say "charge-it!" you could be helping a PAWS animal! Sign up for the new PAWS Capital One card today and show your support with every purchase you make. Just follow THIS LINK.

Saturday, May 8th Open House
ARK 2000 Sanctuary
San Andreas, CA, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$40 adults; $20 seniors, 62 & over.
$20 children, 12 & under.
Cookies and juice served.
Pre-paid reservations required.
Directions provided with ticket purchase.
To make reservations call (209) 745-2606.

Saturday, May 15th Open House
Galt Sanctuary, Noon to 2:30 p.m.
$15 adults; $10 seniors, 62 & over.
$10 children, 12 & under.
No reservations taken. Purchase tickets at the gate.
Saturday, May 29th
Sunday, May 30
"Seeing the Elephant" Getaway*
(Saturday 1-day or Saturday/Sunday 2-day getaways available.)  
To make reservations, please contact Kim Gardner at (916) 488-3991 or
If you wish to make a donation to PAWS and do not have a PayPal account, you may call our office at 209/745-2606, Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST, to make a donation using your credit card.
Elephants in chainsP. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632
Phone: 209/745-2606
Fax: 209/745=1809
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Gift Cards: Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, Tractor Supply


New or used: Dump Trailer, Backhoe, Bulldozer, Bobcat, Forklift, Flatbed Truck, Front-End Loader


For the barns: Scoop shovels, like the ones used for cleaning horse stalls, heavy-duty steel wheelbarrows (6 or 8 cu. ft.)


For the elephants: 1000 IU Vitamin E, 800 MG Ibuprofen, Epsom Salts, Apple Cider Vinegar (1 gallon size)


For the bears: Canned peaches

BULL ELEPHANT FENCING: $168 will buy one linear foot of fencing.  


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