Elephants in chains
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Queenie Is Saved
She has a tire and a tree trunk!
Steve McCusker, San Antonio Zoo Executive Director, a self-proclaimed expert on elephants, recently stated that Queenie is in a better place than a sanctuary. "We just know more about elephants than they do," he said in a recent interview.

Elephants in chainsWith colossal arrogance, McCusker dismisses Joyce Poole, one of the world's foremost scientists studying elephant behavior in the wild, as an animal rights "extremist." Her research, based on many years observing wild elephants, concludes that elephants need space to range and forage, a complex social environment consisting of more than one other elephant and an enriched habitat much larger than one half of an acre. To view McCusker's Asian elephant habitat, use this link.

McCusker is positive that Lucky and Queenie will be "happier" at San Antonio Zoo than in a sanctuary because they have tree trunks, tractor tires and two veterinarians who provide necessary care for them as well as 3,498 other animals. His supercilious disdain for improvements to his antiquated 20,000 square foot elephant exhibit is a strong argument for change in the administration at that zoo whose stated mission is "to foster appreciation and concern for all living things."

Queenie and Lucky deserve more than tree stumps and tires. Both are old for captive elephants with little hope for the future. We urge all animal rights "extremists" to demand a suitable retirement for them.

Write to the Mayor of San Antonio and the City Council urging them to release both elephants to the PAWS sanctuary. McCusker is building an exhibit for African elephants and has no interest in improving the Asian elephant exhibit; he should not be allowed to hold Queenie and Lucky hostage.

The City of San Antonio is an historic tourist destination evoking images of flower-strewn promenades and river walks. The plight of Lucky and Queenie is a blight on the portrait of this beautiful city.
P. O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283
To phone or email Mayor Castro or City Council members, please use this link for additional information.
Visit PAWS Asian Elephant Habitat HERE.
If you haven't already signed our petition asking the USDA to intervene on behalf of Queenie, please do so now using this link. Please forward this E-News to family, friends and business associates. Use the forward link at the bottom of this email. Thank you!
If you're just now joining us, and would like more background information on Queenie,  please click on our NEWS/ALERTS link in the "Quick Links" box above.

Breaking News

Regarding Queenie!


We have just learned, from a reliable source, that the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, the committee that oversees the USDA, is considering holding a meeting over Queenie and the USDA's decision. Letters will definitely make a difference for Queenie!


Write two separate letters to the two ranking Senate committee members. They can be the same text, but it has been suggested each member should receive their own letter.


Mail your correspondence to:


U.S. Senate Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry

Attn: Chairman Blanche Lincoln

328A Senate Russell Office Bldg.

Washington, D. C. 20510

Email Chairman Lincoln: click here.

And also to:


U.S. Senate Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry

Attn: Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss

328A Senate Russell Office Bldg.

Washington, D. C. 20510

Email Senator Chambliss: click here.


In addition, write to the President!


The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, D. C. 20500


Sierra Lodestar magazine, published in Calaveras County, home to ARK 2000, recently featured PAWS as its cover story. To read the article and view the photos, use this link.

TURNING COMPASSION INTO LOVING ACTION. Recently Project Give awarded the Boys & Girls Club in LA's Compton district a special grant. The kids were able to choose how to spend their funds. It was unanimous, PAWS would receive a generous donation from the children on their next visit. Project One Song then generously matched the children's gift. Everyone at PAWS agrees, we are genuinely touched by this unselfish, special gift from the children. 


Recipe For A Perfect Day


It was a gorgeous, sundrenched spring day in the Sierra Gold Country with wildflowers bursting in full bloom and the hillsides at ARK 2000 were luscious and green.   


Take it from Annie and Mara and the other girls, it was a picture-perfect day and a great time to host a very special Earth Week visit with a group of young "at risk youth" from the Los Angeles' Compton Boys and Girls Club.  


The Project OneSong program is based on the undeniable link between animal cruelty & human violence in our society. Project OneSong teaches young people how to develop empathy and compassion for animals and others as an alternative to violence.
Most of the children in the Project OneSong program come from difficult and challenging environments.


By visiting PAWS and spending time with Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, the children witness first-hand Pat and Ed's unwavering demonstration of kindness, patience and unconditional love toward the animals.  The children explore new ways of thinking about their own world and ultimately they learn how to think about themselves more compassionately. 


The unique experience at PAWS benefits the children by boosting their self-esteem and personal confidence and by showing them a more productive and kinder lifestyle.  It benefits the animals too.  By educating our young people to the suffering of wildlife in captive situations, it opens their minds to the concept of wildlife conservation and environmental preservation.  These are key topics that children need to understand in order to make their own world a more positive place in which to live, grow, and to become positive contributors to our society. 
After one elephant experience, a child remarked that he felt that the elephants represented him. He saw the elephant as majestic and powerful and was able to relate those positive attributes to humans who unlock their potential - and he was finally able to relate those positive attributes to himself.  Another child exclaimed that "animals have best friends," one mentioned that "animals are just like humans - they need respect too," and still another child added that she learned that animals weren't things, but that they were living beings with feelings and families.
With Southwest Airlines as a charter sponsor, the children fly in to the Sacramento Airport where their chaperones rent vans and drive to ARK 2000.
The recent Project One Song visit on April 24th included helping Pat and Ed with elephant foot soaks. Of course, these pachy pedicures were a big hit with both the kids and the elephants. The children then learned more about PAWS' rescued tigers.
The day also included making elephant treat bags.  There were nine children visiting in this group and PAWS has nine elephants, so each child had their own elephant and each prepared a wonderful afternoon snack bag for their elephant.  The snack bag included carrots, veggies and an ele favorite - popcorn.  Wanda and Gypsy chirped and trumpeted their approval of the delicious and lovingly-prepared snacks.  And according to the PAWS' Pachy Press, The One Song "chefs" will be awarded a whopping Nine Stars for their culinary achievements!


After a bountiful vegetarian lunch on top of ARK 2000's Indian Hill each child wrote two special cards.  One card was to United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, pleading with him to send Queenie to the PAWS sanctuary.  The other card was to United States President Obama's daughter, Malia.  The children learned about Malia's commitment to helping tigers and they were excited to invite her to come visit the tigers at PAWS.


PAWS has collaborated with the One Song Education program for over five years and is proud to be a partner with Project OneSong.  Initial plans have begun to construct a Project One Song Campground and Educational Center.  For more information, please visit www.OneSong.org.

To view a video of Project OneSong's visit to ARK 2000,




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
Elephants in chains
PAWS has received a
4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
Elephants in chainsP. O. Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
Phone: 209/745-2606
Fax: 209/745-1809