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Ruby Celebrates Her Third Year At PAWS' ARK 2000 Sanctuary


On May 15th, Ruby, one of the oldest African elephants in the United States, will be celebrating three golden years in the beautiful hills of San Andreas, CA. She and her best friends, Lulu, Mara & Maggie will celebrate early, on Saturday, May 8th, at the first Open House of the year with special party treat bags and Ruby's favorite cake made of bran, molasses, raisins and carrots.


Before Ruby came to PAWS, she was sent from Los Angeles Zoo to Knoxville Zoo where she had difficulty socializing with other elephants. Upon her arrival at ARK, she bonded immediately with Lulu and a few days later with the rest of the group. They are a beautiful foursome with Ruby, the oldest, as the acknowledged leader and decision maker.


It is an awesome sight to see the four elephants gliding over the crest of the hill, grazing and foraging in the tall grass. Maggie's voracious appetite often leads her well beyond the other three until she discovers that she is alone and bellows loudly for her friends. The ensuing greeting is a cacophony of rumbles, trumpets and trunk thumping as Mara and Ruby wrap their trunks and legs around Maggie touching every part of her body. Lulu, whose fear of pushing and shoving sometimes keeps her at a discreet distance, actually has begun to move into the middle, happily joining the huge elephant embrace. Ruby guards the group with devotion and wisdom, her beautiful brown eyes scanning the trees for any potential or imagined danger.


To view a video of Ruby and the girls, click here!


Liberating Queenie From

The Clutches Of A Dinosaur

Steve McCusker, the Director of San Antonio Zoo, may be the rarest animal at the zoo, a dinosaur relic of the past, clinging to the old beliefs that animals are ambassadors for their species deserving little more than minimal space, veterinary care and good nutrition. His archaic views are supported by the American Zoo Association which is now consulting on placement of circus animals by the US Department of Agriculture.

McCusker stated in a recent interview "Sanctuaries aren't all green and glorious." To prove him wrong once again, we have dedicated a video (see below) of Wanda, our Asian elephant who came from Detroit Zoo (with the loyal support and love of the zoo director and his staff),  to McCusker who tried every unethical tactic to prevent her transfer to ARK 2000 five years ago.


Video: Wanda and Gypsy climb the "green

and glorious" hills of ARK 2000. Click here.

We hope all of Queenie's loyal supporters will keep writing, calling, faxing and sending emails on her behalf to send her to this sanctuary which feels very "green and glorious" to Wanda and the rest of her elephant companions at ARK 2000.

Please send polite requests to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture and to the chairs of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry: Senator Blanche L. Lincoln and Senator Saxby Chambliss, asking them to reverse the decision that sentenced Queenie to San Antonio (See contact information below.).

Also request a review of USDA's decisions and policies regarding placement of elephants from owners who have reached consent decisions to surrender their animals. Criteria must be developed to protect elephants like Queenie. Remind them that they are enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, not the circus and zoo entertainment industry trade association standards.


McCusker has stated that he has no plan to enlarge San Antonio Zoo's pitiful Asian elephant yard (see video below), adding that he has housed up to five elephants there in the past. His disingenuous statements reflect no concern for the welfare of the animals in his care, and AZA supports the outdated philosophy of this zoo director. Drastic changes should be made to AZA's inadequate standards as well.
Video: San Antonio Zoo, Asian elephant yard. Click here.

AZA's glowing praise of San Antonio Zoo and McCusker, which can be reviewed on the zoo's Web page, contains some of the most illogical and unscientific prattle about Species Survival Plans and the "advancement of the health, welfare and conservation of elephants."

Scientists who have researched the behavior and social structure of wild elephants generally agree that captive breeding is not conservation, and the ghoulish promotion of artificial insemination of elephants to "save the species" is antithetical to both health and welfare.


Videos: According to the AZA, the elephants you'll see

in these two videos are living in facilities they claim provide
the highest standards in elephant care. Click here and click here.


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.

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



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


If you are just now joining us and would like more information on the history of Queenie the elephant, past issues of PAWS E-News are available on our Web site. Click
If you haven't already signed our petition asking the USDA to intervene on behalf of Queenie, please do so now using this link. Our goal is 5,000 signatures and we need your help to make this happen! Please forward this E-News to family, friends and business associates and ask them to sign our petition. Use the forward link at the bottom of this email. Thank you to all of Queenie's friends -- in the United States, and around the world!
Purchase For PAWS! 
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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
Saturday, June 19th
Sunday, June 20th
"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