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Save the Dates

March 31

and April 1-2

2011 Summit for the Elephants Conference

Locations: Oakland Zoo and PAWS' ARK 2000

Watch for details.
Sheba Will Soon Be Joining The Bolivia Pride

After the successful relocation of the four circus lions from Bolivia two weeks ago (see story, here), everyone at PAWS is eager to send Sheba to join Camba, Daktari, Bambek and Simba.
Preparations began this week for Sheba's short trip from our Galt sanctuary to San Andreas, a move that will allow the lone lionness, rescued from a crackhouse in Detroit, to spend her remaining years with other lions.

Medical issues have prevented any socialization of Sheba with our two other lions, Denny and Pfeiffer, so the rescue of the four lions in Bolivia has become a wonderful opportunity to house Sheba with other lions.

Because Sheba and Camba, the female from the Bolivia pride, are both declawed, it is possible they may ultimately share the same habitat. They will be separated by a common fence during the socialization process, and we hope the two will become best friends. Whatever the outcome, Sheba will soon share the spacious Bob Barker-funded lion habitat at ARK 2000, and, after the Bolivia lions are neutered, they may all live together in one big pride.

Sheba. . . come on down!

Camba greets Bambek at their shared fence.
 After neutering, they will all live together.
PAWS Animal Adoptions 
The cost of care for the four Bolivian lions now living at ARK 2000 has been assumed by Animal Defenders International (ADI). This generous gesture is unprecedented in the history of PAWS, and is greatly appreciated. After rescue, the costs of care are usually left for PAWS to fund. Thank you ADI for your commitment to the lions.

If you would like to help one of PAWS' animals, consider becoming an "adoptive parent," or giving a PAWS adoption as a gift to an animal lover in your life. PAWS adoptions are symbolic adoptions only. No animal will be sent!
For more information on PAWS' animal adoption program, click here.
To adopt Sheba (pictured right) or another PAWS lion, please click here.
To adopt a Bolivian lion, please check the ADI Web site at
Queenie Update
A recent report from the San Antonio Express-News (view here) indicates that Queenie, now called Boo to diffuse unpleasant publicity attached to the zoo's acquisition of Queenie, is finally allowed to "roam" the tiny yard at the San Antonio Zoo for three to four hours a day (see photo, right). She and Lucky, the zoo's other Asian elephant, are rotated into the yard during the seven or eight hours that the zoo is open because there is only one yard. Although this is an improvement for Queenie (Boo) who has been kept inside the tiny barn since her arrival a few months ago, it is a long stretch from "state of the art."
Lucky, the unlucky other elephant who must now share her drab prison with another inmate, is now confined to the barn three to four hours longer than she was before Queenie's (Boo's) arrival.
The "happy" spin on this arrangement is a credit to the local media and the zoo's public relations department, but continues to be an embarrassment to the beautiful City of San Antonio. Pithy quotes from zoo executive director Steve McCusker further demonstrate the lack of scientific expertise among the zoo's leaders.
"One of them will be dominant, and it will likely be Boo," said McCusker, and "It's Lucky's dirt and she may feel territorial," he goes on to say. Those two quotes inspire little confidence in the zoo's plan for socialization of the two elephants in the barren, totally inadequate facility.
Citizens of San Antonio, please lobby your mayor and city council to end this charade and allow both elephants the dignity of a decent retirement. The zoo has no formal plan to provide either elephant with the space and social environment essential to their well-being. Queenie and Lucky are incarcerated to satisfy the selfish whim of the most inept zoo director in the country.
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. 
Letters to USDA Secretary Vilsack, Congress and the President, have drawn attention to Queenie's plight and to the uninformed policies of USDA/APHIS. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) lobbied the USDA to allow confiscated and consent decision animals to go only to facilities accredited by them. Queenie's sentence was a direct result of AZA's lobbying in Washington.
We insist that criteria be developed for placement of seized and consent decision animals that will exceed AZA's pathetic standards that declare the tiny, barren yard and barn in San Antonio, "state of the art." Obviously, allowing AZA foxes to guard the hen house is disastrous for animal welfare.
We were alarmed on reading an internal document produced by AZA and presented to the Obama administration that states, "APHIS has given unreasonable weight to anonymous, unverified complaints, often generated by outside-the-mainstream activist groups."
The confiscations of Tina and Jewel and other elephants from circuses, were generated by well-verified complaints from activists who are not outside the mainstream. AZA has done nothing to assist in alleviating the suffering of circus animals, and they are seeking to undermine the efforts of those who are dedicated to animal welfare. AZA often collaborates with circuses in captive breeding programs and endorses the use of bull hooks to manage elephants.
Please forward this e-alert to your local legislators and request a hearing by Congress and the Senate on enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. Do not allow AZA and the circus community to dictate the policies of the USDA!
"Let Elephants Roam": This letter, regarding Boo (Queenie), written by former employees of the San Antonio Zoo, appeared in yhe Opinion section of the June 10, 2010 issue of the San Antonio Express-News. To read, click here.
To view ABC affiliate, KSAT12's report on Queenie's first day on display, click here.
We urge Queenie's loyal fans and supporters to continue 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 



Write letters to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry's two ranking Senate committee members. They can be the same text, but it has been suggested each member should receive their own letter.


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.


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


Write letters to your Congressional representative.


In addition, write to the President!


The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500
Non-Profits Working Tirelessly In Gulf Oil Spill Need Your Help And Your Donations!

We were pleased to see CNN's recent report regarding AZA's offer of experts to assist in caring for the wildlife victims of the oil spill in the Gulf.


We would also like to recognize some of the non-profits who have been working tirelessly since the day of the spill with little fanfare, resources or support. If you can spare a day or two to volunteer, or a few dollars to donate to cover some of their costs, we know your help would be greatly appreciated.


The Audubon Society, which is affiliated with the Louisiana Coastal Initiative, is making its Center for Birds of Prey in Florida available for bird cleansing and rehabilitation. Elsewhere, Audubon said it was gearing up to mobilize volunteers and provide assistance as the oil reaches land in Louisiana and elsewhere.


Other local organizations also are gathering and training volunteers:


The Alabama Coastal Foundation is collecting contact information from volunteers for cleanup efforts along the Alabama coast should the oil spill reach the state's shores. Call 251-990-6002.


The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is looking for volunteers to help reduce the potential impact of the oil spill in Mobile Bay. Call 251-431-6409.


The Mobile Baykeeper is collecting contact information for volunteers to respond anywhere along the Gulf Coast, if needed. Call 251-433-4229.


Save Our Seabirds is a Florida bird rescue group that is looking for volunteers and support as its response team prepares to help oiled wildlife. Call 941-388-3010.


International Bird Rescue & Research Center. These wildlife rescue experts are on the ground.


Other groups and organizations include:


Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research

Coalition to Restore Costal Louisiana

Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida

Springfield Zoo Euthanizes
Giraffe With Broken Neck
On June 3, 2010, the Springfield-News Leader reported "a giraffe being moved from Disney World in Florida to take part in the breeding program at Dickerson Park Zoo, was euthanized after the zoo's veterinarian determined it suffered a broken neck either during transport or while being unloaded, according to the zoo.

"Asante, its name is Swahili for Thank You, was a 10-year-old male owned by the San Diego Zoo and was on loan to Disney World before being transferred to Dickerson Park, zoo spokeswoman Melinda Arnold said. Asante was born at the Brooklyn Zoo." To read the full story, click here.

A Message From Pat Derby
The death of this young giraffe in Springfield, Missouri, is another sad example of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's (AZA) callous disregard for the lives of individual animals as they promote the illogical breeding of captive wildlife in the name of conservation.
Giraffe, elephant and many species of antelope who are herd animals, are subjected to unspeakable cruelty, stress and death as they are torn from their parents and family and shipped in crates from one location to another to "preserve the species."
This ghoulish, unscientific practice has nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with providing more babies for exhibit in theme park zoos. Surplus male giraffe produced by these programs are sent to roadside zoos, animal auctions, hunting ranches and traveling circuses. Many, like Asante, do not survive.
Transfer records reveal the constant movement of animals across the country for breeding programs that are usually unsuccessful.
Ruby, our African elephant, was transferred eight times before coming to PAWS, and Benny, a young bull elephant in Mexico, was moved four times before he was 10 years old. A young bull elephant born at Springfield Zoo, was torn from his mother at age two and sent to Six Flags MarineWorld in California. He died a few months after his transfer, a horrifying testimony to the suffering inherent in captive breeding programs in zoos like Springfield.

Three old elephants from San Diego Wild Animal Park were transferred to the frigid climate of Chicago to make room for young elephants captured from the wild for breeding. The three old elephants died soon after, one as she was transported to yet another zoo. The Wild Animal Park's elephants captured from the wild are breeding successfully today producing more elephants than the facility can handle, and potentially more lethal transports of unwanted surplus. These elephants will be swept into the never-ending cycle of movement in AZA's exercise in futility, captive breeding.
And what has all this stress and suffering to do with the majestic societies of elephants, giraffe and other endangered species living in the wild? Researchers and scientists who study elephant families in the wild insist that captive breeding is not conservation. Protection of elephant habitat is critical to their preservation, and the money wasted on captive breeding programs could be used more efficiently to protect elephants, giraffe and other wild species.
Conversely, AZA states in their documents to our governmental agencies, "
Across all platforms, the new administration is urged to conduct a re-examination of department policies and regulations, and their interpretation, to show a greater recognition of the role and value of zoos and aquariums, including:
"The public display of wildlife for educational purposes to build widespread public and community support for conservation programs.

"Conservation breeding programs that are increasingly essential components in the protection and recovery of threatened and endangered species."
This rhetoric is so similar to the oil company reports that guaranteed many benefits from increased oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico until the recent catastrophe that was predicted by "out-of-the-mainstream" activists.
Transport of captive wildlife is dangerous and injurious to the animals. Circus animals are often seen with injuries resulting from transport, and many die as a result of being crammed into boxes, trailers, trucks and railroad cars.
Like the oil companies who have polluted our environment as they scoffed at the warnings of dedicated environmentalists, AZA is asking our federal agencies to update and abrogate specific policies (i.e. allowing the capture and import of wildlife from range countries) to "ensure that the United States has the finest zoological institutions and collections in the world, not only will the science of wildlife conservation advance, but the administration's conservation priorities will also benefit from increased public engagement and support."
To view videos of "conservation educational programs" for the public taken at major AZA-accredited zoos, click on the links below.
PAWS supports many good zoos, but the radical and special interest policies of AZA which cause animal suffering and death cannot be allowed to become standard procedure for regulatory agencies.
"Out-of-mainstream activists", whose philosophy of animal welfare is supported by millions around the world, must prevent this misuse of our political system.
 "Breed, Baby, Breed" is another disastrous mantra similar to "Drill, Baby, Drill."

Pat Derby
PAWS President and Co-Founder
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Performing Animal Welfare Society
P. O. Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
209/745-2606 Phone
209/745-1809 Fax