Performing Animal Welfare SocietyJanuary 14, 2011

Happy New Year!  


So far, the new year has been stormy and wet, filling the elephant lakes to capacity and creating delicious mud wallows for elephants and tigers. The elephants line up by the gate at night, dripping mud and waiting to come in to their warm barns for a hot bath and a big meal.


Boo Boo and Winston 

The elephant lakes are so full, a pair of river otters swam up the overflow stream and spent the day in the African lake. The four Africans watched them from the top of the hill as they played in the water, then swam back down the waterfall to the swollen river.


Most of the elephants and tigers like the rain. The tigers splash through the mud, racing up and down the hill, calling to their companions and to the stoic lions next door. The Bolivia lions and Sheba prefer the warm sun and sit out in the rain patiently waiting for better weather.

Boo-Boo, Winston and all the bears have settled in for their long winter's nap, ignoring food and the keepers who try to coax them out of their warm dens for cleaning. Although our bears do not hibernate, they do choose to sleep a lot during inclement weather.

Cindy, our most eccentric bear, usually dens under her pool, digging a huge hole where she remains for most of the time. This year she is camped inside her pool which we drained for the winter.


African elephant, Lulu

Denny and Pfeiffer are always in a good mood, even when the weather is not their favorite. Today is sunny and they are both sprawled out on their backs, soaking up the warm sunshine and roaring their pleasure to me as I walk past them. Sosha, the mountain lion, peers out from his elevated den and chirps a greeting as I pass his enclosure, and I am reminded that some of our Galt residents are showing signs of age. Sosha's spirit is beautiful as he moves carefully around his enclosure, but his old joints are obviously aging.

The little monkeys and Ferguson greet me as I pass and wish them another happy new year. For all of them, a cozy shelter, trees, grass and their favorite foods are the components of a very good year!

To all our friends and supporters, good health and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Pat Derby











"Sabu Explores His Habitat" Click HERE 


"Gypsy Takes a Nap" Click HERE 


"Construction of Third Bull Barn" Click HERE


"Lions' Song" Click HERE  


USDA Must Set Standards for Placement of Confiscated and Consent Decision Elephants!

The decision by USDA to use AZA accreditation as the criteria for suitable placement of confiscated and consent decision elephants is disastrous for the elephants who have suffered enough during their lifetime.

Ed Stewart traveled to Washington, D.C., in December, and met with John Ferrell, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs with the USDA, Dr. Chester Gipson, Deputy Administrator Animal Care/APHIS, and others from the USDA, to discuss setting standards for placement which would include: no bull hooks or other aversive training techniques, space to roam and express natural behaviors, other compatible elephants, no breeding, no transfer or exchange with other facilities assuring a secure home for life. He presented documents to substantiate our position and information on the PAWS elephant program at ARK 2000.

This was just the first step in a long process to combat the popular misconception that all zoos have the same standards. We need letters and petitions to USDA to support this campaign.

Please send letters and emails to the USDA voicing your support for new standards!

To sign our petition, CLICK HERE.


The New Elephant Exhibit at the National Zoo: Another Extravagant Waste of Taxpayer's Money!


While Ed was in Washington, D.C., he went to see the new elephant exhibit at the National Zoo. The new trend in zoo design concentrates on eliminating any natural vegetation and substituting contrived areas that, we are told, will stimulate normal behavior. This new exhibit has a corridor which, at present, dead ends after a few hundred feet.

When Ed discussed the design with a docent she acknowledged that "there are a couple of sanctuaries in this country that have more space than the National Zoo, but the elephants don't receive the level of attention that they do in zoos."

The AZA is constantly implying that we simply send our elephants out to the habitat and leave them out there, which is a blatant and intentional misrepresentation.

Although PAWS supports good zoos like Oakland and Detroit, we are convinced that AZA's continued acceptance of free contact management and bull hooks is detrimental to captive elephant welfare and should be eliminated.



While cataloging and archiving old VHS tapes, we recently discovered this little gem from the early '70s. The quality is not great, but the content is priceless. Christopher, the Lincoln Mercury cougar, is three months old; "The Lady and Her Tiger" has yet to be written; and Pat Derby has never met Ed Stewart.

"What's My Line?" - with special guest, Pat Derby.


Click HERE to view.


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P. O. Box 849

Galt, CA 95632