Performing Animal Welfare SocietyMARCH 2011

Wanda Celebrates

Six Years At ARK 2000


On April 8, 2005, Wanda and Winky, two Asian elephants from the Detroit Zoo, arrived with an entourage of loving caregivers who unselfishly sublimated their devotion to the two elephants to provide them with a warmer and larger environment.

The love and devotion of the entire staff from Detroit has remained with Wanda over the past six years and many of her old friends from Detroit visit her often, lavishing her with treats which she graciously shares with Gypsy and Annie. The Detroit Zoo assists with financial support and veterinary consultation as well.

We lost dear Winky a few years ago, but Wanda survives as the darling of the Asian group and the BFF of Gypsy, Nicholas' foster mother. She and Gypsy climb the hills until Wanda, the older of the two, stops for a long nap in the warm sun. Gypsy always stands grazing nearby and usually lies down next to her when her fat belly is stuffed and she needs a brief respite from eating.

Our sincere gratitude to Detroit Zoo director, Ron Kagan, and the wonderful staff, docents and volunteers for the gift of Wanda. She is a source of joy and delight to all who work around her; her unusual sea lion vocalizations and her sense of humor keep us in good spirits as we watch her chubby bottom disappear into the trees.


Happy Anniversary Wanda!



In honor or Wanda, we've included a couple of our favorite videos below.


Gypsy and Wanda friends forever!
Gypsy and Wanda friends forever!




A Day In The Life Of

Lulu, Ruby, Maggie & Mara



by Pat Derby


Although some zoo "professionals" continue to claim elephants don't utilize large spaces, the elephants at ARK 2000 refute that claim with their daily forays up and down the mountains, foraging across habitats as they munch their way from the barn to the farthest edges of their range.

Season dictates the direction of their daily movement, but their favorite days are the foggy, overcast, slightly cool (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit) spring days that are abundant from late February through early May. On these days, keepers are often heard on the radio searching for the African group who have moved out of sight, and Ed and I scour the far side of the mountain until we locate the peripatetic pachyderms.

This month we found the group scattered across the mountain, munching the succulent new spring grass and pulling the tender foliage off the bushes, happily oblivious to the rest of the world. Mara and Maggie were immersed in the bushes, Ruby was busily browsing through a large stick pile and Lulu was challenging a large tree to a tug-of-war.

We watched and filmed the outing for two hours before returning to the barns. (See video, below.) What a glorious and inspiring sight!

To all our friends and supporters who make it all possible, a big thank you from the elephants and their very fortunate human caretakers.



A Glorious Day In The Elephant Neighborhood
A Glorious Day In The Elephant Neighborhood



Prince Update:

A Video Message From Pat Derby

Prince Update - With Pat Derby
Prince Update - With Pat Derby

"Seeing The Elephant"


PAWS co-founder, Ed Stewart (right), introduces

Mara to "Seeing The Elephant" participants.


On Saturday, March 12th, a large group of elephant advocates from across the United States, spent the day with the elephants at ARK 2000, and with Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, co-founders of PAWS.

The day began with a brief stop at the Colton tiger habitat where the guests were treated to the morning stalk and chase by the frisky tigers who hid in the tall grass, pouncing on their companions, racing up and down the mountain and finally stopping to graze on the tender, new spring grass. The visitors were surprised to learn how much grass carnivores consume and why they need grass in captivity.

The Bolivia circus lions, were lying in the warm sun, refusing to notice the admiring audience as they stretched lazily across the grass. Their relaxed posture clearly indicated their newly developed independence from pleasing audiences. Everyone was amused and pleased to see the insouciant attitude of the former circus performers.

Galt bears, Boo-Boo and Winston, were also preoccupied with an early morning foray into their heavily forested habitat, so the group left for Elephant Land.

It was a perfect elephant day with elephants scattered all over the large habitats. Nicholas was cavorting in his lake, splashing and throwing huge branches in the air, Sabu was grazing halfway down Bull Mountain and Wanda and Gypsy were chirping and rumbling as they foraged around the lake. Asian elephant Annie, together with ARK 2000 sanctuary manager, Brian Busta, and elephant consultant, Margaret Whitaker from Active Environments, demonstrated a session of protected contact foot care for the curious crowd.

Lunch was shared with the African group, and Mara followed the crowd down the hill to the lake where she demonstrated her demolition skills among the thick brush as Maggie, Lulu and Ruby watched from above, rumbling their displeasure at her ostentatious exhibition. When we returned with Mara following us, the raucous reunion of the four elephants was a great photo opportunity for the eager students of elephant behavior.

The day ended with a demonstration of protected contact management with Nicholas, who loves the game.


For more information on PAWS' "Seeing The Elephant" educational weekends, click here


Beth Dietz (center), pictured with Pat Derby and Ed Stewart,

came from New Jersey to spend a day with the PAWS elephants! 



"Seeing The Elephant" participants.


Bob Barker Asks Concerned Citizens

To Contact Missouri Governor


Emmy Award winner Bob Barker during a visit

to ARK 2000. That's Maggie in the background.

Missouri is the number one puppy mill state in the nation, with Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Iowa following close behind.


190,000 signatures were collected in a Missouri citizen initiative ballot measure to place Prop B the on the ballot for a vote last November.  Prop B provides basic provisions for dogs in Missouri puppy mills. Voters passed the proposition.


Outrageously, the puppy millers have persuaded the Senate of Missouri to pass Senate Bill 113, which would completely gut the protections of Prop B for dogs in puppy mills. A similar attempt is underway in the house.


Regardless of where you live, Bob Barker  asks all concerned citizens to please call Missouri Governor Jay Nixon at (573) 751-3222, and politely and respectfully ask him to veto the legislation to repeal Prop B. You can also go to the Governor's website and send him your message there.


For more information on Prop B, click here.




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