Performing Animal Welfare SocietyMAY 3, 2011
Galt Sanctuary's Final Open House

Galt Sanctuary Animals - 27 Years!

The original sanctuary in Galt is fraught with fond memories of beloved friends and a reminder that many of the residents are approaching their Golden Years.

Galt sanctuary tigers Roy and Claire.

As we move through the jungle of shrubs, flowers and trees planted many years ago, the chatter of the Marx Brothers (really two brothers and a sister) and Jacques and Ella, the Capuchin monkeys, greets us. The monkeys are quite old, but still active and alert, climbing on branches and greedily harvesting bamboo which grows into their enclosure. They have all lived at the Galt facility for more than 15 years, after spending their youth as personal pets, incarcerated in broom closets and tiny cages.


Alexander, the magnificent black leopard, once a pet chained to a tree, watches from his tall perch under the old plum tree, one of only three trees when we purchased the 30-acre property. We were in a frenzy of planting trees when the facility was new, hoping to create a natural environment at the old dairy. It is a jungle now providing shade for the residents and a lush habitat for the myriad of wild birds who construct nests perched precariously above lions, tigers and the ever-watchful Alexander. Alexander will soon be moving to ARK 2000.

The tiger cubs, Roy, Kim and Claire, have matured from cuddly cubs, but continue to chuff and rub, calling as I approach and running to their swimming pool for a brief conversation as I pass them. Hopefully, they and Nelson will soon join the Colton tigers at ARK 2000.

Sweet Gracie, the Bengal tiger rescued 11 years ago, arrived with medical problems and has special needs, so the construction of a habitat at ARK for her will be challenging.


Samantha, the remaining mountain lion, Robert, the bobcat, Paka, the serval and Denny and Pfeiffer, the African lions, are all doing well and enjoying the trees, grass and sun despite their advancing age. Arthur, Jack, Oma, Sampson and Cinnamon, the black bears, will be moving to the beautifully forested Bob Barker Bear Habitat at ARK 2000 within the next few months, joining Boo-Boo and Winston.

Galt is a haven of treasured memories and senior residents enjoying their Golden years, oblivious to the passing of time.

As preparations continue with construction of new animal habitats and the relocation of the remaining animals from the Galt facility to the expanded 2,300-acre ARK 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas, PAWS will host its last official Open House in Galt on Saturday, May 21, from noon until 2:30 p.m.


The public is invited to take in one last sentimental tour of the sanctuary and bid a fond farewell, or rather "Till We Meet Again at ARK 2000" to the animals. PAWS will continue to host open houses at the ARK 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas.


Admission to the final Galt Sanctuary open house is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and kids under 12. Tickets may be purchased at the gate. Call 209-745-2606 for more information.






In Memoriam: Sosha the Mountain Lion

Sosha came to PAWS in 1995 and was among our first rescues. He was one of the sweetest animals at the Galt facility, vocalizing and purring whenever anyone approached. (Mountain lions, Bobcats and Cheetahs are the only species of large cats that actually purr.)


Sosha made us all smile with his incessant chatter and high pitched greeting which sounded like he was saying, "Hi." The loss of this dear friend leaves a huge void at the  
original sanctuary. We pass his empty enclosure with sadness, but we are happy that he had many years of peace lying on the grass under his huge Pin Oak tree, purring and chirping at the sun, the flowers, the birds, the cows next door and anyone who walked down the pathway. His capacity for enjoying his environment was a joy to watch, and an inspiration to all of us.

Rest in peace sweet Sosha.


Project OneSong Students Visit ARK 2000
Students from Project OneSong spent an afternoon in April visiting PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary.


A Visit That Benefits People & Animals

Started in 1996, Project OneSong is a "humane education adventure" that introduces inner-city kids to sanctuary animals and is based on the undeniable link between animal cruelty and human violence in our society.

Through Project OneSong, students learn the value of loyalty, trust and respect. It is a rare and compelling interpersonal experience where students discover that THEY have the power to make a positive difference.
The children explore new ways of thinking about their own world and ultimately they learn how to think about themselves more compassionately. The most exciting result is a decreased interest in gang-related activity, and kids with new self-esteem, relationship skills, and new interest and desire in a more productive and kinder lifestyle.

The unique experience at PAWS 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.

PAWS' Directors, Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, are always excited when the young boys and girls visit the animals. "The kids are so exuberant about the trip, and are poignantly sweet with their curiosity and innate empathy for the elephants who have suffered similar experiences to theirs. They truly understand and relate to the suffering of captive elephants," Pat Derby said as she helped the students deliver treat bags to the elephants.

"We look forward to their visit every year. They are the hope of the future for captive wildlife," Ed Stewart remarked as the tired group of youngsters left to return home to Los Angeles.

OneSong Students' Visit With the African Elephants

Project OneSong & the PAWS Elephants
Project OneSong & the PAWS Elephants

Pack Their Trunks!


Bob Barker Says Toronto's Too Cold For Elephants


Celebrity animal activist and PAWS benefactor, Bob Barker, visited Toronto with PAWS' director, Ed Stewart, last month, to urge the city to relocate the three African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a warmer climate, hopefully, the ARK 2000 sanctuary.


"Moving them to ARK would expand our group of Africans to six, and we have the barn and habitat space to accommodate them. It would be wonderful to socialize them with Mara, Maggie and Lulu and see them roaming the grassy hills in the California sunshine," Pat Derby, PAWS' director stated.


Maggie, the African elephant from Alaska Zoo, was relocated four years ago and has thrived in the milder California climate.


"If the zoo decides to relocate them, we hope they can come here," Ed Stewart stated.


View news articles:


"Barker says there's nothing right about keeping elephants in captivity."


"Bob Barker makes a bid to get elephants out of zoo."


Celebrate Elephants With The Oakland Zoo


"Celebrating Elephants"

Reception, Lecture, & Silent Auction

Saturday, May 21st, 6-9 p.m.


Winnie Kiiru, research associate with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, is the special guest lecturer at the Oakland Zoo's "Celebrating Elephants" event on Saturday, May 21. 

You are cordially invited to join the Oakland Zoo for an evening of "Celebrating Elephants" on Saturday, May 21st, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event begins with the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and drink while you peruse the many wonderful silent auction items.

Winnie Kiiru, research associate with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, is the honored guest for the evening and will present, "Living with Elephants: Conflict and Co-existence around Amboseli National Park in Kenya, East Africa."

Amboseli National Park hosts one of the most famous herds of wild elephants in the world. About 1,500 elephants utilize the park and the surrounding community lands. This presentation will highlight some of the challenges faced by communities that share land with elephants and some of the measures that have been taken to promote co-existence between people and elephants. 

This event will be held in the Oakland Zoo's Marian Zimmer Auditorium, 9777 Golf Links Road in Oakland. The zoo is requesting a minimum donation of $20 per person. All proceeds from the evening event will benefit the Amboseli Trust for Elephants. For more information on the event, visit the Oakland Zoo's website at, or call (510) 632-9525.

Visitors From The Elephant Sanctuary

Janice Zeitlin, chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (left), and Rob Atkinson, CEO (second from left), visited ARK 2000 last month and toured the elephant facility with Pat Derby & Ed Stewart. Both sanctuaries are exchanging critical information about captive elephants.

Pat and Ed will be visiting the beautiful Tennessee sanctuary this summer.

Another Circus Sideshow

"Water For Elephants"


A Sacramento movie critic commenting on this movie stated that it made him want to have an elephant for a pet. A fitting critique of this film which promotes sympathy for circuses and romanticizes the performance of one particular elephant.


Sadly, the elephant who portrays Rosie has no choice when she is loaded into a truck and driven to a film set, despite the assertions of cast and crew that "she loves performing." If given the choice, her preference for working on a film set to living in a large habitat with other elephants is dubious.


She has earned huge sums of money for her owners with little benefit for her life. If you care about elephants, don't support films that exploit them.



"Born To Be Wild 3D"

A "Must See" For Animal Lovers! 


"Born to be Wild 3D" is an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them--saving endangered species one life at a time.


Stunningly captured in IMAX 3D, "Born to be Wild 3D" is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.


This film documentary, narrated by Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman, is a wonderful alternative to "Water For Elephants." For more information, click here. 









ARK 2000 Open House


Saturday, May 14

Open House

ARK 2000 Sanctuary
San Andreas, CA

11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

$50 per adult / $25 kids under 12 and seniors 62 and over.

Cookies and juice served. 

Pre-paid reservations required

Directions provided with ticket purchase.

Yes, by all means, bring your cameras and video recorders!



Pets are not allowed on PAWS property, this includes PAWS parking lots.


 To make reservations for pre-paid tickets, please call (209) 745-2606,

or email 



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P. O. Box 849

Galt, CA 95632