jack the bear

OCTOBER 6, 2011



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An Elephant-Sized Thank You To Our 

"Bucks For Bulls" Supporters!


Nicholas watches Christen Jeffries as she adds new fence pipe "tiles" to the "Bucks for Bulls Walk of Fame."


Thank you to all our "Bucks For Bulls" supporters! We have now collected enough bucks to purchase a truckload of pipe for the expansion of bull habitats at Bull Mountain.

Keep it up, we must pay for the installation of the pipes that allow more feet of freedom for our beloved and deserving bulls!


Christen writes donor names on "Walk of Fame" tiles made from pieces of leftover elephant fence pipes. These names will join the names of others who have donated to PAWS "Bucks For Bulls" campaign.



The Elephant Manager's Association's Response To AZA's New Policy

The Elephant Manager's Association (EMA) is the trade union of elephant trainers and handlers within the AZA, and affiliated organizations like Have Trunk Will Travel.

From its inception, the EMA has been dominated by the proponents of aggressive elephant management using bullhooks, ropes, chains and other painful methods to "control 8,000 pounds of killer beast", a quote from an article about EMA in the early days.

After the exposť of the cruel training of Tammy & Annie at Milwaukee Zoo (view video below), and the brutal beatings of M'Dunda at San Diego Wild Animal Park, public outrage escalated, and many zoos, including San Diego, changed to Protected Contact Management (PC), a kinder, gentler alternative, developed by marine mammal trainers, Gail Laule and Tim Desmond.

AZA recognized both Free and Protected Contact methods as acceptable management, and the controversy between animal welfare advocates and AZA has been focused on the use of bullhooks and dominance training in many major zoos.

The EMA, while accepting PC managers into the fold, has always supported Free Contact (FC), refusing to admit that training in PC is more effective and productive at zoos, although it is not a viable option for performance training. As we suspected, EMA is opposed to the new AZA policy:  "Maximizing Occupational Safety for Elephant Care Professionals." (Read our August 30, 2011 E-News for more information.)

In a recent statement, EMA wrote: "It is the opinion of the EMA that evaluations and decisions of this sort are best made by elephant care professionals intimately involved in the program as opposed to policy makers that casually observe from a distance."

Some elephant care professionals, like the veteran elephant supervisor at Toledo Zoo who was attacked and seriously injured while using a bullhook to train a young bull elephant, may be too intransigent in their opinions to make decisions that provide the highest levels of safety.

In most cases, these professionals sacrifice their own safety by their pertinacious refusal to admit the efficacy of safer alternatives. "Policy makers that casually observe from a distance" probably are basing their decisions on the irrefutable facts that support these important changes to antiquated, dangerous and inhumane management of elephants.

Hopefully, AZA will continue to implement important new policies that benefit both elephants and their keepers.

Voice your opinion if you see elephant keepers carrying bullhooks or other "tools" for training elephants at your local zoo.


The 32nd Annual Elephant Managers Association Conference is happening now, October 6-9, at Seneca Park Zoo, Rochester, NY. Let them know that "professionals" who beat up elephants (see Annie video below) will not be tolerated. Protected Contact eliminates that possibility! Email them at emaboard@elephantmanagers.com, or call the EMA hotline at (407) 938-1988 to voice your opinion.


The following zoos are ones we know that are predominantly FC, but may have some PC with bulls or certain cows: Marine World (Vallejo, CA), Pittsburg , Ft. Worth, Portland, Syracuse (Rosamond Gifford Zoo), Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Little Rock. We also found an interesting chat on the "Zoo Chat" site. Click here to read.


Asian Elephants: THE TRAINING OF ANNIE (1989)

Asian Elephants:




(This video is graphic!)





Thank You For

Your Comments!


Thank you to all my old and new friends for your very kind comments on my new blog, "Rumblings From PAWS."

It takes old dogs quite a while to learn anything, so facing the world of social media was a scary thought for Ed and me. Your responses encourage us to continue, although Ed threatens to write his version entitled, "Grumblings From PAWS."

We appreciate the continuing support of all of you!


Rumbles and trumpets from Pat, Ed and the animals.


To read Pat's blog, click here.






P.O. Box 849

Galt, California 95632

(209) 745-2606
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Jack Arrives At ARK 2000

We anticipated some difficulty in moving Jack, a wild bear relocated to us by California Department of Fish & Game. Jack has lived at the Galt facility for several years in a large, grassy enclosure with a pool, but we wanted at least a small forest for him to compensate for the freedom he had lost when he was captured.

After a brief physical exam by PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Gai, Jack was loaded into the air-conditioned van to make the short trip to ARK 2000. His habitat there provides a shared fence line with Boo Boo and Winston, two captive-born former house pets whose experience with wild bears was quite limited. Socialization might be difficult.

Jack unloaded calmly, sniffing the air at the unmistakable odor of other bears, and spent the night in his den area. We left him in his den to allow time for him to adjust to the smells and sounds of new neighbors - lions, tigers and other bears, OH MY!

The next morning Ed and I joined the ARK 2000 bear crew armed with noisy, air horns to distract the bears if any aggressive confrontations happened at the fence line. After a few preparations, we opened the gate releasing Jack into his expansive, heavily-forested habitat.

Jack ambled out, shuffling and urinating, marking his new home, glancing over toward the other bears who were still inside their dens. Then he discovered the huge oak and pine trees, and, to our delight, rose to full height and scratched his back against an oak tree.

He spent the next half an hour exploring and browsing on the treats scattered about the habitat (view video below) and the succulent acorns that are a bumper crop this year. Bears and elephants love acorns, and this year's cornucopia has provided hours of dining pleasure to our residents.

Jack's positive attitude prompted our next decision to open the gates for the five other bears. Boo Boo walked out first, sniffing and shuffling, assuming the superior position of the "big man in control."

Boo Boo, who, of necessity, was coddled and pampered by Ed and me when he arrived at Galt, a tiny, frightened cub (view video below), always assumes a senior position with other bears, unaware that he might be challenged. We held our breath, hoping Jack would be tolerant of the unsuspecting and naive urban bear whose experience was confined to life with Winston.

When Boo Boo approached the fence line, Jack charged, huffing and smashing tree branches in true bear fashion, displaying the awesome behavior inherent in all wild bears. Boo Boo rose to the occasion with an impressive display which signaled his position of prerogative. Winston retreated to a pile of figs and acorns, a non-contender, enjoying the luxury of snaring the best of the feast while Boo Boo defended their turf.

After several confrontations, Jack seemed to realize the futility of challenging Boo Boo's assertive posturings and ambled off, intrigued by his new surroundings.

Boo Boo noticed Winston gorging on his morning repast and chased Winston for a few feet to show his dominance. Winston, already full of Boo Boo's breakfast, obliged by running off to look for more leftovers.

Oma, Sampson and Cinnamon sniffed the air, recognizing the scent of a new bear, then resumed their daily routine of browsing and exploring, accepting Jack as another addition to their neighborhood.

Welcome to the Bob Barker Bear Habitat, Jack!



PAWS President/Co-Founder



Black Bears: JACK'S FIRST DAY AT ARK 2000

Black Bears:



Black Bears: Boo Boo's Rescue

Black Bears:



Black Bears: WINSTON'S ARRIVAL, 1995

Black Bears:




Meals On Wheels:

The PAWS "Fleet"


The daily preparation of meals for bears, tigers and lions and the distribution of those diets from the nutrition center to the various areas is dependent on the use of pickup trucks. Keepers load the trucks with the prepared meals and drive several miles distributing them.


The hay, special pellets, produce and browse for the elephants is also driven to the five separate barns, and keepers traverse the roads connecting them with daily deliveries of our "meals on wheels."PAWS literally depends on a "fleet" of old pickup trucks and vans for this important function. The huge expense of purchasing and maintaining new vehicles is one we have never been able to afford, so we are dependent on donated vehicles and are currently in need of a few more.


In Galt, donated produce is collected from Costco warehouses, and other supplies of feed and grain are purchased and brought to the sanctuary in our old Ford van. Deliveries of these supplies, as well as browse for the elephants, harvested from the hundreds of trees planted especially for pachyderm diets, is also a weekly trip in the old van.


If you have a used pickup truck, or van, that is safe and reliable mechanically, please consider donating it to PAWS. Please contact Elliott, at the PAWS office in Galt, at (209) 745-2606 to donate.







September 24

"Seeing the Elephant" Weekend


The last group to join us for a "Seeing the Elephant" weekend at ARK 2000 on Sept. 24th, viewed an example of positive reinforcement management with willing participants, Annie and Nicholas, enjoying the attention and the special treats.


After a long hike down the hill with Gypsy, (Wanda chose to stay behind) Lulu, Mara and Maggie following, our visitors enjoyed a vegetarian/vegan lunch with the envious elephants who successfully negotiated for treats from Pat and Ed. Lunch was interrupted when Wanda called Gypsy back and the resultant greeting of roars, squeaks, rumbles and trumpets stopped conversation.
After lunch, a visit to Bull Mountain allowed a closer view of Prince, Sabu and Nicholas, who followed the vehicles to his barn and demonstrated his superior skills at training his best friend, senior elephant keeper, Brian Busta, in PC management. As his enrapt audience watched, Nicholas presented feet, ears and other body parts with an amazing alacrity, obviously enjoying the novelty of having fans.
The two-day guests learned a lot about bears the next day from Jack, Oma, Boo Boo, Winston, Sampson and Cinnamon.
The rest of the morning involved more hiking in search of tigers who watched quietly as we approached the area, and sleeping lions who reclined in the sun, ignoring the intruders who oohed and aahed at their beauty.

A "Seeing The Elephant" weekend is a wonderful opportunity for PAWS to demonstrate the inequities of captivity for the victims who have found refuge at the sanctuary, to the devoted animal lovers and defenders who join us to learn and to help.

To learn more about these educational weekends, click here. Dates for our 2012 "Seeing the Elephant" weekends will be announced in November.


Click here to view more photos from September 24.