A three-year, seven-month-old African elephant, named in honor of PAWS' co-founder, Pat Derby
For nearly two decades the Oakland Zoo has been raising money for the Amboseli Trust For Elephants (ATE) in Kenya with its annual "Celebrating Elephants" event. ATE is led by world-renowned scientist Cynthia Moss whose research team has been studying elephants in Amboseli National Park for more than 40 years, learning about every aspect of these elephants' lives.


This year's Celebrating Elephants event was dedicated to the memory of PAWS' co-founder, Pat Derby, who passed away in February after a long battle with cancer. PAWS' president, and co-founder, Ed Stewart, was asked to be the keynote speaker. At the end of Ed's presentation, Zoo officials announced that they had adopted a baby elephant in Amboseli through ATE's naming program, and called her "Derby" in honor of Pat. We still get choked up when we think about it.


Three days ago we received an email from Cynthia Moss, containing photos of "Derby", and a short note about the young elephant and her family. We'd like to share this touching message with you.


I finally found the DBs the day before yesterday and managed to get a few photos of the calf we have called "Derby." 


The DB family is both adventurous and elusive. They have an old, very experienced and wise matriarch named Deborah. Recently she has been taking them on exploratory trips away from the Park. During the terrible 2009 drought she stayed far away in an area with nutritious bushes. As a result, her family did better than most. They lost very few members. However, her forays mean she is very difficult to find these days. I finally caught up with her near a place we call Lake of the Pelicans. 


Deborah has a granddaughter named Dorcas, a very beautiful female with long, sweeping tusks. At the young age of 20 Dorcas already has three daughters.  Her oldest daughter is Donna who is 10, the next is Derby who is three years and seven months, and the youngest, at eight months old, is as yet unnamed. 


Derby, born in February 2010, is a healthy and active calf. She tends to be a little independent, not clinging to her mother. In the photos I'm sending, she has decided to go into the stream for a mud bath, and she has rejoined her mother, younger sister and a cousin. 


The ATE team will be trying to get more photos of Derby and her family.


Rumbles from Amboseli, Cynthia 


Derby has rejoined her mother Dorcas, younger sister and cousin.


As we were going to press, we learned that ATE-USA's Executive Director, Dr. Betsy Swart, will be joining us for the San Francisco March For Elephants, Oct. 4. We will be marching in honor of Derby - Pat, AND her young namesake!


Lily Tomlin Wins Emmy
for An Apology To Elephants!
Ed Stewart and Lily Tomlin


PAWS is thrilled to report that Lily Tomlin won an Emmy for her narration of the ground-breaking film "An Apology To Elephants," which documents the abuse of elephants and efforts to provide more humane treatment for them. The film heavily features the life-saving work of PAWS.


PAWS' president Ed Stewart attended the star-studded Emmy presentations, and afterwards shared a warm moment with Lily, as, together, they triumphantly held the Emmy award.


Lily paid a wonderful homage to PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby, saying, "Tonight, I received an Emmy for narrating the HBO documentary, An Apology to Elephants, and this is a great acknowledgement of the work of Ed Stewart and Pat Derby, founders of PAWS, who have worked on behalf of elephants for so many years. It was also the result of the hard work of Sheila Nevins, Amy Schatz, Lisa Heller, and, of course, Jane Wagner, who wrote the narration. We all speak in one voice to free the elephants. If you haven't seen it, watch the documentary on HBO, and I'm sure you will agree. Ed and I share this Emmy in honor of Pat Derby."


If you missed the film when it aired on HBO, you can pre-order a copy of An Apology To Elephants from the network.


Lily Tomlin with Pat, Ed and Mara - October 2011


U.C. Davis Veterinary Students
Learn About Sanctuary Medicine

By Dr. Jackie Gai, DVM, PAWS Veterinarian

Julie Sheldon, second year veterinary student at U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, listens to Simba's heartbeat during a recent exam. Simba is one of the former Bolivian circus lions now living at ARK 2000.


Although PAWS does not have an official veterinary externship program at this time, we do welcome a few specially chosen students from the nearby University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine to "shadow" me on the job and learn about caring for wild animals in a sanctuary setting. I visually check on every animal at PAWS on a regular basis, and students sometimes accompany me on these rounds while we discuss medical care of the unique individuals that call PAWS home.


It's an eye-opening experience for most veterinary students to learn about the histories of some of the animals at PAWS, and how their backgrounds of abuse, neglect, or inadequate care have contributed to the medical problems that they have now. Students also learn about the unique philosophy, challenges, opportunities and rewards involved in caring for captive wildlife. This includes caring for geriatric and disabled animals, and those with long-standing health issues. Far from a one-way learning experience, we learn from the students as they share their unique perspectives and integrate our medical cases with the cutting-edge knowledge they're learning in school.


This past year, we've been fortunate to work with three U.C. Davis students, two of whom continue to volunteer on an ongoing basis. Julie Sheldon is currently in her second year of veterinary school. Bright, insightful, and compassionate, she plans on working with captive wildlife after graduation. Julie has assisted with several animal exams, learning valuable hands-on skills with monkeys, bears, lions, and smaller cats.

Spencer Kehoe, third year veterinary student at U.C. Davis, assisting with Gracie's recent exam.


"Shadowing Dr. Gai at PAWS has not only given me unforgettable hands-on experiences with zoological medical procedures," says Julie, Class of 2016, "but during our drives between PAWS' facilities, and while making our rounds, I have learned so much about the field of veterinary medicine though her incredible stories and interesting medical cases at PAWS. Dr. Gai has an inspirational passion for these animals!"


Spencer Kehoe is currently in his third year of veterinary school. Driven, creative, and thoughtful, he also plans on working with captive wildlife upon graduation. Spencer helped with a physical exam on Gracie the tiger at our Galt sanctury, and he looks forward to helping with more as his academic schedule allows.


"I am a third year veterinary student at U.C. Davis, with a passion for zoological/wildlife medicine," says Spencer, Class of 2015. "This summer Dr. Gai invited me to shadow her at PAWS to see what her veterinary work entailed. It was an eye-opening experience to see the high level of medicine, passion and thought that went into the proper care of the animals at PAWS. Dr. Gai was a great teacher who embraced having an aspiring zoo veterinarian as an 'extern/shadow.' My highlight of the summer, and one of the greatest experiences of my life, was having the opportunity to help Dr. Gai."


Donate to PAWS Urgent Care Veterinary Fund


NBC Sports Cancels Show
That Featured Elephant Kill


PAWS was outraged when it learned that NBC Sports aired a program called "Under Wild Skies," in which a hunter kills an elephant in Botswana by shooting him in the face - purely for the thrill of it. In response, PAWS joined a group of animal protection groups, and elephant experts, in an urgent letter of protest to Mark Lazarus, Chairman of the NBC Sports Group, stating in part  "...viewers today are appalled by the idea of gunning down sensitive, intelligent animals such as elephants for the sake of a trophy or a television show." In other words, the gratuitous killing of elephants is not entertainment.

We are pleased to report that NBC Sports has cancelled the show! Not only was the content exceedingly offensive, and the response to the show overwhelmingly against it, the hunter who killed the elephant later made a highly controversial remark about critics of the episode who believe that elephants are intelligent and "special" animals. That apparently sealed the deal for NBC.


The NBC Sports Network had previously stated that it would be taking "an aggressive approach towards objectionable content" in the programs it airs. PAWS will be watching to ensure that it does.


PAWS president and co-founder, Ed Stewart, presents Asian elephant Wanda

with her edible "crown" after she was voted Ms. TUSKany in 2010.

The "Elephant Grape Stomp - An Afternoon In TUSKany" is an annual event benefiting the PAWS elephants and is held on the third Saturday in October.


Only 18 Days Left "Vote" For Your Favorite Elephant!
Who Will Win The Ms./Mr. TUSKany Crown?
PAWS 9th annual "Elephant Grape Stomp - An Afternoon In TUSKany", happens on Saturday, Oct. 19. This TUSKan-themed event features wine tasting courtesy of more than a dozen of the Gold Country's award-winning wineries; fabulous vegetarian fare donated each year by Jeff Newland/Il Fornaio; a silent auction; and shuttle tours of ARK 2000 with the opportunity to visit the elephants, tigers, bears, leopard, and lions living at our San Andreas, CA sanctuary. This yearly event is a benefit for the PAWS elephants.


The highlight of each year's festivities is always the announcement of the winner of the Ms./Mr. TUSKany competition. Held for the first time in 2009, African elephant Maggie has won three out of the last four years. Wanda "took home" the crown in 2010. The winner is chosen by the highest number of "votes"; each "vote" costs $5. Voting takes place during the 60 days prior to the event. The winner, and first and second runner-up, each receive edible "crowns." Actually, all elephants receive special treats with their dinner on the evening of this event.


Click here to vote online using PayPal, or call our office at 209-745-2606 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PST, M-F, to vote by credit card. Mail your "votes" by check to PAWS, P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632. Visit our Calender of Events page to purchase tickets for this year's Grape Stomp.


"Lion Ark" U.S. Premiere

At Mill Valley Film Festival


PAWS' president Ed Stewart will be one of the special guests at the U.S. premiere of the action documentary "Lion Ark," which documents the undercover investigations, the law and enforcement of a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia. In a joyous finale, 25 lions are airlifted to freedom.


When: October 5, 2013 at 2 p.m., with special introduction from actress Jorja Fox.

Where: CinéArts Sequoia in Mill Valley, Calif. (about 14 miles north of San Francisco)

Tickets: $14 plus applicable fees. Book online or by phone at 877-874-6833.


Lion Ark Trailer
Lion Ark Trailer

"Lion Ark," a project of Animal Defenders International (ADI), includes footage that features PAWS co-founders Ed Stewart and Pat Derby, who passed away in February of this year. PAWS is proud to have played a part in the rescue of circus lions from Bolivia by giving Bambek, Daktari, Simba and Camba a spacious new home at ARK 2000. The four lions arrived in May of 2010. Sadly, Daktari passed away in 2012 from complications of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. We were honored to have been able to give Daktari a few years to experience a rich and wonderful life at PAWS.


For more information about "Lion Ark", click here.




International March For Elephants October 4

March With PAWS In San Francisco


On October 4, people around the world will be marching to bring attention to the annihilation of elephants for the ivory trade. It is estimated that 25,000 to 40,000 elephants are being killed annually across Africa so their tusks can be carved into trinkets. Unless urgent action is taken to end the slaughter, conservationists are predicting that elephants could disappear in 10 years.


PAWS will be marching in San Francisco and we urge you to join us there. PAWS supporters should meet up with us no later than 10 a.m. at Portsmouth Square, 7233 Kearny Street (view map/transportation/parking information here). Look for our PAWS banner when you arrive.


The march will begin at 11 a.m. at Portsmouth Square and proceed for 12 blocks, beginning in Chinatown and ending with a rally at Union Square. After we leave Portsmouth Square, we will proceed 1/2 block up Clay Street to Grant Ave. and immediately stop in front of two stores selling what we presume to be legal ivory. There we will have a memorial ceremony for the elephants that have died in the poaching crisis. The memorial ceremony will be PEACEFUL and RESPECTFUL of the elephants!


During the ceremony the names of 10 well-known elephants killed in Africa will be read, along with a brief narrative about each elephant. A gong will sound after each name. After the names of all the elephants have been read, there will be a brief period of silence. The ceremony will be officiated by a Buddhist priest. The ceremony will give voice to not only the 10 elephants named, but to all the elephants, living and dead, for whom we march. When we leave the ivory stores, we leave behind the truth - that ivory kills - and we take with us the resolve to end this horrific slaughter.


We will then continue our march to Union Square, ending with a rally where Ed Stewart and other speakers will address participants. PAWS will have an information table set up at Union Square to further educate the public about the plight of elephants - in the wild and in captivity.


For more information on the San Francisco march, click here, or visit the event's Facebook page here.


For a list of cities holding marches in the United States, and around the world, as well as links to their websites and Facebook pages, click here.


Please donate to PAWS to help us continue our life-saving work.


An Elephant Is Occupying Times Square!


On September 29, a digitally-animated billboard was unveiled in New York's Times Square (watch below). Located on Broadway, between 46th and 47th streets (view video taken in NYC), directly above the McDonald's logo, the billboard is 31 feet high and 55 feet wide. This campaign for elephants will be screened for approximately one month at a frequency of once every two minutes for 24 hours a day. Using imagery and art, it features the tragedy of extinction caused by China's ivory carving factories and the global ivory trade, and questions if a trinket is worth the price of an elephant's life.


The billboard was a crowd-funded campaign. PAWS is proud to be a participant.


In conjunction with the unveiling of the billboard, a publicly-sponsored petition will be launched and directed to the United Sates Congress, demanding legislation enforcing a total ban on the domestic trade in ivory and prohibiting the importation of raw, carved or trophy-hunted ivory into this country.


Elephant in Times Square Billboard
Elephant in Times Square Billboard



If You Can't March For Elephants...

There Are Other Ways You Can Help


Donate. Help fund conservation organizations working on the ground to stop poaches and save elephants. (Avoid contributing to any organization that counts circuses among its members.)


Increase awareness. Share the information you have learned here with friends, family and colleagues.


Write a letter. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper about the plight of African elephants and the need for a ban on the sale of all ivory.


Write to your elected officials. Urge a national ban on the sale of all ivory and greater action against illegal wildlife trafficking.


Support a petition. Join the more than 50,000 people who have signed the "Say No To Ivory" petition at


Start a school club. JulietteSpeaks provides tips on how to do so.


Never buy ivory! Alert friends, family and colleagues who may be traveling that it is illegal and unethical to buy ivory products, including bracelets, trinkets, and carvings.


Visit PAWS' website and Facebook page for info and updates on elephants in the wild and in captivity. Contact Catherine Doyle for more information at [email protected].


United States To Crush Ivory Stockpile
To Draw Attention To Plight Of Elephants
On October 8, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will crush 6 tons of stockpiled illegal ivory, in a powerful statement on the skyrocketing illegal wildlife trade and the need for governments around the world to come together and protect elephants and other endangered wildlife. The ivory was amassed over 25 years and includes raw and carved whole tusks, smaller carvings and other elephant ivory items.


Destruction of the stockpile will take place outside Denver, Colorado. It is part of a series of actions by the U.S. government meant to draw attention to the multi-billion dollar illicit wildlife trade. The U.S. is inviting other countries to destroy their own stockpiles of confiscated and illegally-traded ivory as a demonstration of global unity in combating poaching, which threatens populations of elephants, rhinos, and other species.


These actions are part of a coordinated effort by the U.S. government to implement President Barack Obama's Executive Order on Combating Wildlife Trafficking. Read this fact sheet for more information on U.S. efforts to protect Africa's iconic animals.


More Good News For Threatened Wildlife
Promising New Campaign For Elephants In Peril

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) recently unveiled an $80 million effort to fight the illegal ivory trade. The Guardian reports that the funds will be used to focus on 50 poaching hot spots in Africa. Hilary and Chelsea Clinton are credited with brokering the funding, which will be used to "hire and train 3,100 park rangers at 50 sites in eastern and central Africa; to fund sniffer-dog teams along the top smuggling routes; and to train law-enforcement officials and judges responsible for prosecuting international trafficking gangs." The CGI is looking to raise an additional $70 million for the anti-poaching plan over the next three years.


Please Comment!
Petition To Ban Public Contact
With Big Cats, Bears & Primates
Deadline October 4!


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting public comments on a petition that calls for a ban on direct public contact with big cats, bears and nonhuman primates. Please help PAWS support this important action for captive wildlife by submitting your own comments on or before October 4.


Currently, members of the public can pet, feed, train, pose with, play with, and even swim with wild animals. Ruthless exhibitors offer baby tigers, lions and bears for photo ops until they are too old to be safely handled. These animals are then discarded, ending up in roadside zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, or in private menageries unable to properly care for them - only to be replaced with more babies bred for these types of businesses. Animals such as black bears and African lions may even be slaughtered for the exotic meat market. Smaller monkeys, such as capuchins, may be subjected to mistreatment for their entire 30-plus year lifespan.


These uses of captive wildlife are detrimental to animal welfare and put the public at risk. Please take a moment to submit your comments and help stop this cruel and dangerous exploitation of wild animals.


It's easy to submit your comments. Visit the USDA Federal eRulemaking Portal. Click on the "Comment Now!" button on the right-hand side of the page. Complete the required information, enter your comments, and then click on the "Submit" button. (If the link does not work, go to and cut and paste APHIS-2012-0107-0002 into the search box. Then follow the same directions.)


Elephant staff Steven Blanc and Angela Sherrill model their donated hats!
Thank You To Our Wish List Donors!


A special thank you goes out once again to Pamela Calvert, who donated an AliveCor Veterinary Heart Monitor to PAWS (see below). This cool little device attaches easily to any iPhone, turning it into a heart monitor complete with EKG reading. It is so easy to use - it is simply placed over any animal's chest and it instantly starts reading. Dr. Gai has used it on monkeys, bears, and tigers, and it works great! The EKG tracing is stored in memory, where it can be easily and instantly sent via email to a cardiologist for review.


The AliveCor heart monitor being used during Gracie tiger's recent exam.


We have been putting another donation to great use: several wide-brimmed hats that were purchased from our Amazon Wish List for our hard-working animal care staff. These hats provide welcome protection from the sun, and look great too!


Our Amazon Wish List is constantly updated with items that you can easily purchase with a few clicks. Your donation will be automatically shipped to PAWS where it will be immediately put to good use, and much appreciated. Please be sure to pick "gift" when you purchase from Amazon and fill in your name and address, otherwise items will be sent to us as anonymous. You can also sent us an email to [email protected] to let us know an item is on the way. We really want to thank you!


More Amazon Wish List Donations!


Jami Tolpin: IPAD for use in collecting data for PAWS' elephant study. Kathryn Kubota: 4 boxes or Raisin Bran for the elephants. Martha Cremer: 4 orders of wheat germ oil, 1 box of 33 gallon trash bags, 1 box of 42 gallon heavy duty trash bags, 1 set of Motorola walkie-talkies for our keepers; 2 sets of large storage bins for the elephant barns, 4 boxes of 9x12 clasp envelopes for the Galt office, 3 boxes of #10 envelopes for the Galt office. Barbara Greene: 1 spool of commercial weed trimmer line for ARK 2000. Vicki G. Warner: 1 set of heavy-duty jumper cables for ARK 2000. Maria Stephens, a PAWS facebook friend: 1 set of binoculars for elephant study at ARK 2000. Maggie Rufo: 2 bottles of Milk Thistle.


Anonymous Amazon Wish List donations include: 1 case of copy paper; 4 boxes of Frosted Flakes; 5 bottles of hand sanitizer; 1 medium safari hat for the keepers; portable sprayer for use in the elephant barns, 1 order of 2-cycle oil for ARK 2000 garden equipment; 3 bottles of Banana Boat sunscreen for ARK 2000. If you're one of these anonymous Amazon donors who would really like us to know who you are, please email us at [email protected]


How can you help PAWS?
Adopt A PAWS Animal
If you would like to help our animals, one of the best ways is to become an "adoptive parent," or give a PAWS adoption as a gift to an animal lover in your life. PAWS adoptions are symbolic adoptions only. No animal will be sent!
PAWS Amazon Wish List
PAWS Partnerships

Help us change the life of a victim of captivity by becoming a PAWS Partner.

PAWS partnerships help support our sanctuary operations and the day-to-day care of the animals.

Estates/Planned Giving
You can help us make sure captive wildlife in need of shelter will always have a PAWS sanctuary to call home!
Donate To PAWS
Three ways to give and every donation matters.

Donate Your Vehicle

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PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606