Celebrating 30 years of protection, education, advocacy & sanctuary.
2014 Was Another Good Year For PAWS
As we approach the New Year, PAWS reflects on the memorable events and key accomplishments that took place in 2014 and made our 30th anniversary year so special. We look forward to achieving even more great things for captive wild animals in 2015, with your involvement and generous support.


PAWS hosted California Assemblyman Frank Bigelow and Supervisor Cliff Edson of the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors at our ARK 2000 natural habitat sanctuary. They saw first-hand the good work that PAWS does for captive wildlife and learned more about our programs. 


PAWS president Ed Stewart (left) was featured in an article on elephant intelligence in the Scientific American, "The Science Is In: Elephants Are Even Smarter Than We Realized," which described the exceptional cognitive capabilities of elephants, such as empathy, a sense of self, cooperative problem solving, and mourning their dead. But more importantly, the article questioned how we can justify keeping these very complex beings in captivity.


PAWS took an active role in the fight against the sale of elephant ivory in the U.S. In

PAWS co-founder Pat Derby

February we joined forces with animal protection and conservation organizations around the world in providing testimony in support of bans in Hawaii, New York and New Jersey. The New York and New Jersey bans were later passed into law. 


PAWS marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of our co-founder and friend Pat Derby (right). We remembered Pat's fearless advocacy for captive wild animals and her big dreams that became reality, such as the creation of PAWS' ARK 2000 natural habitat sanctuary for captive wildlife and passing laws to better protect performing animals. Pat's presence is very much with us in all that we do for the animals.




Success! PAWS' hard work paid off when the San Diego County Fair announced it would not have elephant rides this year. Ed Stewart stated, "Elephant rides promote nothing but disrespect for elephants at a time when we need to get serious about saving them in the wild."


Ed Stewart was among a group of elephant experts invited to attend a meeting at the Longleat Safari Park in England to discuss the future of Anne, an abused circus elephant retired to the park with the support of the public and animal protection organizations. PAWS is pleased to learn that the zoo has acted on suggested improvements for Anne's enclosure. The zoo reports that she will soon be moving into a new barn that includes a soft soil floor for the arthritic 60-year-old elephant. Improvements to the outdoor area are in progress. Click here to read Ed's account of the meeting and issues surrounding Anne's situation in his article, "When Sanctuary Is Not A Sanctuary", in PAWS' March 2014 newsletter.


PAWS made national headlines for its recognition of the Los Angeles Shriners for canceling its traditional circus and going animal-free for the first time in 88 years. The Shrine Circus had been the target of protests for years due to the use of performing

Catherine Doyle, PAWS director of science, research and advocacy

elephants, elephant rides and tigers.


PAWS participated in the first-ever Global March for Lions in Los Angeles. PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy, Catherine Doyle (right), was a featured speaker at the event, which aimed to bring attention to the plight of lions in captivity and in the wild, with a special focus on the abhorrent practice of raising lions for canned hunts in South Africa where they are shot point-blank in a contained area. PAWS was the first to investigate canned hunts in California and initiated the 1992 law that ended the practice in the state.




Canada's premier investigative news magazine program, "The Fifth Estate", returned to PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary for an update on elephants Iringa, Toka and Thika. Journalist Bob McKeown and "The Fifth Estate's" investigative team had documented the elephants' trip from the Toronto Zoo to PAWS in October 2013. Click here to watch "After the Cameras Went Away." (Video may not be available in all areas.)

Dr. Jackie Gai, DVM, with
Asian bull elephant Nicholas


PAWS' attending veterinarian, Dr. Jackie Gai (right), gave a special presentation titled, "Welfare of Captive Wildlife: Past, Present and Future", at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's 20th Annual Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Medicine Club Symposium. Dr. Gai discussed the roots of animal welfare in zoos, current welfare topics, and the important role that veterinarians can and should play in defining and ensuring animal welfare. 



Vicki Fishlock, resident scientist for the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) in
Kenya, and Betsy Swart, the U.S. executive director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), visited the ARK 2000 wildlife sanctuary. Vicki and Betsy work under world

L-R: Ed Stewart, Vickie Fishlock,
Betsy Swart

renowned scientist Dr. Cynthia Moss, founder and director of AERP and ATE, who heads the longest running study of wild elephants ever undertaken. PAWS helps fund ATE's anti-poaching efforts at the Amboseli National
Park, providing greater protections for the elephants there.


PAWS joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the official signing of the city's bullhook ban into law. PAWS worked for two years on the ban, which was unanimously passed by the City Council in October 2013. Los Angeles is the largest U.S. city with an ordinance restricting the bullhook, a cruel weapon resembling a fireplace poker that is used to inflict pain and instill fear in elephants so they perform on cue. The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2017.




PAWS commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the largest big cat rescue in U.S. history, when we saved 39 tigers from a pseudo-sanctuary in Colton, California, where

10 years ago - the Colton tiger rescue

they had been kept in intolerable conditions. Many were sick, injured and barely alive. A specially designed habitat at ARK 2000 allowed the big cats to walk on grass for the first time, hide in dense brush, play in pools and lounge beneath shady trees. You can view a documentary film about this historic rescue, "39 Tigers," by William Nimmo, founder of Tigers in America, here.


PAWS testified before a Rhode Island House of Representatives committee in support of a bill to ban the use of bullhooks. As a result, the House passed a resolution that urges circuses and other traveling shows to abandon use of the bullhook and "other harmful training practices" on elephants. Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to express concern about the treatment of elephants in circuses, an important step toward a statewide law.


After the appearance of the Asian elephant Roxie on "The Tonight Show," PAWS and

"Jimmy Fallon is funny enough to entertain me without acting stupid with an elephant," said PAWS president and co-founder Ed Stewart in an interview with Sacramento's News10.

some of Hollywood's most ardent elephant advocates sent a letter to host Jimmy Fallon, urging him to end the use of all wild animals on the show. The celebrities included
television legend Bob Barker, Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger, "True Blood's" Kristen Bauer van Straten, "CSI's" Jorja Fox, Ross McCall from "Band of Brothers," and actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin. Media coverage of the letter helped to educate the public about the suffering of wild animals used in "entertainment."




PAWS is proud to have contributed to the successful campaign to free Sunder the elephant in India. Sunder was the subject of worldwide attention due to his deplorable condition that included malnourishment and severe leg injuries due to tight shackles lined with spikes. He now lives at the Bannerghatta Biological Park, with 13 other elephants. PAWS has long been involved in issues concerning the welfare of both captive and wild elephants. In 1999, Ed Stewart made the first of many trips to India where he met with Minister Maneka Gandhi, Department of Forestry officials and biologists regarding the treatment of captive elephants in southern India. PAWS was one of the first U.S. animal protection organizations to spotlight problems affecting captive elephants in Asia.

Ed Stewart speaks at the 2014 Animal Rights National Conference
The late Pat Derby was recognized at the 2014 Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles, where Ed Stewart spoke about Pat's life and groundbreaking work for captive exotic and wild animals. He described the important legacy that Pat has left in her field of animal advocacy work - from the creation of PAWS' 2300-acre natural habitat sanctuary, ARK 2000, to legislation that continues to protect the welfare of captive wildlife today.


PAWS made the news again in a story that raised serious questions about the death of African elephant Joy (aka Joni) while in transit from the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado. PAWS also contested the Greenville Zoo's portrayal of Joy as "elderly," even though she was only 44 years old - an age at which elephants in the wild would be in their prime. "It is simply wrong to say that Joni or any other elephant in her 40s is geriatric or elderly," explained Ed Stewart. "The truth is that captivity has physically debilitated these elephants to the point where they suffer maladies normally associated with old age." Read the Greenville News story here




PAWS actively supported two key bills passed in New York State: a law that banned the sale of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhinoceros horns, which aims to stop the illegal trade that is driving these species toward extinction; and a ban on public contact with captive big cats, effectively shutting down dubious operations that provide tiger and lion cubs for photo opportunities and interactive sessions that put the public and the animals at risk. We also supported the ban on ivory and rhino horns passed in New Jersey.




PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy, Catherine Doyle, delivered a lecture titled "Elephants and Questions of Captivity" at the National Museum of Animals and Society in Los Angeles and the University of Redlands in California. This year, Catherine's essay on elephants appeared in "The Ethics of Captivity," (ed. Lori Gruen) published by the Oxford University Press.




PAWS participated in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, marching in San Francisco and Los Angeles to raise awareness of the slaughter of these magnificent animals for the illegal wildlife trade and the need for worldwide action. Joining PAWS at the San Francisco march was Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger, who marched alongside Ed Stewart, carrying the PAWS banner along the event route. PAWS also proudly marched with Betsy Swart, U.S. executive director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) in Kenya, which aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa's elephants. In Los Angeles, Catherine Doyle represented PAWS, addressing event participants at a rousing post-march rally.


African elephants Iringa, Toka (below right) and Thika celebrated their one-year anniversary at PAWS. They continue to enjoy the moderate California weather that allows them year-round access to a large, natural habitat where they actively explore and 

Toka at ARK 2000

forage daily, generally doing what elephants should be doing.


Asian elephant Nicholas became the first "Mr. Tuskany" at the PAWS' annual "Elephant Grape Stomp: An Afternoon in Tuskany" fundraising event. Prior to the event, people cast their votes for a favorite elephant by donating $5 per vote. Until this year, the winners were always female. 




PAWS capped its 30th anniversary year with two outstanding successes: The PAWS International Captive Wildlife Conference and our 30th Anniversary Gala that celebrated three decades of rescue, sanctuary, education and advocacy for captive wild anmials. More than 400 people attended the gala, which featured celebrity friends, gourmet vegan fare, exciting entertainment, and many touching moments. The PAWS International Captive Wildlife Conference, which was dedicated to the late Pat Derby, was the largest conference ever held by PAWS, drawing 500 attendees over three days and featuring more than 50 experts from around the world. Topics covered a range of key issues affecting captive exotic animals, from orcas to elephants. Attendees hailed from Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and 24 states in the U.S.  Feedback from conference attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with many people calling it the best conference they had ever attended. Click here to read more about these exciting events!


As if this month wasn't busy enough, PAWS participated in two important animal conferences: Ed Stewart was a featured speaker and Catherine Doyle shared her research on keeper-elephant relationships at the human-animal studies conference, "All Things Great and Small," held at the University of California at Davis. And at a symposium presented by the Detroit Zoo's Center for Zoo Animal Welfare, Catherine spoke on Ed's behalf on a panel discussion on zoo and sanctuary leadership in championing animal welfare. Ed is a member of the Center for Zoo Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, which is composed of zoo and aquarium professionals, scientists, sociologists and animal advocacy leaders.




PAWS played an instrumental role in passing a ban on bullhooks in Oakland, California. The bullhook is a menacing weapon commonly used in circuses and

Oakland City Council Member Noel Gallo and Ed Stewart. Council Member Gallo, along with Council Member Dan Kalb, sponsored the ordinance to ban the bullhook in Oakland.

still used in some backward zoos to control elephants. Oakland is the second major U.S. city to pass such an ordinance. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to enact a bullhook ban in 2013. PAWS has long campaigned to "Ban the Bullhook!" and looks forward to more important victories for elephants and other performing wild animals.



PAWS Looks Forward to 2015


At PAWS we are always reaching higher and doing more for captive exotic and wild animals in need. Our promise to you, our supporters, is that we will continue to dedicate ourselves to bringing about real change for these animals. As you can see from our impressive list of accomplishments in 2014, in addition to the everyday care of the many animals at our sanctuaries we are also working hard to change the world for the tigers, lions, elephants, bears, monkeys and any animal forced to perform in a circus, suffer in a cramped cage on display, or be held captive as someone's exotic "pet."


PAWS is committed to stopping the problem at the source. We initiate and help pass legislation to restrict and ultimately prohibit the use of wild animals in entertainment and as "pets"; we advocate for an end to the captive breeding of wild animals for display, entertainment and the exotic animal trade; we educate and enlighten the public; and we mobilize our supporters to take action on important causes.


PAWS thanks each and every one of you who shares our vision for a more just world for wild animals and who provides the support we need make it a reality. 


It is with heartfelt appreciation that we thank: 

  • You, our loyal supporters. We truly could not do what we do without you!
  • Dr. Jackie Gai, PAWS' long-time veterinarian, for her dedication to each and every animal, and for responding anytime, day or night, when a PAWS animal is in need.
  • Our dedicated and talented staff who put their hearts and souls into the care of every animal at PAWS.
  • Our committed volunteers, who are always there for us and for the animals.
  • The wonderful companies and individuals who provide in-kind services that help us help more animals in need.
  • Everyone who supports the care of our animals by making a contribution, donating needed items via the Amazon Wish List, and giving in other ways.  

We wish you and yours the very best for the coming new year!



Please consider giving a year-end donation to PAWS.

Your support means so much to us.

Thank you!



In Memorium 2014


PAWS remembers these special people: 

Dr. Mel Richardson 

PAWS and the animals lost a powerful advocate with the passing of Dr. Mel Richardson. "Dr. Mel" accompanied African elephant Maggie on her flight from the Alaska Zoo to ARK 2000 in 2007. And in 2012 he was part of the team that flew with Ben the bear aboard "Bear Force One" after Ben's rescue from a tiny cement enclosure at a North Carolina tourist attraction. Dr. Mel was an authoritative voice for animals and used his veterinary skills to help captive wildlife from Canada to the U.S. to South America. 


Virginia Handley (left) with Pat Derby
Virginia Handley 

Virginia Handley was a highly respected lobbyist in Sacramento, California, dedicated to bringing about change for animals via the political system. Virginia and Pat Derby were original members of the Director's Advisory Committee on the Humane Care and Treatment of Wild Animals for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. Today, Ed Stewart and PAWS' veterinarian Dr. Jackie Gai, continue to serve on that committee.  

Janice Clark 

PAWS dearly misses long-time friend, Galt sanctuary manager, and animal advocate Janice Clark, who was one of the organization's first volunteers and first employees. A gifted, award-winning photographer, she photographed PAWS animals for 28 years. Always upbeat and optimistic, Janice represented the heart and soul of PAWS.


And we remember our animal friends:


Tiger Ray Charles, known for his crossed eyes (a congenital birth defect due to inbreeding), was special in many ways. Despite his visual impairment he thrived during his 10 years at PAWS and enjoyed the companionship of other tigers. He succumbed to renal failure at about age 20. Ray Charles was one of 39 tigers rescued from horrific conditions at a facility in Colton, California (see the June entry above for more information on this historic rescue).


Mountain lion Samantha was an exotic "pet" who arrived at PAWS in 1993 in such poor condition that she was unable to walk. Under the care of Pat Derby and Ed Stewart the strong spirited cat was able to walk again, and lived a long life, passing away at age 22 due to renal failure. "Sam" was known for her cheery disposition, unique "chirp," expressive voice, and a loud loving purr.  

African lion Simba
was one of four lions rescued by Animal Defenders International from a Bolivian circus. He spent years performing in circus acts and enduring intensive confinement and travel, but found peace at PAWS. His cause of death was cancer.

African lions Pfeiffer and Denny
 (right) were nearly inseparable since arriving at PAWS in 1997. Both had been illegal "pets" who suffered from being declawed and from serious physical deformities resulting from the inbreeding that is so common in animals sold for the 
exotic "pet" trade. To accommodate

Pfeiffer's declawed front feet

their mobility problems, Ed Stewart designed a special enclosure for them with soft soil, Bermuda grass and shady trees. Pfeiffer died in August due to cancer. After her passing, Denny would softly call out with a low and plaintive vocalization that sounded like a call to Pfeiffer. Denny followed Pfeiffer in death in October, succumbing to an auto-immune form of anemia and liver disease.PAWS misses these very special lions. 

Asian elephant Annie 
- best known for her joyous romps in the lake that is part of the Asian elephant habitat at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. She had endured arthritis and foot disease, which gradually worsened over many years. At age 55, Annie was among the oldest Asian elephants in North America. Ed Stewart stated, "I'm proud we were able to give her a peaceful and more natural life at the PAWS sanctuary for nearly 20 years. We restored her dignity and gave her the care and respect she deserved."


Rest in peace dear friends.



Zimbabwe exported four elephants to China in 2012, including this juvenile male.
He is the only one alive today. Photo courtesy of China Zoo Watch.


More Work Ahead:

Zimbabwe To Export More Than 30 Baby Elephants To Foreign Zoos


In December PAWS collaborated with some of the world's leading elephant experts, conservationists and animal care, policy and welfare professionals in sending a letter to the government of Zimbabwe opposing the export of more than 30 wild-caught elephant calves and other wildlife rounded up in Hwange National Park. Reportedly, one calf being held for export has already died. Destinations for these elephant calves is unclear, though news reports suggest they may be sent to zoos in the United Arab Emirates and China.


Experts signing the letter include Cynthia Moss of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Keith Lindsay, Phyllis Lee and Vicki Fishlock of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, Adam Roberts and Chris Draper of the Born Free Foundation, Joyce Poole and Petter Granli of ElephantVoices; Ed Stewart and Catherine Doyle of PAWS, former zoo director David Hancocks, and Lisa Kane, JD. Click here to read the letter.


History shows that elephants previously exported by Zimbabwe to zoos in other countries have ended in disaster. Of the four elephant calves exported to Chinese zoos in 2012, only one remains alive today - and he is experiencing intense physical and mental distress as a result of isolation and terrible zoo conditions. In the early 1980s, 63 calves were exported from Zimbabwe to the U.S. They were eventually sent to zoos and circuses and almost all of them died prematurely. One of the few surviving elephants, 32-year-old Nosey, lives a miserable existence without the company of other elephants, crippled and forced to perform in a circus.


The disruption of vital social bonds and the life-�long incarceration of the elephant calves in zoos, safari parks and circuses is sure to cause enormous suffering to them - as well as to the families from which they have been taken. In captivity, they will be condemned to suffer a host of confinement-related conditions and a shortened life.


An enormous international outcry stopped the export of elephant calves from Zimbabwe to North Korea in 2010, and stopped Zimbabwe from exporting more elephant calves to China in 2012. PAWS was involved in efforts to stop each of those exports.


Please help PAWS once again stop the travesty of elephant exportation from Zimbabwe.


Send a polite message to the Zimbabwean ambassador to your country asking that the export be cancelled and that Zimbabwe ban the practice of capturing live elephants and other wildlife for captive use. Please urge the ambassador to ensure that the calves are released back into the wild after a carefully managed process of rehabilitation. You can also send a copy to your country's ambassador to Zimbabwe.


Sample message:


I am shocked at the news of Zimbabwe's capture and imminent export of more than 30 baby elephants and other wildlife for display in foreign zoos. This practice is outdated and inhumane, and I strongly urge you to stop the export and begin the process of rehabilitating the animals for release back into the wild.


History shows that elephant calves previously exported by Zimbabwe to foreign zoos have ended in disaster, with the elephants suffering and dying prematurely. This should come as no surprise, as elephants are highly social animals who are traumatized when removed from their families - and their families suffer terribly as well.


I urge you to show the world that Zimbabwe is a progressive country that cares about its wildlife heritage. Surely, the captured elephant calves and other wild animals have far more economic value to your country in terms of long-term wildlife tourism than does any sale of these animals to foreign zoos.


Please stop this export and end the practice of capturing and exporting elephants and other wildlife for display in foreign countries.





Contact information:


His Excellency Ammon M. Mutembwa

Ambassador of Zimbabwe, Washington, DC

[email protected]


Ambassador David Bruce Wharton

United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe

[email protected]


His Excellency G.M. Machinga

Ambassador of Zimbabwe, UK

[email protected]


HMA Catriona Lang CB
British Ambassador to Zimbabwe British Embassy
[email protected]


For information on ambassadors not shown here, you will need to locate that information via a Google search. Some ambassadors have Facebook pages where you may be able to send a message.


For more information, read the Dec. 17 National Geographic News report "Zimbabwe's Reported Plan to Export Baby Elephants Raises Outcry Against Animal Trade."



Good News To End The Year On. . . 


Mexico has banned the use of wild animals in circuses and traveling shows. The ban was an initiative of Mexico's Green Party (PVEM) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN), and fiercely supported by the animal rights organization AnimaNaturalis Mexico, which led demonstrations, educated the public and lobbied for the law. The ban will come into effect six months after being signed into law by President Enrique Pe�a Nieto.


Our friends at Wilde Dieren De Tent Uit! have informed us that the Netherlands announced it will prohibit the use of wild animals in circuses and other performances. It took nine years of hard work, but the government finally came to understand that conditions for captive wild animals in circuses cause insurmountable animal welfare problems that cannot be justified by tradition, the interests of the circuses, or the public's amusement.


PAWS salutes the Mexican and Dutch animal advocates who worked so hard to pass these important laws.



A BIG Thank You!
December Amazon Wish List Donors 


Shelley Marlowe: One 40 lb. box of oranges. Jessica Shaffer: One bottle of Renal Essentials, one bottle of Wheat Germ Oil. Richard Newton: One box of Raisin Bran, one box of Nitrile gloves, one bottle of Cosequin DS. Robert Rozel: One bottle of RenAvast. Karen Mirabelli: One bottle of RenAvast. Faye Anglin and David McNeil: One 40 lb. box of oranges. Kayla Nay: One bottle of RenAvast, one 40 lb. box of oranges. Barbara Noon: One box of Raisin Bran, one box of Frosted Flakes, one box of Nitrile gloves. Lisa McNeil: Two boxes of Frosted Flakes. Justin Reinheimer: One box of Frosted Flakes, one box of Raisin Bran, one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium. Shelley N. Sellers: One shovel for the elephant barns, one spool of trimmer line. Anonymous Donors: One 50 lb. tub of Psyllium, one box of Raisin Bran, one 6-pack of bleach, one mop, one case of copy paper.  


View wish list items that are needed,
but not listed on the Amazon list, here.
There are many ways you can help PAWS animals:
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
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Donate Your Vehicle

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