Lulu Celebrates
10 Years of Sanctuary at PAWS

PAWS marked the 10th anniversary of Lulu's arrival at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary with a special celebration on March 11. Lulu is a 49-year-old African elephant who was on

African elephant Lulu

display at the San Francisco Zoo for 37 years. She was captured in the wild in Swaziland at age two and sold to the Zoo in 1968. Lulu was transferred to ARK 2000 in March 2005, after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to close the zoo's elephant exhibit. PAWS maintains a good relationship with the zoo and Lulu's former caregivers.


Lulu - affectionately called "Lu" - now enjoys a spacious natural habitat where she forages on grass and trees daily, enjoys a good mud bath, the companionship of other elephants, especially her best friend Maggie (Maggie is pictured above with Lulu). Lulu is the third oldest African elephant in North America.


The memorable day included morning broadcasts by Good Day Sacramento reporter Mark S. Allen, who dodged rain drops while relaying his visit with Lulu and PAWS' president Ed Stewart. At one point Lulu devoured a special anniversary "cake" made of fruit and bran. Later, some of PAWS' supporters, board members, volunteers and media came together to celebrate her anniversary and enjoy a cake adorned with Lulu's image (see below).


PAWS is honored to know and care for this very special elephant. We thank all of our supporters for helping us provide Lulu and all of the elephants at PAWS with as close to a natural habitat home as possible. Watch Good Day Sacramento's broadcasts from ARK 2000 below.


Lulu the Elephant Anniversary Pt. 1
Lulu the Elephant's Anniversary Pt. 1


Lulu the Elephant Retires Pt 4 « Good Day Sacramento
Lulu the Elephant's Anniversary Pt. 2







The Passing of Rex and Sunita


It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that two of the oldest tigers from the 2004 Colton tiger rescue have passed away. It remains the largest big cat rescue in U.S. history, with PAWS providing sanctuary for 39 tigers.


Before coming to PAWS, Rex had endured years of neglect which had taken a toll on his health. It was upon his arrival at our ARK 2000 sanctuary that we discovered the true extent of his health problems. All of the rescued tigers were given a complete, nutritious diet - possibly for the first time in their lives. But Rex's emaciated body was unable to

In memory of Rex

process food, and he had distressing bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. He was diagnosed with pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease by our veterinarian, Dr. Jackie Gai, who prescribed medications which greatly improved his quality of life. Because of his food sensitivities, he was fed a special diet of rabbit and elk meat which keepers cut up into small enough pieces that he could easily digest. Rex began to flourish with proper nutrition and medications, gaining muscle tone and a healthy, shiny coat.


Rex had a relaxed and trusting personality, and was eager to "chuff" a greeting to his keepers, especially at meal time. As Rex got older, he began to experience problems with arthritis and kidney failure - both very common in older felines both domestic and exotic. Medications for these ailments were hidden in food treats daily, and kept him comfortable for several more years. Volunteers built a special resting wooden platform for Rex, which keepers covered with a plush bed of hay every day. We will always remember Rex, lounging in the sun with his tail hanging off the edge of his platform.


Due to progressive kidney failure and arthritis, and in order to prevent him from suffering, the compassionate decision was made to euthanize Rex. He passed away on March 4th at the estimated age of 20 years, surrounded by the dedicated keepers who took such excellent care of him.


Sunita also endured unspeakably horrible conditions in Colton. Housed with seven other tigers in a barren, dirty enclosure, she was forced to constantly compete for food and shelter. PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby, always remembered the first time she saw

In memory of Sunita

Sunita during a visit to Colton - crouching behind a piece of metal, snarling and hissing at people passing by. Pat was moved by her fiery spirit, and couldn't wait to bring her home to ARK 2000 where she could feel safe.


The polar opposite of Rex in terms of personality, Sunita was wary, tough, and fierce. She was diminutive in size, weighing only 160 pounds, but she was all muscle. When she came to ARK 2000, this little survivor finally relaxed, realizing that she no longer had to fight or struggle for her needs. Her keepers doted over her every need, building special furniture for her, including a small table that made it easier for her to eat her meals when she developed arthritis in her neck.


Tiger Supervisor Renae Smith had an especially gentle and patient way with Sunita, coaxing her to take her daily medications for arthritis and epilepsy. Sunita enjoyed resting in the sunny habitat, and we will always remember her vibrant copper and black coat and beautiful golden eyes among the tall blades of green grass.


As her arthritis got worse, it became increasingly difficult for Sunita to walk, and to rise from a prone position. Again, the difficult but most compassionate decision was made to euthanize Sunita to prevent her from suffering. She was estimated to be at least 22 years old when she passed from this life on March 19th, surrounded by those who loved and admired her.

View "39 Tigers", a documentary by William Nimmo, founder of Tigers in America.

39 Tigers: The story of the largest tiger rescue in US history.
"39 Tigers"
 The story of the largest tiger rescue
in US history.

Ed Stewart recommends "Tyke Elephant Outlaw": "Historic, fair, beautifully produced. I can't wait for people to see it. I wish Pat Derby could have seen this."

New Documentary, "Tyke Elephant Outlaw":

U.S. Premier April 18 and 19


A new film, "Tyke Elephant Outlaw," tells the gripping and emotionally charged story of Tyke, a female African elephant in a circus who came to a horrifying end. In 1994, she charged out of Circus International in Honolulu, killing her trainer in front of thousands of spectators and injuring a groom. She died in a hail of bullets in the street. The documentary recounts Tyke's escape, death and the effect it had on the city and the world, putting a focus on the use of wild animals in entertainment. It also looks at the causes of Tyke's behavior through interviews with former trainers, handlers, witnesses to her escape, and animal advocates. Through filmmaker Stefan Moore's lens, Tyke is shown as the tragic figure that she truly was.


PAWS' president Ed Stewart is featured in the documentary. PAWS first learned about Tyke in April 1993 after she had run away from her trainer during a performance with the Great American Circus that was packed with school children. Tyke's trainers claimed she had never done anything like this before, but PAWS' investigations found that Tyke had a history of behavioral problems - which was no surprise given the harsh training that elephants endure in the circus. Some elephants reach a breaking point when they no longer tolerate the abuse, and they try to flee their circumstances. Sadly, most captive elephants are so beaten down that they tolerate a lifetime of deprivation and human dominance.


Tyke escaped again in July 1993 at a state fair, where she seriously injured a groom. She was loose for 25 minutes before being brought under control. Her next escape in Honolulu would be her last.


"Tyke Elephant Outlaw" will have its U.S. premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida on April 18 and 19. You can view the trailer for the film below, and learn about other screenings by visiting


Tyke Elephant Outlaw Trailer

"Tyke Elephant Outlaw" Trailer



We will not stop until all circus performances are animal free.


PAWS Credits California Bullhook Bans as Turning Point in Circus Decision to End Elephant Acts


PAWS has been fighting to end the use of elephants and other wild animals in entertainment - including those in circuses - for more than 30 years. So we welcomed the announcement by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus that it would end its elephant acts in 2018. Even though we wish the acts would end now, this decision is nothing short of a milestone in our long campaign to end the suffering of performing wild animals. PAWS' president Ed Stewart declared: "This truly is the beginning of the end of elephants in circuses."


The decision, in great part, was due to two major efforts in which PAWS played a key role, working alongside animal protection organizations and local advocates: the Los Angeles City Council's unanimous decision in 2013 to prohibit the use of bullhooks, and the Oakland City Council vote in December 2014 to ban the bullhook. PAWS also partnered with the Oakland Zoo on the latter effort. The bullhook is a menacing weapon resembling a fireplace poker, with a steel tip and hook at the end, and it is used to control elephants through fear and pain. The bullhook is the key component of an outdated and inhumane form of elephant management that is used in all circuses and, surprisingly, in some zoos.


The votes in Los Angeles and Oakland were critical because they established ordinances that directly affected a major circus. In fact, the circus stated it would no longer visit Los Angeles and Oakland once the bullhook bans went into effect. This set the stage for major cities and states across the U.S. to consider similar legislation.


The circus cited increasing legislation and a "mood shift" among consumers as reasons for ending its elephant acts. PAWS was instrumental in contributing to that shift as the first organization to investigate and expose the horrific lives of elephants and other animals used in entertainment. In 1984, Ed Stewart and his partner, the late Pat Derby, began documenting the use of animals in live entertainment, especially circuses, and started the worldwide effort to end their suffering.


Derby, a former Hollywood animal trainer, first championed the cause of performing wild animals nearly 40 years ago following the publication of her tell-all book, The Lady and Her Tiger, which exposed the behind-the-scenes abuse of wild animals used in entertainment. She was THE voice for lions and tigers in tiny traveling cages and elephants chained by their legs in trucks and railroad cars.


Despite the giant step forward for elephants that the Ringling announcement represents, our work is not yet done. There are another 50-60 elephants in circuses, as well as big cats and many other wild animals. You can be sure that we will not stop our campaigns and legislative advocacy work until all circuses are animal-free.


PAWS thanks everyone who has worked to pass bullhook bans and other critical legislation for performing wild animals. We look forward to more victories and to making important and effective changes for animals.



Los Angeles Residents:

Join PAWS at LA City Council Meeting

on April 1 to Help Wild Elephants and Rhinos


On Wednesday, April 1, the Los Angeles City Council will vote on a resolution regarding AB 96, the California bill that would prohibit the sale of ivory and rhino horn in the state. The vote is important because it will establish the city's position on AB 96, and its passage would send a strong message to legislators in Sacramento that this bill is urgently needed.


PAWS invites you to join us at the meeting and show your support for the resolution. If you cannot attend, please send a message to City Council members, urging them to support the resolution. (See sample message and contact information below.)


What: Los Angeles City Council vote on resolution to support AB 96

When: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, at 10 a.m.

Where: John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340, City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles


Sample message (please personalize as much as possible to make your message more effective):


I am a Los Angeles resident, and I am extremely concerned that wild elephants and rhinos are being poached at alarming rates. An average of 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa, and more than 1,000 rhinos out of a remaining 29,000 in the wild were poached in South Africa alone in 2014. Unless action is taken now, these iconic species are headed toward extinction.


California is the second largest market for the sale of illegal ivory in the United States, and these sales are estimated to have doubled over the past eight years. We must take action now to end the sale of ivory and rhino horn in our state.


Please vote yes on the resolution to support AB 96, the bill introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, that would prohibit the sales of ivory and rhino horn in California.


Thank you.


You can use the following email block to send a message to City Council. Just copy and paste it into the "To" section of your email.


[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]


If you would like to send a special message to your own council member and need to locate that person click here.


For more information, please contact Catherine Doyle at [email protected]. 



Ivory and Rhino Horn Legislation



PAWS attended the California Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee meeting this month to provide support for AB 96, the bill that would prohibit the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horns in the state. Though the state has prohibited the sale of ivory since 1977, a loophole rendered the law unenforceable. AB 96 will close that loophole and allow the Department of Fish and Wildlife to enforce the law, with violators subject to criminal and civil penalties.


PAWS will provide information on the next committee hearing and action that California residents can take as soon as it is available. We would like to thank all the PAWS board members, volunteers and friends who came to Sacramento to show their support for this critical bill. They were among more than 70 Californians who spoke up for elephants and rhinos.


If you haven't already done so, please contact your Assembly member and ask that she or he support AB 96. Click here to locate your Assembly member. Follow the link to find your Assembly member's contact information, including phone number. You can send a message via an on-line contact form.


Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted in favor of a resolution that states the City's support for AB 96.The resolution moves to the full City Council for a vote on Wednesday, April 1. See article above for details.


Santa Monica

PAWS is working with animal advocate and journalist Georja Umano and the Humane Education Workshop class at New Roads Middle School to pass a resolution in Santa Monica that would give the City's support to AB 96. The resolution will be introduced by Councilmember Ted Winterer and considered by the Santa Monica City Council on April 28.


Take action!


If you live in Santa Monica, please attend the Council meeting on Tuesday, April 28, at 5:30 p.m., located at Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street, in Council Chambers. Public comment can be made in person at the meeting or submitted prior to the meeting via email at [email protected]. You can also find a list of City Council members and their contact information here.


For a sample message you can use, please see the item above on the Los Angeles City Council resolution regarding AB 96.


For more information, please contact PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy, Catherine Doyle, at [email protected].


More States Taking Action to Prohibit Ivory and Rhino Horn Sales. . .


Please support these important bills by sending an email and/or calling your state legislator and simply saying that you strongly support passage of the bill.



House Bill 6955 would prohibit the sales of ivory and rhino horns. For more information on this bill, click here. Find your Connecticut state legislators here.



Senate Bill 1120, introduced by Senator Thad Altman, would ban the sale of ivory and rhino horns. For more information and to follow this bill click here. Find your Florida legislator here.



Senate Bill 674 was referred to two committees and both have deferred the bill. To learn more about House Bill 837 click here . Locate your state legislators here (enter your street name where indicated in the upper right corner).



Senate Bill 1858 would prohibit the importation, sale and purchase of ivory and rhino horns and products containing these materials. The bill has been referred to the Environment and Conservation Committee. Follow the bill's progress here. Locate your Illinois senator here or here.


Maryland Update

Unfortunately, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee gave an unfavorable report to House Bill 713 that would have prohibited the sale of ivory and rhino horns. The bill will not advance.



House Bill 1787, introduced by state Representative Mike Shelton, would prohibit the sale of ivory and rhino horns. For more information on the progress of the bill click here. To find your state legislator click here.



Senate Bill 913 was introduced to end the sale of ivory and rhino horn. The bill is in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Track the bill's legislative progress here. Locate your state legislator here.


Virginia Update

Senate Bill 1215 was referred to committee and failed to gain the support needed to advance.



House Bill 1131 and Senate Bill 5241 both prohibit the sale of ivory and rhino horns. Follow the Senate bill here and the House bill here. Click here to locate your Representative and Senator.

October 2014, March for Elephants and Rhinos: Kim Basinger and Ed Stewart
lead more than 2000 marchers through San Francisco's ivory district. 


Top Hollywood Celebrities

Urge Support for California Bill to Protect Wild Elephants and Rhinos from Slaughter


Some of Hollywood's most famous celebrities partnered with PAWS to lend their star power and support to AB 96, the bill that would prohibit the sale of ivory and rhino horns in California. More than a dozen entertainment movers and shakers signed a letter of support that was sent to California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Senator Ricardo Lara, who co-authored AB 96. The letter's signatories include:


TV's Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari

Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger

Emmy Award-winning television legend Bob Barker

Actress Kristen Bauer van Straten of HBO's True Blood

Actress Jorja Fox of TV's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Writers and producers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Celebrity chef and author Courtney McBroom

Actor Ross McCall of Band of Brothers

Celebrity jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald

Actor and comedian Kevin Nealon

Manager/Partner Radius Entertainment Oren Segal

Award-winning actress, comedian and producer Lily Tomlin

Award-winning director and actress Betty Thomas, Hill Street Blues


An estimated 96 elephants are killed for their tusks each day in Africa, and more than 1,000 rhinos out of a remaining 29,000 in the wild were poached in South Africa in 2014 alone. AB 96 would close a loophole that prevents the effective enforcement of existing California law prohibiting the sale of ivory and would also prohibit the sale of rhino horns.


California is the second largest market for the sale of illegal ivory in the United States, and these sales are estimated to have doubled over the past eight years.





100 Elephant Paintings in 100 Days


Elephant #11 "Walking For Water"
8" x 8" acrylic

Artist Nancy Hakala is an artist with a passion for elephants. This love of elephants has to led to her partnering with PAWS for the project "100 Elephant Paintings in 100 Days."


Beginning on March 1, Nancy began painting and posting her original elephant paintings and will continue posting for 100 days. Her 100 paintings will be done in a variety of sizes and mediums. All paintings are $100 each (plus sales tax, insurance and shipping/handling). $50 from each sale will be donated to PAWS.


Click here for more information on the "100 Elephant Paintings" project.




Good News For Animals


Kenya burned more than 15 tonnes of elephant ivory during a ceremony at the Nairobi National Park on March 3, which is World Wildlife Day. The event was held to bring attention to the rapid decline in Africa's elephant population as a result of poaching, and the seriousness of wildlife crime. Kenya currently has about 37,000 elephants.


Ethiopia burned its entire ivory stockpile: six tonnes of poached ivory, including jewelry, carvings and tusks. Ethiopia has lost more than 90 percent of its elephants since the 1980s. The country is the second in Africa to burn its stockpile, after Kenya.


Australia now prohibits the import of African lion parts or remains, including hunting trophies. The law was created in response to the killing of lions in canned hunts where captive-raised lions are shot in a restricted area at close range. Australian legislators called canned hunts unacceptable, and blasted the myth that these hunts help African conservation efforts or the local economy.

A BIG Thank You!

March Amazon Wish List Donors

Elaine Giammetta: one 40 lb. case of oranges, two 16 0z. 2-cycle oil. Patricia Connelly: one 50 ft. water hose, one 100 ft. water hose, three bottles Renal Essentials. Joe Greenhalgh: two bottles Cosequin DS #800. Robert Rozel: one gallon Red Cell. Paige Felker: one gallon Red Cell. Susan Begnal: one box nitrile gloves, large. Katherine W. Milan: one bottle RenAvast. Lynn Castiglione: two boxes nitrile gloves, medium and large. Linda Allen: 30 lbs. dry dog food. Amy Gustincic: pillowcases for Ferguson. Anonymous donors: one tub of Psyllium, one Flexrake (pooper scooper), six gallons of bleach, one Jackson M6T22 steel wheelbarrow..


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
Three ways to give and every donation matters.

Donate Your Vehicle

Learn more 

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