Meet Artemis!
Tall and handsome, Artemis is an 18-year old tiger living at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary. He was one of the 39 tigers confiscated from deplorable, filthy conditions in a roadside zoo in Colton, California, ironically known as "Tiger Rescue."

Eleven years ago last month, PAWS embarked on the largest single rescue of big cats in U.S. history, transporting the 39 tigers from Southern California to our

sanctuary in San Andreas where they received much needed expert care, excellent nutrition, and plenty of room to roam.

Artemis shares his spacious, grassy habitat with Spanky, a tiger with impaired vision. As younger cats, these two would playfully chase and spar with each other but as Spanky's vision decreased, Artemis became more gentle and protective of his companion. The two can often be seen resting in the shade of a large oak tree, or lounging on specially-built wooden platforms* watching neighboring tigers' activities. On hot summer days, Artemis enjoys climbing into his pool and submerging for a good soak in the cool water.

As most of the remaining 15 Colton tigers are now elderly, they receive special vitamins, nutritional supplements, and medications to keep them healthy and provide relief from arthritis. Your support enables us to provide the excellent care and support that these tigers deserve. To see a list of vitamins and supplements that you can donate, please visit our Amazon Wish List. To adopt Artemis, or any of the PAWS tigers, click here. View the documentary "39 Tigers" by William Nimmo, founder of Tigers in America, below.

39 Tigers: The Story of the Largest Tiger Rescue in U.S. History
39 Tigers: The Story of the Largest Tiger Rescue in U.S. History

*A big thank you to Joey Harvey, husband of PAWS elephant keeper Michelle Harvey, for building the wooden lounging platforms that are located throughout the tiger habitat at ARK 2000.

Iringa foraging on a hillside at ARK 2000

PAWS Says Goodbye to Elephant Iringa

It is with great sadness that PAWS had to say a final good-bye to African elephant Iringa, who was humanely euthanized at ARK 2000 on July 22nd. She had a long history of degenerative joint and foot disease, the leading reasons for euthanizing elephants in captivity. At age 46, Iringa was among the oldest African elephants in North America.

Iringa arrived at ARK 2000 in October 2013, and we immediately fell in love with her. She was intelligent and curious, and quickly made the adjustment to living in her new, natural environment. She enjoyed roaming the hills of the habitat and  foraging on natural vegetation year-round. Her favorite time of the day was her therapy pool sessions where Iringa would float in the pool, taking the weight off her feet and joints, and eat special treats given to her by her caregivers. After a session, she would immediately go outside and cover herself in dirt and mud like an elephant naturally would.

Iringa was born in Mozambique, Africa, in 1969 and captured before she was two years old. She was sent to the Toronto Zoo in 1974, one of seven elephants shipped to the zoo from Mozambique that year. Iringa was the longest-lived elephant from that group; all the other elephants, with the exception of Toka, passed away by age 41.

Together with Toka and Thika, Iringa was sent to PAWS after the Toronto City Council voted to relocate the elephants. This followed the zoo's decision to end its elephant program.

"Iringa was very special to us," said PAWS President Ed Stewart. "I'm very proud of the keeper and veterinary care we provided, along with the peaceful life we gave her at our sanctuary."

Iringa Explores Her Habitat
Iringa Explores Her Habitat



Goats at ARK 2000?


Yes, there are goats at ARK 2000, and lots of them. We "kid" you not! On the day these photos were taken more than a hundred goats were inside the Bob Barker Bear Habitat and on the hillsides near the tiger  and lion habitats. (But don't worry, the bears, tigers and lions are safely separated from the goats.) While we agree that the goats are pretty adorable, their purpose is quite serious: they are part of our comprehensive fire prevention plan.


Each year we bring in several herds of goats as a natural and environmentally friendly way to remove weeds and keep both animals and sanctuary staff safe. The goats munch away the dry vegetation, removing fuel for a potential fire, and they can reach areas where mowers and tractors cannot go. They spend months on the PAWS property, guarded by dogs like the Great Pyrenees and others. Professional goat herders set up portable perimeter fencing to contain the goats, and they monitor the animals throughout the day to assure their safety and well-being.


We also use tractors and mowers to cut firebreaks throughout the property, we've many drilled wells around the sanctuary, and we store extra water in huge towers. Several years ago, PAWS purchased its own fire truck.


Fire prevention is paramount for PAWS and is also extremely expensive. Each year we spend thousands of dollars on the equipment, fuel and man hours involved in the cutting of firebreaks, not to mention the expense we incur for the goats - nearly $40,000 per year!


Please consider making a special donation to PAWS today to help offset these important and necessary fire prevention efforts.  Thank you.





Guests attending the "Trunks and Tails and Bubbles and Brunch" event in Southern California last month included actress Jessy Schram (left), known for her roles on Veronica Mars, Falling Skies, Mad Men and as Cinderella/Ashley Boyd in Once Upon A Time; PAWS President Ed Stewart; and filmmaker and entertainer Katharine Kramer (right), whose father was Academy Award-winning director Stanley Kramer.


Bistro K Event Raises Funds
For PAWS and Pooches


Thank you to everyone who attended the "Trunks and Tails and Bubbles and Brunch" fundraiser held at the Bistro K restaurant in Laguna Niguel, Calif., on June

Actress Jessy Schram holding
one of the Ghetto Rescue
Ffoundation puppies who was
looking for a "forever" home.
28. The event, hosted by Bistro K owner and longtime PAWS friend Katia Bagatta, raised more than $15,000 for two of the restaurateur's favorite charities.


Half of the money that was raised will help PAWS care for elephants, and the other half will help the Ghetto Rescue Ffoundation continue their noble work of rescuing stray dogs and cats from the streets of southern California's most at-risk areas and placing them into forever homes.


When asked why she is so passionate about helping animals in need, Bagatta replied, "Once you look into the eyes of a majestic and wise elephant, you know this animal should never be chained up, or be forced to perform in the circus. And when you embrace the unconditional love from a homeless, neglected dog, you feel it, and you know you are making a difference, even if it's just one dog at a time."


Ms. Bagatta plans to make the "Trunks and Tails and Bubbles and Brunch" an annual event. We cannot thank her enough!   



Legislation Update:

California Elephant Protection Bills


PAWS has been working hard on two key elephant protection bills in the California state legislature. We're pleased to report that each one is making significant progress, thanks to the help of Californians across the state who have called and written their elected officials in support of these critical bills.


Senate Bill 716, introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara and co-authored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, would ban use of the bullhook in California. PAWS is a key sponsor of the bill, together with the Humane Society of the United States and the Oakland Zoo.


Current Status: Passed in the state Senate. Now in the Assembly. Must clear Appropriations Committee before going to full Assembly for a vote.


The bullhook is a weapon resembling a fireplace poker, with a sharpened steel tip and hook at the end. It is commonly used to dominate and control elephants in circuses, rides and other "entertainment." Handlers forcefully prod, hook and strike elephants on sensitive parts of their bodies, sometimes causing wounds and lacerations. This method of training is reinforced throughout the elephant's life - behind closed doors and out of view of law enforcement.


SB 716 has cleared two policy committees in the Assembly. PAWS President Ed Stewart testified before the Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media earlier this month, telling members:


"As long as the elephant fears the bullhook, the mere presence of it is enough to control them. There is no such thing as "misuse" of the bullhook: its very use is abusive. The bullhook is not like a leash on a dog or reins on a horse. It is something to be avoided by an elephant because it only represents pain."


Prior to the committee meeting Assembly members received a letter signed by more than 70 entertainment industry professionals in support of SB 716, stating, "There is no excuse for treating elephants cruelly for entertainment's sake."


PAWS would like to thank all of our celebrity supporters and their colleagues who signed on to the letter, including Bob Barker, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Kim Basinger, Henri Bollinger, Richard Donner and Lauren Shuler Donner, Jorja Fox, Rick Jaffa, Kevin Nealon, Lily Tomlin, Ross McCall, Oren Segal, Amanda Silver, Betty Thomas, and many others. Click here to read the statement and to see the complete list of signatories.


The next step for SB 716 is the Appropriations committee. If passed, SB 716 will go to the full Assembly for a vote. That's when we will need every Californian's help to pass this important elephant protection bill. Watch for upcoming PAWS alerts with information on how you can help.


Assembly Bill 96, introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and co-authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, would ban the sale of ivory and rhino horns in California.


Current Status: Passed in the Assembly. Now in the state Senate. Must clear Appropriations Committee before going to full Senate for a vote.


There is no time to waste if we are to protect wild elephants and rhinos - and that includes taking decisive action here at home. These iconic animals 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 in 2014 alone - all for the sake of expensive trinkets and symbols of social status. Unless action is taken now, these animals 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. AB 96 would put a stop to that.


As a key supporter of this bill, PAWS has mobilized concerned citizens to contact their elected officials, and attended committee hearings and stated organizational support for the bill, among other efforts. PAWS will be alerting you to actions you can take to help pass this critical bill.




World Elephant Day


August 12 is World Elephant Day, a time to create awareness of the plight of African and Asian elephants, and to take action to protect these intelligent, sensitive and self-aware animals in the wild (view video of elephants in Amboseli, Kenya, above) and in captivity. Be sure to reserve this special day for an action of your own (and then keep it going!): 

  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the abuse of elephants used in circuses, rides and "entertainment," or about the need to stop the decimation of African elephants due to poaching.
  • Support a federal ban on the sale of ivory by contacting your representatives in Washington, DC.
  • If there is pending elephant protection legislation in your locale, make phone calls on August 12 to your elected officials in support.
  • Is there a circus or a fair with elephant rides nearby? Organize or attend a protest. Write to event organizers and urge them to end the use of any entertainment that uses elephants or other wild animals.
  • Never buy any item made of ivory or any other wildlife products.
  • Avoid entertainment that includes elephants or other wild animals.
  • Support organizations that work to protect elephants, their habitat, and their welfare.
Make a donation to support elephant care at PAWS!

No More Elephant Rides at Kern County Fair


The Kern County Fair in Bakersfield was the last county fair in California to offer elephant rides, but that ended earlier this month. This was not the result of a decision by the fair's board, which earlier this year had voted to continue the rides for two more years before abandoning the practice. Instead, elephant rides provider Have Trunk Will Travel opted not to sign the two-year contract offered to them. The terms of the contract are unknown at this time.


Have Trunk Will Travel - which was caught on video by Animal Defenders International violently striking elephants with bullhooks during training sessions - made specious claims about animal advocates when explaining its decision. According to Fair CEO Mike Olcott, protests at the Kern County Fair have always been peaceful.


Have Trunk Will Travel using the bullhook.
Have Trunk Will Travel using the bullhook.


With this turn of events, California county fairs are now officially elephant-ride free!


PAWS congratulates the Kern County activists who persevered in their campaign against the elephant rides, and the League of Humane Voters-California for their efforts, all of which contributed to this important victory. PAWS is proud to have played a part by providing expert testimony before the Fair board, in addition to other support.

Attending President Obama's speech in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 26 were Dr. Cynthia Moss (left), founder and director of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Conservation Kenya founder Dr. Winnie Kiiru (right), and Soysambu Conservancy CEO Kathryn Combes (center). Dr. Moss told PAWS there was an "outpouring of warmth and affection at the event, and the relationships built and rebuilt during this visit will benefit Kenya and ultimately elephants as well."


New U.S. Action on Ivory Sales


At a joint news conference in Nairobi with Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) will be proposing a new rule that will virtually ban the sale of ivory across state lines and further restrict commercial exports.


According to a press release by the FWS, the new rule will build on restrictions put in place following President Obama's 2013 Executive Order on combating wildlife trafficking. The proposed rule prohibits interstate commerce in ivory, with specific, limited exceptions for certain pre-existing manufactured items such as musical instruments, furniture pieces, and firearms that contain less than 200 grams of ivory. The FWS has determined that the legal trade in these items does not contribute to the current poaching crisis. Antiques, as defined under the Endangered Species Act, are also exempt from it prohibitions.


The FWS has published the proposed rules, which are open for public comment until September 28, 2015. To read the proposal click here. Read a Q&A on the proposed changes here.


If you would like to comment on the proposed rules, you can visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal at In the search box, enter: FWS-HQ-IA-2013-0091. This is the docket number for the new rule. You may submit a comment by clicking on "Comment Now!" The Service will review and consider all comments received by September 28, 2015, before publishing a final rule.


One of the more than 20 Zimbabwe baby elephants exported to China.

Zimbabwe Elephant Export Update


PAWS very regrettably reports that Zimbabwe has exported more than 20 baby elephants, aged 5 to 7 years old, to Chimelong Safari Park, in Guangzhou, China, which has been described as a circus and amusement park. PAWS, joined by more than 30 scientists, conservationists, and animal care, policy and welfare professionals, appealed to Zimbabwe government officials in January, asking that the sale be stopped and the calves rehabilitated and returned to the wild. Our plea, and those of many others around the world, fell on deaf ears.


National Geographic recently published secretly obtained photos of the calves in China and reported that they are "malnourished, sunken-looking, and scarred by wounds." One eyewitness observed that all of the elephants appear to have been hurt.


Elephant families share intense social bonds, with females remaining with their mothers for life. The calves shipped to China have surely suffered extensive trauma in the separation from their mothers and families, in addition to the stress of capture, travel and incarceration. They have been sentenced to a lifetime in captivity where they will very likely develop painful captivity-caused ailments and live shortened lives. 


Zimbabwe has exported elephants to China in the past, with grim results: Of the four calves sent to Chinese zoos in 2012, only one is believed to be alive today. The young elephant, currently living at the Taiyuan Zoo, has been reported to be in extremely poor physical condition and suffering intense distress as a result of isolation. In the early 1980s, Zimbabwe exported 63 calves to the U.S. These elephants were eventually sent to zoos and circuses. Almost all of them died prematurely. One of the few surviving elephants is 33-year-old Nosey, who languishes alone in a small U.S. circus.


PAWS was encouraged that the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums issued a statement expressing "serious concern" over the capture of the elephants, their welfare, and the effect on the remaining elephant families and populations. To the best of our knowledge this is the only zoo industry organization that has publicly acknowledged the situation with a statement of concern, despite the disastrous effects of this export on the calves and the families from which they were abducted.


There can be no excuse for treating these highly intelligent and emotional animals like commodities, especially at a time when elephants are in crisis due to rampant poaching and disappearing habitat. Both Zimbabwe and China have shown complete disregard for the welfare of these elephants, and PAWS hopes that the world will rise up against any additional exports.


We will keep you informed of any developments concerning possible future exports of baby elephants and other wildlife from Zimbabwe.

Good News For Animals


Catalonia, Spain, is the latest region to prohibit the use of wild animals in circuses, joining jurisdictions and countries that include Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Switzerland. The ban was included as an amendment to the regional Animal Protection Law that prohibits the use of wild animals "in performances that would cause them suffering or turn them into an object of mockery or unnatural treatment."


In February, Asheville, North Carolina, restricted shows at the U.S. Cellular Center to ban those with exotic or wild performing animals. This month, the City Council voted to extend the ban throughout the city, prohibiting exotic animal performances and the renting of elephants or other exotic animals for parties. The action also amended existing law to restrict residents from owning wolf-hybrids, venomous snakes and several other animals. 


The European Union Commission has prohibited the import of hunting trophies of African elephants from Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia, based on a finding from its Scientific Review Group. The Group found that elephant populations in those countries have experienced serious declines and that the import into the EU of trophies from these countries was not sustainable.


Northfield, Minnesota, denied a permit to the Carson & Barnes Circus, which was to perform there in July. The city has established a new permitting process that addresses animal welfare and public safety, and the circus reportedly failed to meet insurance requirements. The Carson & Barnes Circus has repeatedly been cited by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.


Deadwood, South Dakota, has adopted a "Dangerous Wild/Exotic Animal Prohibited" ordinance that prohibits nearly all wild or exotic animals from being kept in city limits. Owners that were grandfathered in must comply with certain requirements regarding permits and maintaining records; the current number of dangerous wild animals already owned in the city may not increase.


Thanks to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Chicago Zoological Society and
those members of the Lake County Fair (Illinois) board
who urged the fair to cancel the "Banana Derby" at which capuchin monkeys dressed as jockeys ride on dogs around a track. These outdated events exploit wild animals for entertainment and profit, while exposing the monkeys to the stressful and unnatural conditions inherent to traveling shows. Unfortunately, the fair did not cancel the show. But an important discussion was launched, resulting in an insightful Chicago Tribune article on the use of wild animals in entertainment, "Activists Steer Public Opinion to Oppose Animal Entertainment." Read it here.

A Washington initiative aimed at the illegal wildlife trade is expected to be on the November ballot. Initiative 1401, bankrolled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, would criminalize trafficking in 10 species including the lion, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, cheetah, marine turtle, shark, ray and pangolin. Currently, there is no law to punish illegal wildlife traffickers in the state.

A BIG Thank You!

July Amazon Wish List Donors


Jeff James: one 16 GB Flash Drive. Candace Rangel: three 10 lb. bags of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Kim M. Sinn: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Marna Herrington: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Patricia Connelly: four 5 lb. bags of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat; 3 boxes of Nitrile gloves (S, M, L); two bags Natural Balance dry cat food; two 30-lb. boxes of oranges; two 5 lb. bags of Missing Link Equine Skin and Coat; one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Equine Skin & Coat; two boxes 33 gallon trash bags; two cases copy paper. Cindy Roccodero: four 1 gallon jugs of Red Cell. Anonymous donors: one 4 pack of bankers boxes; one 10 lb. bag is Missing Link Equine Skin and Coat; one 24" squeegee.


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.

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