Five Ways the PAWS Elephants
Are Starting the New Year Right

African elephants Maggie and Lulu foraging on new green grass.
This is the time of year when people line up their New Year's resolutions and pledge to start the year off right. While the elephants we care for at PAWS may not subscribe to that notion, they certainly know how to take advantage of what nature offers them at the spacious ARK 2000 sanctuary. So here is our version of the top five ways that the elephants are starting the year right:
1. Taking advantage of seasonal opportunities. Living in a natural habitat means that the elephants' surroundings change with the seasons, offering different experiences, new opportunities for exploration, and variety in vegetation. Thanks to the steady rains, the lakes are filled with water (see photo above, or watch Toka stroll by the lake here), creating an opportunity for splashing and swimming, and there are plenty of mud holes for frolicking. The grass is growing long and lush, much to the elephants' delight. The elephants also tend to be more active in the cooler weather and rain.
2. Getting lots of exercise and eating a healthy diet. The elephants fully use the expansive space that ARK 2000 has to offer. This includes exploring their habitats and traversing the gentle, rolling hills as they seek out choice grasses and other preferred foods, including tree bark, branches and leaves. Almost all of their foraging activity early in the year will be devoted to finding and munching great big mouthfuls of tasty green grass. Their natural diet is supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Toka finds the perfect branch.
3. Taking a mud bath. With the rain comes the opportunity for some great mud bathing, which the elephants seem to thoroughly enjoy. They kick and splash in the muddy water, roll around in it, and coat their bodies in mud. Of course, mud has the beneficial effect of protecting their skin from the sun, elements and biting insects, and keeping it in good condition. Click here to watch Asian bull elephant Nicholas roll in the mud!
4. Getting enough rest. Some of the elephants will take a nap in the afternoon (in addition to their overnight rest). You might spot Prince, Maggie, Gypsy or Toka lying down for a short snooze, especially on a sunny day.
5. Making important choices. Choice is essential to an elephant's well-being. The large size of the elephant habitats at ARK 2000 allow the elephants to choose where they want to go, what they want to eat, and what they want to do and who they want to do it with. For example, Maggie and Lulu tend to pal around together, happy to forage on grass, whereas Mara likes to strike off on her own, usually to search out leafy tree branches. Thika and Toka at times prefer to keep their distance from one another, and they now have the space and the choice to do just that.
Thanks to our supporters, the elephants and all the wild animals at our three sanctuaries enjoy the excellent care and natural conditions that most captive wild animals will never know. This is why PAWS not only rescues captive wildlife in need, but advocates for changes that will end the exploitation and abuse of captive exotic and wild animals.

We hope that you will support our efforts in 2016!

PAWS keepers are very thankful for their new "experienced" trucks.

#GivingTuesday: Your Support in Action!

Thanks to everyone who so generously donated to PAWS last month on #GivingTuesday. This annual event, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, benefited the animals at PAWS by raising enough money to purchase two used trucks that were very much needed for animal care and property maintenance at ARK 2000. PAWS President Ed Stewart was pleased to find two older model, Ford F250 diesel trucks for sale in Calaveras County. As you can see in the above photo, the PAWS animal care staff is very happy to have new wheels!

Ferguson, once an illegal pet, thrived on the special care he received at PAWS.

Farewell to Ferguson
1997 - 2016
In December 1998, PAWS' cofounder, the late Pat Derby, received a phone call from a woman who wished to remain anonymous, but wanted to let somebody know that she had just left a young monkey in a driveway near our Galt Sanctuary. The monkey had been purchased as a baby for $6,000 from an exotic pet dealer in Las Vegas, Nevada. After relocating to California and learning that keeping a monkey as a pet is illegal in the state, the woman decided to drop him off at PAWS. A quick search of the area surrounding our sanctuary uncovered a small animal crate with a filthy, cold and frightened little macaque monkey inside. Pat named him Ferguson, after the neighbors (and friends) whose driveway he had been left in.
Ferguson adapted to his new life at PAWS very well with the help of a mature resident baboon named Harriet. Starting out as neighbors in adjoining enclosures, they later became roommates. The two were inseparable, with Harriet loving and caring for Ferguson like he was her own baby. Ferguson had a slightly different view of their relationship, and seemed to view Harriet as more of a girlfriend. Their quirky-yet-endearing friendship seemed to work out well for both. When Harriet passed away many years later from heart failure, Ferguson's attention shifted more to his human caregivers.
One of Ferguson's favorite treats was roses. He would meticulously take apart the flowers and eat the petals one by one. Pat Derby planted beautiful rose bushes throughout our Galt sanctuary for the monkeys, and keeper Renae remembers picking a rose each evening and sitting with Ferguson while he tore it apart and chattered away contentedly. Other favorite foods were grapes, mandarin oranges, and a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables selected by keepers from the local farmer's market. Coconuts were a special treat, and Ferguson was an expert coconut cracker!
Ferguson was very expressive, talkative and good-natured with PAWS' staff. Keeper Nicole recalls many happy memories and wished to share a few of his antics. "When he was in a particularly spunky mood, and if we were lucky," she remembers, "he would run outside and bounce on his platform. It was like he had springs in his hands and feet! He would bounce up in the air with his head thrown back, then sit down, grab his belly and grunt and smack his lips at us." These playful behaviors all indicated that he was content and feeling good, and we all treasured those moments.
Many of our supporters may remember years ago when Pat Derby issued the call for "pillowcases for Ferguson" after he began to gleefully destroy his bed on what seemed to be a daily basis. Boxes of pillow cases began to arrive weekly from Ferguson's adoring fans. Keepers would stuff them with hay to be used as both bedding and toys. Ferguson enjoyed this extra special treatment and keeper Nicole recalls walking by his den and seeing him sitting there with a pillowcase over his head, as if hiding. She would ask, "Where's that monkey?" and Ferguson would immediately pull the case off his head and make affectionate lip-smacks and gestures.
Periodically, Ferguson would have mysterious, short bouts of illness where his energy level and appetite were low. PAWS' veterinarian Dr. Gai worked very hard to figure out the cause, and several years ago diagnosed Cushing's syndrome - a serious illness rarely reported in monkeys. Unfortunately, Cushing's is usually incurable and gradually gets worse over time, although life can be greatly improved and extended by proper medication. Ferguson's medications for liver and stomach issues were specially formulated for him by a compounding pharmacy in a strawberry-marshmallow-flavored liquid that he took daily. 
Ferguson passed away on January 13th from complications of advanced Cushing's syndrome. He was surrounded by the love of many, including longtime caregivers Larry and Nicole, as well as PAWS' cofounder Ed Stewart and veterinarian Dr. Gai. Heartfelt condolences and thanks go to the dedicated keepers who cared for him throughout his life in our Galt sanctuary, to all of his adoptive parents, and to everyone who loved, admired, and donated to PAWS in his honor over the years. He will be truly missed and has left an indelible mark on all of our hearts.

*  *  *  *
It is illegal to own a pet monkey in most states, but there are still a few where it remains legal. At PAWS we believe that monkeys belong in the wild and not in captivity. In captivity they are incredibly challenging to care for, and the bite of a mature monkey can inflict significant injuries. Many primate species, and macaques in particular, can carry diseases that can cause serious illness or death in humans - even after something as seemingly insignificant as exposure to monkey saliva.
Wild crab-eating macaques like Ferguson, also known as long-tailed macaques, come from forested areas of southeast Asia where they live in large social groups. Highly intelligent and clever, they learn from their elders how to wash and peel fruit, and also how to use stone tools to open nuts, shellfish, and sea snails. Although they are not endangered, shrinking habitat has caused increasing problems when they come into contact with humans. In captivity this species is extensively used in biomedical experimentation and other types of research throughout the world.

Boebie the Tiger, In Memoriam
PAWS is saddened to report the passing of Boebie, also known as Bo, one of 39 tigers rescued over 12 years ago from deplorable conditions in a defunct pseudo-sanctuary in Colton, California (view documentary below). In Colton, Bo lived in a small, filthy enclosure with three other tigers: Jay Logan, Pat Jr. (aka Jon Jon), and Malabar. When PAWS agreed to provide these needy tigers with permanent sanctuary, cofounder Ed Stewart constructed spacious habitats at ARK 2000 that allowed compatible groups that had previously lived together to continue to live together for the rest of their lives.
A breathtakingly magnificent tiger, Bo weighed almost 450 pounds, and was muscular and strong. Despite his size and strength, he had a very calm demeanor. Tiger supervisor Renae remembers Bo as the "peace keeper" in his group, always keeping the mood light and playful. On many a sunny day, Bo and his three "brothers" could be seen sprawled out on their backs, the white fur of their bellies soaking up the sun. At ARK 2000 they could lie in the grass, scratch on trees, run up and down hills, and soak in a pool - all simple pleasures of life that they had previously been deprived of.
Bo had a majestic presence, a deep, soulful gaze and he never failed to "chuff" a friendly greeting to the keeper staff each morning. He had a unique and humorous routine every afternoon when keepers delivered his food treat. He would turn to face away from the keepers, then playfully spin around when the treat was delivered, as if pretending to be surprised - every time!
Kidney problems are all too common in older cats, both large and small, and PAWS cares for many with this ailment by providing special diets, medications, and nutritional supplements. Bo was healthy and vibrant for many years until early December, when he began showing signs of kidney disease.
Bo succumbed to the effects of kidney disease quickly, and the difficult but most compassionate decision was made to euthanize him to prevent suffering. Bo passed from this life on December 14th, surrounded by many who loved him. He will be missed by Logan, Jon Jon, Malabar, and all of the people who cared for him. He was estimated to be at least 19 years old.

"39 Tigers"

U.S. Fish & Wildlife to Allow Import of 18 Wild Elephants from Swaziland to Three U.S. Zoos

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has cleared the way for 18 young elephants caught from the wild in Swaziland to be imported to the Dallas Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas, and Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Eighty elephant experts from around the world signed a statement in opposition to the import, and nearly 8,000 comments were submitted to the government, with 85 percent of public comments opposed to the import. PAWS roundly condemns the agency's action, which only serves to perpetuate the appalling and archaic practice of separating elephants from their mothers and families for the purpose of putting them on display in zoos.
As reported by PAWS last year, Swaziland has long allowed a questionable organization, Big Game Parks (BGP), to manage three protected wildlife areas, apparently with no government oversight. BGP threatened to cull (kill) the 18 

A bull elephant in Swaziland.
elephants if permits were not issued, claiming the population of around 40 elephants was destroying landscape in the parks. In reality, the elephants occupy only small fenced portions of the reserves and other options could have been pursued, including simply giving elephants more space in the parks. A South African organization had offered to fund the relocation of the 18 elephants to a protected area in Africa, to no avail.
The truth is that this import has nothing to do with conservation. It is a financial deal orchestrated by the zoos and BGP that deprives 18 elephants of their families, home and freedom for the price of $450,000 - or $25,000 per elephant for a lifetime in captivity. The zoos plan to breed the elephants, knowing that the birth of a calf can double a zoo's revenues and donations. Sedgwick County Zoo director Mark Reed told the media last year: "It's not a question of 'if' but a question of 'when' we will have young elephant calves born here. . . That's going to skyrocket the attendance like nothing ever has here before."
The capture and removal of wild elephants from their home ranges is a throwback to a time when people were uneducated about the intelligence, sensitivity, and self-aware nature of elephants or the importance of their familial relations. It is especially disturbing that zoos, which purport to educate the public, are engaging in this archaic practice in the 21st century. Nothing can justify tearing young elephants away from their mothers and social groups and incarcerating them for the rest of their lives.
This will not be the last import. Zoos will again plunder the wild for young elephants because they cannot maintain a sustainable population of captive elephants and will eventually have none to display. Elephants in captivity frequently suffer a host of captivity-caused behavioral and physical problems, some of which cause them to sicken and die before their time. The last import from Swaziland took place in 2003, when two U.S. zoos imported 11 wild-caught elephants - using the same claim of too many elephants and the same threat to kill them. Predictably, zoos are back again, taking even more young elephants.
Importing wild elephants to zoos in America is inhumane and short-sighted. Even worse, it is already sending the wrong message to other African countries like Zimbabwe, turning elephants into a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder. This is the antithesis of conservation, which strives to keep wildlife in the wild.
The most humane alternative for the 18 elephants would have been to keep them on the continent of their birth in conditions of safety and greatest practical freedom. Sadly, the US Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed that rational and compassionate hope.

Save the Date: PAWS' 2016 Conference

PAWS is currently in the planning stages for its 2016 International Captive Wild Animal Conference which will take place November 11-13, in Northern California, and will feature some of the leading experts and voices for captive wildlife representing the fields of animal care and welfare, scientific research, conservation, ethics and law. We will be publishing more information soon!

A BIG Thank You!

January Amazon Wish List Donors
Sandra Grignon: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium. Patricia L. Connelly: one case of copy paper, three brass shut-off valves, one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo, one bag of zip ties, one box of gloves, size large. Marty St. Aubin: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. The Gottschalk's: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium. Mary Wagnon: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium, one bottle AminAvast, 50#. Michele Smith: one bottle of CosequinDS 132#. Lisa Matlage: two gallons of Optima 365, four bottles CosequinDS, 132#. Melissa Morgan: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat. Lisa V. Benson: one 48-pack of AA batteries. Tricia Downey: one 40 lb. case of oranges. Alice C. Witt: two gallons of Optima 365. Peggy Buckner: one 20 lb. tub of Psyllium. Janet Nakao: two bottles of Azodyl, 90#. Kathleen Morrison: two 40 lb. cases of oranges purchased in memory of Angus A. MorrisonVictoria Linder: one bottle Emcelle Tocopherol (liquid Vit. E), 1000ml. Anonymous donors: two 24" garden rakes, two gallons Red Cell, one shovel for the elephant barns, one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo.
View wish list items that are needed,
but not listed on the Amazon list, here.

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