Tigers Roy, Kim and Claire
Move to ARK 2000
We are pleased to share the good news that earlier this month tiger siblings Roy, Kim, and Claire moved from PAWS' Galt, Calif., sanctuary where they have lived since they were young cubs, to a spacious new habitat at ARK 2000. The move happened over a two-day period, as one by one each tiger was coaxed into his or her own transport cage and driven the short distance to ARK 2000 in San Andreas. They have all settled in beautifully. (You can watch of video of the tigers' move below.)
Roy and his two sisters, Kim and Claire, were four months old when they arrived at PAWS. They were born on June 2, 2003, at a now defunct roadside zoo in New Hampshire that constantly bred cubs for photos shoots, other roadside zoos and the exotic pet trade. PAWS was contacted by an animal welfare group asking if we would take the three cubs, and PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, wholeheartedly agreed to provide permanent sanctuary. 
When the three young tigers arrived at the Galt sanctuary on October 2, 2003, they received a thorough medical exam by PAWS' veterinarian Dr. Jackie Gai and were

Tiger cub Roy receives his first checkup from PAWS veterinarian Dr. Jackie Gai.
immediately started on a wholesome, nutritious diet. To prevent future breeding, Roy was neutered a few months after arrival. Kim and Claire would later undergo ovariohysterectomies (spay surgery).

At the time, construction of tiger habitats at ARK 2000 was still in the planning stages so the three cubs moved into a large, grassy enclosure in Galt complete with a custom-built pool designed by PAWS co-founder and President Ed Stewart. This habitat has been home to the cubs for nearly twelve and a half years, and it has been a comfortable and familiar place for them to grow up and mature. Our goal all along was to move them up to a larger habitat at ARK 2000, but this plan was delayed after our unexpected, emergency rescue in 2004 of 39 tigers from horrific conditions in a facility in Colton, California.
PAWS has a great deal of experience moving animals in a safe and humane manner. Moving can be a very stressful experience for any captive wild animal, so our primary goal is to make the process as stress-free as possible. Custom-designed transport cages are used. Each cage is large enough for an animal to stand up, turn around, stretch, and lie down comfortably. Animals are gently coaxed to voluntarily enter their transport cages and are transported fully awake and aware, thus avoiding the potential health risks associated with anesthesia or sedation. Careful planning ensures that the move itself is quick and calm, and our well-trained staff ensure that every step of the process is done efficiently and safely.

Now a full-grown adult, Roy (above) is the largest tiger PAWS has ever rescued. He is tall and lanky, and standing on all fours he is almost as tall as some of our keeper staff! We estimate his weight to be well over 600 pounds. In the very near future we'll know Roy's exact weight, thanks to a generous donor who funded a special scale at ARK 2000 that can be placed underneath a tiger's sleeping platform to obtain a weight without the tiger knowing it's there.
Roy is always watchful and observant, never missing anything going on nearby. He enjoys playing as much as sleeping, and can often be seen stretched out in the grass sound asleep with his "little" sisters. Although he was cautious about passing through doorways for the first few days after the big move, he now feels comfortable and confident. His distinctive crossed eyes and mild curvature of the spine are visible evidence that he is the product of inbreeding, and as a consequence he will always have impaired vision and a tendency toward early arthritis.

Kim (above) is the smallest but most brave of the three tigers. She is always keen to explore new things, and is usually the first to have a look (and sniff) at anything new. Not surprising, Kim walked confidently into the transport cage in Galt - ready for the adventure ahead! During the trip, she rested calmly on a bed of soft hay. Upon arrival at ARK 2000, she strolled out of the cage and into her new den box and made herself right at home. She seems to be thoroughly enjoying the new sights and smells of her new home, and explores the hillside trees, logs, and grass with great relish.

Claire (above) is the most cautious of the trio, and was the last one to walk into the transport cage for her big move. Once in, she seemed accepting of the plan and was calm. When we stopped halfway through the road trip to check on her, Claire peeked back at us from a comfortable position on her bed of hay. Claire is never far from her big brother Roy, and can often be seen lying in the tall grass with him. She loves the grass so much that it is sometimes a challenge to encourage her to come in from the habitat to eat. At meal time PAWS' keeper staff call the tigers in so that they can each be fed in their own den box. This allows each tiger to eat at his or her own pace, without competition, and also allows staff time to clean the habitat. When Claire is called, she walks several steps toward us and then plops down in the grass, luxuriously rolling on her back for a few minutes. Then she gets up, walks a little bit, and plops down to roll again!
We are delighted to see these three beautiful tigers enjoying their spacious new home, and look forward to continuing to provide expert, dedicated care for them in this new chapter of their lives. 

Roy, Kim and Claire move to ARK 2000!
Roy, Kim and Claire move to ARK 2000.
Click the arrow above to view video.

Thank you to Tigers In America,
and to A Kinder World Foundation trustees Diana and David Swartz,
for making Roy, Kim and Claire's move possible.

Roy, Kim and Claire need a pool!

You can help welcome "the cubs" - as they're still lovingly called - to their new home at ARK 2000 with a special gift. PAWS must raise $8500 to build a pool for the three tigers. Roy, Kim and Claire, like all tigers, love water - as you can see in the above photo of Claire playing with a pumpkin in her pool at the Galt sanctuary. With your support, we hope to have a similar pool built at ARK 2000 by this summer. To make a donation, click here.

SB 1062
California Bill to Ban Elephant Bullhooks
Passes First Hurdle
On Tuesday, March 29th, the California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee passed SB 1062 on a 7 to 2 vote. The bill, introduced by state senator Ricardo Lara, would ban the use of cruel bullhooks on elephants. SB 1062 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Our supporters will recall that PAWS, working together with The Humane Society of the U.S. and the Oakland Zoo, passed a bullhook bill in California last year. Unfortunately, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill because it called for criminal penalties. This new bill is a non-criminal version of last year's bill, which we hope to again pass and send to the Governor's desk.
The bullhook is a weapon resembling a fireplace poker, with a sharpened steel tip and hook at the end. It is used to dominate and control elephants through pain and fear. Handlers forcefully prod, hook and strike elephants on sensitive parts of their bodies during training, performances and routine handling. Even when not in use, the bullhook is a constant reminder of the painful punishment that can be delivered at any time.
PAWS has worked with elephants for more than 30 years, and even though we care for bulls and highly dangerous elephants, we do not use a bullhook. No AZA-accredited zoo in California uses this cruel and archaic weapon.
Today, there is a more modern and humane way of managing elephants that uses positive reinforcement training, food treats and gentle words of encouragement. With this method, keepers provide excellent husbandry and veterinary care without the use of intimidation and painful punishment.
The cities of Los Angeles and Oakland prohibit use of the bullhook, and San Francisco has prohibited the use of all performing wild animals.
If you live in California and want to help make our state the first in the nation to ban the bullhook, please: 
  • Be sure to "like" PAWS' Facebook page, where we will be posting the latest information on how Californians can help pass this important bill. 
  • Stay tuned for PAWS alerts containing information on contacting your elected officials, urging them to support SB 1062. 
If you don't live in California but know friends and family who do, please alert them to SB 1062. Or consider working to pass a ban on bullhooks in your area.

PAWS President Ed Stewart (left) with event host
Gil Gross of San Francisco's KKSF Talk 910 radio.

Marin Humane Society
Celebrates With Annual Gala

PAWS President Ed Stewart was a guest speaker at the Marin Humane Society's Annual Gala celebration held earlier this month. This special evening was full of dramatic and inspiring storytelling about dogs, cats and, yes, even elephants! We congratulate our friends at The Marin Humane Society for the wonderful and caring work they do.

U.S. Zoos Import Wild Elephants From Swaziland Through Underhanded Move
PAWS is sorry to report that 17 wild elephants have been imported from Swaziland to three U.S. zoos: the Dallas Zoo, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, and the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. (The zoos had planned to import 18 elephants, however, one elephant died while held captive in Swaziland, reportedly due to gastrointestinal problems.) The zoos drew even more criticism over this controversial import when it was discovered that they tried to secretly fly out the elephants ahead of a court decision that could have delayed the move.
As PAWS reported last month, animal protection organization Friends of Animals (FOA) had filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services' decision to allow the import. The agency had granted the permit, despite nearly 7,000 comments opposed to the action (85% of comments received), and a statement signed by 80 conservationists, scientists, veterinarians and animal welfare and policy experts from around the world condemning the import.
FOA then filed a separate motion that would have stopped the zoos from importing the elephants until the lawsuit could be heard. Instead of respecting the legal process, the zoos were preparing in secret to circumvent the court by removing the elephants before the judge could rule on the motion. Thanks to a whistleblower in Swaziland, we learned of the zoos' underhanded plan. FOA lawyer Michael Harris filed for an emergency restraining order to stop the move, which was temporarily granted. The zoos countered, saying the elephants were already crated and sedated and that it would be too dangerous to remove them and anesthetize them again later. The court then dissolved the emergency restraining order. (Questions still remain about the zoos' claim that the elephants had already been sedated.)
Not only did the zoos succeed in importing the young elephants, cruelly separating them from their mothers and families for a lifetime of deprivation in captivity, they avoided a court hearing that would have exposed the terrible impact of this traumatic import on the physical and emotional well-being of the young elephants now and in the future.

". . . the parties achieved exactly what they wanted - a fat payment in exchange for young elephants snatched from their families and friends."
Dr. Joyce Poole, ElephantVoices
The zoos continue to spin the story that Big Game Parks in Swaziland, the private organization that controls the country's elephants, were set to cull (kill) 18 of its 39 elephants due to "overpopulation" and the effects of serious drought. Leading elephant expert Dr. Joyce Poole addressed this issue on the ElephantVoices Facebook page: "We don't believe so. Swaziland has space and habitat enough, and even if they no longer wanted the elephants, others in Africa had offered to take them. In Africa, and elsewhere, droughts come and go - it is part of nature. No elephants have been culled anywhere in Africa since 1997 because both science and public opinion have been so strongly against it. Swaziland and her King would have faced a massive PR backlash if they proceeded to kill 18 elephants. Instead, the parties achieved exactly what they wanted - a fat payment in exchange for young elephants snatched from their families and friends."
This import sets a terrible example for the rest of the world. The zoos' irresponsible action not only helps create more of a market for wild elephants, it eases the way for a country like Zimbabwe to export even more wild elephant calves to zoos in China, using the very same justifications as the U.S. zoos including "conservation."
In our opinion, real conservationists do all they can to keep elephants living in the wild, where they have the greatest conservation value and can live truly fulfilled lives. No matter how many millions of dollars you throw at it, captivity is not conservation. And it is no life for an animal as complex, inquisitive, intelligent and socially hardwired as an elephant.
We at PAWS know there are many challenges to elephant conservation due to habitat degradation and loss, poaching and human-elephant conflict. But we refuse to accept that the only answer is to sell off wild elephants to the highest bidders - especially when there are other options. Some options may be simpler, such as transferring elephants to another location within Africa, and some may be more elaborate. For example, Malawi is creating a 42,000-acre, New York City-sized preserve for 500 of its elephants, to relieve environmental pressure on the two parks where they now live. That is the kind of forward thinking we need in today's world. Not throwback thinking that relies on the archaic and inhumane capture of wild elephants for display. We need to think big if we are to protect and preserve elephants for generations (theirs and ours) to come. 

Kenya: Amboseli elephants at dusk.
Photo courtesy of Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE)

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Taking Comments on Uplisting African Elephants to "Endangered" Status Under The Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering uplisting the African elephant to "endangered" status under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency is taking public comment on this action until May 16, 2016.
Since the African elephant was originally listed under the ESA as "threatened" in 1978, the population has declined by about 60 percent, mainly due to poaching for the ivory trade. Other factors include habitat destruction and trophy hunting. Today, more elephants are dying than are being born, resulting in an ongoing decline in population.
An endangered listing would establish restrictions on both domestic and international trade in African elephants and their parts (tusks, hunting trophies, skin and other products), and would expand public oversight of such activities. The import of or interstate commerce in endangered species and their parts is largely prohibited, except in limited circumstances where the FWS finds such activity clearly benefits the species, such as for scientific purposes.
How you can comment in support of uplisting African elephants
Click here to visit the FWS page on this subject. Click on the "Comment Now" button, which will take you to a page where you can leave your comments.
Please note that the FWS is required to make its decision "solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available." Submissions stating support for this action, without providing supporting information, will be noted but not considered in making a determination. However, PAWS strongly encourages you to leave comments in favor of  uplisting African elephants to endangered status to let the government know that the American people strongly support greater protections for these iconic animals.

African elephants Maggie (left) and Lulu at PAWS' ARK 2000 Sanctuary.

PAWS Remembers Former
NY Times Reporter, Sarah Kershaw

PAWS recently learned of the death of former New York Times reporter, Sarah Kershaw, whose January 2005 article, "A 9,000 Pound Fish Out of Water, Alone in Alaska", brought national attention to African elephant Maggie's life at the Alaska Zoo. The Zoo's board of directors eventually voted to send Maggie to PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary; she arrived there in November 2007. Ms. Kershaw was known for her ability to spot trends and produce quirky feature articles. 

Amelia Tiger Passes Away

Twelve years ago Amelia was one of the first of 39 tigers to arrive at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary from the now defunct "Tiger Rescue" facility in Colton, California. Her earlier life of neglect and cruelty turned into one where she was treated with dignity, compassion, and expert care at PAWS. This historic rescue in 2004 remains the single largest rescue of tigers in the U.S. to date. (Click here to view the documentary "39 Tigers", the story of the Colton tiger rescue.) 

Amelia was always playful and youthful, even in her later years. Described by PAWS' tiger supervisor Renae Smith as "a bright little star," her lighthearted spirit and antics brought a smile to all who knew her. Amelia always loved the male tigers, and for many years was especially close with Ravi and Ray. Even when Ravi wanted his space, Amelia seemed glued to his side and would not leave him alone. After both Ravi and Ray passed away, Amelia made friends with neighbor tigers Jake and Couch. Each tiger yard has a pool and every morning Jake and Amelia would play a game by hiding behind their pools, simultaneously pouncing out, running around, splashing in the pool, and then hiding again. Keepers Al and Steve remember her especially lively tail, which was constantly wiggling and twitching.
Amelia's various health problems never seemed to dampen her spirits. Some, like pancreatic disease and chronic digestive problems, were likely caused by poor nutrition and care before she came to PAWS. When she was diagnosed with kidney disease over two years ago, PAWS' dedicated team of tiger keepers made sure that she took a host of medications twice a day, carefully hidden in her favorite foods. Amelia thrived on the special attention of her caregivers, until her kidney disease recently became more severe. When Amelia's appetite suddenly declined, and her usual spark was missing, the heart-wrenching but most compassionate decision was made to euthanize her to prevent suffering. Amelia passed from this life on March 2, surrounded by those who loved her and took such excellent care of her.

*  *  *  *  *

Kidney disease is very common in older cats, large and small. Medications and nutritional supplements can help these animals feel better by supporting kidney function and helping them live longer, healthier lives. All of our older tigers receive daily supplements so we have an ongoing need for them. To help support our care of these very deserving older animals, please donate by clicking hereYou can also help by purchasing supplements from our Amazon Wish List.

Good News for Animals
SeaWorld has announced that it will no longer breed orcas, signaling an eventual end to the use of these animals for display. The company will also phase out its theatrical shows using orcas. While this is great news, those orcas still held by SeaWorld will live out their lives in deprivation, some for decades to come. PAWS supports the development of seaside sanctuaries so captive cetaceans like SeaWorld's orcas can experience a life far closer to what is natural for them.
PAWS salutes the Spokane City Council for its 6-1 vote to prohibit the use of bullhooks on elephants. Spokane joins a dozen other US municipalities that have banned the use of this cruel weapon to control elephants.
Kudos to the Beaconsfield, Canada, city council for prohibiting visiting circuses that use animals for entertainment.
Props to World Animal Protection for its campaign that has resulted in over 100 tour companies across the globe no longer offering visits to destinations where elephant rides are offered.


  Above: Oma is one of seven bears living at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary.

May 14 ARK 2000 Open House
Tickets are now on sale for our ARK 2000 Open House to be held on Saturday, May 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for seniors (60 and over) and $25 for children age 12 and under. Tickets must be purchased in advance - we do not sell tickets at the gate on the day of the event.
Two ways to purchase: Click here to buy online and print your tickets at home; or call 209-745-2606, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST, to charge by phone. Visit our calendar of events page for more information. Online ticket sales close on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

Save the Date: PAWS' 2016 Conference

PAWS is currently in the planning stages for its 2016 Captive Wild Animal Conference which will take place November 11-13 in San Andreas, California, home to PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary. The conference 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 a list of speakers and registration information soon.

A BIG Thank You!

March Amazon Wish List Donors
William Fedun: one radio/walkie-talkie set, one 48-pack AA batteries, one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat, one box of #10 envelopes. Patricia L. Connelly: two Mead Classic 3 x 2 whiteboards, one 10x10 pop up tent. Dave Michaels: one gallon Red Cell. Jerika Heinze: six boxes of Raisin Bran. Alice C. Witt: one 10x10 pop up tent, one 10 lb. Psyllium. Brittany Wolff: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat. Anonymous donors: two bottles CosequinDS, 250#, two 30 lb. bags of Blue Buffalo.
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!
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List items on EBAY and choose PAWS as your charity. Donate a percentage of each sale to the animals. Visit our EBAY charity listing page here. Start selling!

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and Matching Fund Programs
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Galt, CA 95632
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