How Grazing in the Grass
Benefits Captive Elephants
The winter and early spring rains in Calaveras County have produced an abundance of tall, green grass at ARK 2000. The elephants spend long hours munching on this rich and bountiful delicacy as they traverse their spacious, natural habitats (African elephant Mara is pictured above.). We intuitively know that fresh vegetation is good for elephants, but what exactly are the benefits of these dietary components?
Green, leafy vegetation is an excellent source of nutrients including vitamin E, a critically important component of elephant nutrition that contributes to a healthy immune system, and healthy skin, muscle and heart function. The very act of grazing has multiple benefits including reinforcement of social bonds, strengthening muscles, and engaging the mind and body in meaningful activity.
The tip of an elephant's trunk is finely coordinated, strong, and shows remarkable dexterity when manipulating objects. When grazing, elephants tend to gather a bundle of grass with roots and soil attached to it. Each elephant has his or her own

Asian bull elephant Nicholas enjoys grazing in the tall grass in his habitat. At times he even chooses to wear some of it.
unique way of eating grass, as distinctive as the individual's personality. Maggie places a bunch of grass in just the right spot in her mouth, and uses her teeth to "snip" off the roots, letting them fall to ground before chewing and swallowing the leafy part of the grass. Toka will sometimes hold her grass bundles close to the ground and use one foot to break off the some of the root ball before chewing the rest. Gypsy taps her grass bundle against her leg or a tree to dislodge soil before eating. Nicholas not only loves to graze, but on occasion likes to wear clumps of grass on his head! 
In nature, wild elephants may spend up to 80% of their day foraging for food and water. Guided by seasonal availability, as well as cultural wisdom passed down through generations, elephants are specially adapted to take advantage of whatever vegetation is available to satisfy their nutritional requirements. After the rainy season when grass is abundant, elephants consume large amounts of it. In dry seasons, elephants still consume grass, but also eat more tree bark, leaves, branches, and other "woody" plant material.
Sadly, in many captive elephant facilities, grass is either sparse or non-existent. In these places, elephants subsist on hay, pellets, vegetables and fruit provided by human keepers. If grass does exist near elephant enclosures, it is usually for the purpose of making the area aesthetically pleasing to the zoo visitor. Trees, plants and grass inside the enclosures are typically surrounded by electrified "hot wire" to prevent the elephants from eating them. Not so at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary, where every habitat has a variety of seasonal grasses, trees and other year-round vegetation for the elephants to enjoy to their hearts' content. In addition, PAWS elephants are also provided with a variety of browse, fruits, vegetables, pellets and hay to ensure that all of their nutritional needs are met.

Click on the video below to watch African elephants Toka and Thika grazing in their habitat.

Toka and Thika Grazing
Video: Toka and Thika Grazing.

Maggie happily grazing a few days after her dental work.

Animal Care at PAWS:
Maggie Undergoes Major Dental Procedure
by Dr. Jackie Gai, DVM
An important part of caring for the wild animals at PAWS is maintaining dental health. When your patient is an elephant who requires a major dental procedure, it becomes a task of major proportions. On April 26th, 36-year-old African elephant Maggie was examined under general anesthesia for treatment of an impacted molar tooth in the lower right side of her mouth. This procedure, which took place at PAWS' ARK 2000, involved a team of over 25 experienced elephant care experts from across the U.S., including nine veterinarians, one dentist who normally treats humans, three registered veterinary technicians, and members of PAWS' elephant staff team. Under the experienced guidance of the Colyer

Veterinary team works with African elephant Maggie to treat an impacted molar tooth.
Institute, a non-profit organization specializing in the treatment of dental disease in elephants and other wild animals, Maggie was safely and expertly anesthetized and part of her malformed molar tooth was removed.
Months of intense preparation were required for this procedure, including gathering hundreds of pounds of specialized equipment and supplies. Using reward-based positive reinforcement methods, PAWS' Elephant Manager Brian Busta, President and Co-founder Ed Stewart, and our expert team of elephant keepers trained Maggie for several behaviors that were essential for proper positioning and to help her stay calm during anesthesia induction and recovery.
Dental disease is common in captive elephants and if untreated can even lead to loss of life in severe cases. Tusks, which are actually modified incisor teeth, may crack, break or split and become infected, requiring partial removal or complete extraction. Molar teeth, which normally are shed and replaced as elephants age, may become impacted and deformed, leading to abscesses and eventually the inability to chew properly. There are a number of theories as to why these problems occur in molar teeth. Some think that the improper nutrition elephants may have received as young calves may play a role in the development of dental disease later in life as adults. Maggie was born in Zimbabwe in 1980. She was captured for the zoo trade when she was just one year old, after her mother and other family members were killed in a cull (the systematic killing of adult elephants by the government in order to control populations encroaching upon human civilization).
Due to the number of people involved, the amount of equipment necessary, and the time required, this procedure was very expensive, costing PAWS approximately $70,000. While considered successful in that part of Maggie's abnormal tooth was removed, we unfortunately discovered that Maggie's dental disease is more complicated than first thought. Maggie will likely require at least two more anesthetized procedures for advanced imaging (digital X-rays of her jaw), and to attempt to correct or extract the rest of her impacted and malformed molar teeth.

Throughout this experience, both before and after her procedure, Maggie's dental problems have had no effect on her appetite or her ability to chew and digest her food and she has been as active as ever. 
If you would like to support the health care of Maggie and the other wild and exotic animals at PAWS, please make a contribution today by clicking here.

Above: Dr. Cynthia Moss with Ed Stewart and African elephant Thika.

Famed Elephant Expert
Dr. Cynthia Moss Visits ARK 2000
World-renowned elephant scientist, Dr. Cynthia Moss, recently paid a visit to ARK 2000, staying with us for several days before her appearance as keynote speaker for the annual Celebrating Elephants event at The Oakland Zoo on May 21. Dr. Moss is the Co-Founder and Director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) and Program Director and Trustee of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE). Since 1972 she has lived with and studied the elephants of Kenya's

L-R: ARK 2000 sanctuary manager Brian Busta,
Dr. Betsy Swart, Dr. Jackie Gai, DVM,
and Dr. Cynthia Moss.
Amboseli National Park. Her pioneering work has revealed most of what we know today about elephant behavior and social structure, and she tirelessly works to raise awareness about the devastating effects of the ivory trade on elephants. 
Accompanying Dr. Moss was Dr. Betsy Swart, the U.S. Executive Director of ATE and longtime friend of PAWS. During their visit, PAWS staff was incredibly fortunate to be able to spend time with these dedicated and influential women. Together, we observed PAWS elephants and had many enlightening and inspiring discussions about elephant behavior, as well as some of the issues and challenges facing elephants both in the wild and in captivity.
Members of PAWS' staff and board attended the Celebrating Elephants event to support ATE and hear Dr. Moss talk about the elephants of Amboseli National Park and AERP's most recent research. This included studies on the effects of serious drought on the elephant population (the population has bounced back with a bounty of elephant calves!) and on the lives of young male elephants and what occurs during the time after they leave their families at about age 14. ATE also continues to track the movement of elephants as they navigate a landscape increasingly filled with human settlements.
PAWS is proud to support Dr. Moss and ATE. Please click here for more information on ATE's critical work for elephants.

Update: SB 1062
Bill to Ban Bullhooks in California
In April the California state Senate passed SB 1062, the bill introduced by state senator Ricardo Lara that would ban the use of cruel bullhooks on elephants, by a vote of 29-9. The bill now moves to the Assembly where it will be heard next month in the Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.
The bullhook resembles a fireplace poker, with a sharpened steel tip and hook at the end. Handlers strike, prod and hook elephants, using the bullhook to exert control through pain and fear. Today there is a safer and more humane way of managing elephants that uses positive reinforcement training, food treats and praise. With this method, keepers provide excellent husbandry and veterinary care without the use of intimidation and painful punishment. No AZA-accredited zoo in California uses bullhooks, and we have never used a bullhook at PAWS.
It is time for California to end the use of this barbaric device. The cities of Los Angeles and Oakland have banned 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 is working collaboratively with The Humane Society of the U.S. and the Oakland Zoo to pass SB 1062.
For more information, please contact Catherine Doyle, PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy, at [email protected].

Special Event:
Los Angeles Premiere of the Documentary
Gods In Shackles - June 19
If you live in the Los Angeles area, you won't want to miss the premiere of the award-winning documentary, Gods In Shackles, which follows executive producer and director Sangita Iyer as she reveals the dark side of the southern Indian state of Kerala's glamorous cultural festivals where temple elephants are exploited for profit under the guise of culture and religion.
This special event will take place on June 19 at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood, and offers a delicious vegan Indian dinner, wine, red carpet screening and exclusive Q&A with Ms. Iyer.
Gods In Shackles has won six film festival awards and was a finalist at the prestigious International Elephant Film Festival at United Nations General Assembly on World Wildlife Day. The film is also having a direct impact for elephants: The Supreme Court of India is examining more than 200 hours of undercover footage collected by Ms. Iyer as evidence in a case against cruel elephant owners and brokers who rent them out for profit. 
PAWS President Ed Stewart and Director of Science, Research & Advocacy Catherine Doyle, who was a judge for the International Elephant Film Festival, will be attending the screening. Catherine states: "This is a must-see film for anyone who cares about elephants and wants to make a difference for them around the world."
Click here for information about the screening of Gods In Shackles and to purchase tickets. You can view a trailer for Gods In Shackles below.

Gods In Shackles Documentary Trailer

Video: "Gods In Shackles" documentary trailer.

A BIG Thank You to Everyone
Who Donated on the BIG Day of Giving!
PAWS thanks everyone who donated on the BIG Day of Giving on May 3rd and helped us not just meet our goal of $25,000, but surpass it! Altogether, you donated $31,037. In addition, PAWS won a $1,500 prize given to the organization participating in the BIG Day of Giving for the first time that receives the most donations.
Your outstanding generosity is providing the animals at PAWS with a new, customizable stock trailer that is much needed for use in rescue operations, moving animals within and between our three sanctuaries, and for transporting animals in need of highly specialized veterinary care. This includes bears, lions, tigers, smaller wild cats, and the many other wild animals we care for at PAWS.
BIG Day of Giving is an annual 24-hour challenge for non-profit organizations in the Sacramento, California, area, but open to donors around the world. It is part of Give Local America, a national day of giving that celebrates philanthropy in communities across the country. 

California Assemblyman Frank Bigelow with Catherine Doyle, 
PAWS' Director of Science, Research and Advocacy.

PAWS Thanks
Frank Bigelow
This month, on behalf of PAWS President Ed Stewart, PAWS' Board of Directors and staff, Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle presented a special certificate of appreciation to California Assemblymember Frank Bigelow, who represents District 5 where ARK 2000 is situated. PAWS recognizes and values his support for the welfare of captive wild animals in our state. Last year the Assemblymember voted in favor of SB 716, the bill to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants, and has voted favorably on other captive wildlife issues. 

PAWS Participates in
Humane Lobby Day in Sacramento
Every year The Humane Society of the U.S. presents Humane Lobby Day in Sacramento, California, an event where concerned citizens have the opportunity to meet with their state legislators and help pass important animal protection bills.
Last week, PAWS Director of Science, Research & Advocacy Catherine Doyle joined John Nam, Consultant at the Office of Senator Ricardo Lara, to present information

California Assembly Bill 797 would allow Good Samaritans to rescue dogs or other animals who are left in hot vehicles.
to more than 100 Humane Lobby Day attendees about SB 1062 which would ban the use of cruel bullhooks on elephants. Senator Lara introduced this important bill and has been an untiring advocate for the elephants it would protect. (See Update on SB 1062 in this newsletter for more information.)
Attendees heard presentations from legislators and others on a range of animal-related bills, received tips on effective lobbying, and participated in an energized rally on the steps of the Capitol focused on AB 797, the bill that would allow Good Samaritans to rescue dogs or other animals who are left in hot vehicles.
For information on a Humane Lobby Day event in your state, click here.

Update: Swaziland Elephant Import
Conservationists around the world warned last year that Swaziland's sale of elephants to US zoos would encourage other countries to sell elephants - and presumably other valuable wildlife - for profit. Still, the Dallas Zoo, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, and the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas imported 17 wild elephants in March, paying Swaziland $450,000 under the mantle of a "conservation partnership" to primarily help rhinos.
Now, Swaziland wants to legalize trade in rhino horn. If successful this move would generate untold millions of dollars for the country, at the cost of escalating international demand for rhino horns and driving rhinos to extinction - apparently with the zoos' help. Read Partnership with Swaziland on Elephant Import May Implicate U.S. Zoos in Destructive Rhino Horn Trade by PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy, Catherine Doyle, for the disturbing story.
PAWS has also learned that a male calf was born to one of the Swaziland elephants at the Dallas Zoo this month, meaning that the zoos knowingly transported a heavily pregnant elephant - putting the mother and calf at risk. (When two U.S. zoos imported elephants from Swaziland in 2003, they purposely selected two pregnant females; only one of them successfully gave birth.)
The zoos still claim to have "rescued" the 17 elephants, even though the zoos themselves are responsible for creating the environment in which Big Game Parks in Swaziland again threatened to cull (kill) elephants if they were not exported to the US. In fact, no southern African country has culled elephants in over 20 years. Paying for wild animals to put on display in zoos clearly creates a market for these animals. This dangerous trade in wildlife puts a price on the heads of elephants and other wildlife and threatens their very existence.

Good News for Animals
Kenya destroyed more than 100 tons of ivory and more than a ton of rhino horns, representing the lost lives of more than 8,000 elephants and 340 rhinos, in the largest burn of illegal wildlife products in history. The event was in protest of the decimation of Africa's wildlife by poaching syndicates, and sends the message that ivory and rhino horns have no value except on living elephants and rhinos. Since Kenya became the first nation to publicly destroy ivory in 1989, at least 15 nations across the world have held public events to eliminate ivory stockpiles.
Please watch the following short video by Rattle the Cage Productions that features renowned experts and PAWS' friends Dr. Joyce Poole of ElephantVoices and Will Travers of the Born Free Foundation talking about the importance of destroying stockpiled ivory.

Video: "Why Burn Ivory" by Tim Gorski and Cathy Cooper for Rattle the Cage Productions

Indonesia burned tiger pelts, ivory and other confiscated wildlife products in its bid to fight illegal poaching and the trade in endangered species. The Indonesian Forestry Ministry and Aceh's Nature Conservation Agency held the event to raise awareness and help fight an estimated $19 billion dollar wildlife trade industry.

PAWS International Captive Wildlife Conference Registration Opens June 15th
Registration opens on June 15th for the PAWS 2016 International Captive Wildlife Conference, November 11-13, 2016. This premier global summit will address the confinement and use of exotic and wild animals - with a special focus on elephants, bears and big cats - and features exceptional speakers from the fields of scientific research, conservation, law, and animal welfare, care and policy.
This year's conference will be held in San Andreas, California, home to PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary. Attendees will be invited to tour the sanctuary on Sunday, November 13, led by PAWS' President Ed Stewart.
PAWS has been presenting outstanding conferences since 1992, attracting people from around the world. Our aim is to educate, stimulate critical discussion and promote action to protect and improve the welfare of captive wildlife.  
Starting on June 15, visit the PAWS Calendar of Events page and follow the link to registration information, list of featured speakers, and conference program. Be sure to register early, as this conference is sure to fill up quickly!

A BIG Thank You!

May Amazon Wish List Donors
Agostino Ippolito: one case of unsalted peanuts. Kitty Hawk: five cases of unsalted peanuts. ADS: one case of unsalted peanuts. Patricia L. Connelly: one  5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat; one box #10 envelopes; one 30 lb. bag of Blue Buffalo. Catherine Kasper: two bottles of AminAvast, 60#; two 10 lb. bags of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin and Coat. Greg and Vernna Werner: one bottle of Wheat Germ Oil, 32 oz; two cases of Oranges, 40 lbs.; one box nitrile gloves; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat. Barbara Greene: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Equine Skin & Coat. Sharon Elkin: one 20 lb. tub of Psyllium. Nina Hostmark: one 20 lb. tub of Psyllium. Anonymous Donor: one 30 lb. bag 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!
PAWS Amazon Wish List

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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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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.

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