Asian bull elephant Prince at ARK 2000


Join with PAWS and make a difference!


World Elephant Day is a time for action to help protect elephants from the many threats they face around the globe today. Most pressing is the need to defend African elephants from the scourge of poaching for the ivory trade, but we must also remember those elephants who suffer in captivity, including those used for "entertainment."


Help PAWS spread the message that elephants are not ours to use for trinkets, recreation, entertainment or display.


Elephants are self-aware, intelligent and emotional animals who thrive in a network of extended families living in a dynamic natural environment. They convey culture to their offspring, are empathetic in nature, and mourn their dead. At the same time, elephants are killed for their tusks to feed the growing desire for ivory trinkets and sculptures, abused to provide tourists with paintings and rides, confined in small enclosures for their entire lives, and made to perform unnatural tricks and give rides at the point of a bullhook.


Don't be fooled! Keeping elephants in captivity does not protect elephants and it does not conserve them in their homelands. No elephant bred in captivity will be reintroduced to the wild - the standard by which true conservation is measured. To save elephants, we must protect them in the wild where they now live and should continue to live for millennia to come.


10 Ways You Can Help Elephants


1. Support PAWS! We established the first elephant sanctuary in the U.S. and continue to provide a model for a more enlightened way to care for elephants already in captivity. Your contributions allow us to supply professional care for our 8 Asian and African elephants, including bull elephants Nicholas and Prince. We are the only U.S. sanctuary to care for male elephants. Your support also allows us to advocate for an end to the use of elephants and other wild animals in entertainment, and to help pass legislation that protects elephants around the world. To make a donation, click here.


2. Spread the word! Educate your friends about the need to cherish and protect elephants everywhere. On Friday, August 12, take a stand on World Elephant Day by changing your Facebook icon to the "I Support World Elephant Day" logo below. (Click on the image below; then right-click and save/copy the file.)



3. Avoid circuses that use animals, elephant rides, or any other use of elephants for entertainment - at home and when traveling, including on so-called "eco tours." Choose only eco-tourism operators that support local elephant conservation projects and treat elephants with respect and dignity.


4. Contact businesses sponsoring events that exploit elephants, including circuses and elephant rides at county/state fairs and Renaissance fairs. Express your concern about public safety and the cruel treatment of elephants, and ask the business to withdraw its sponsorship of the event.


5. Get active in your community! You can help pass laws to better protect elephants used in circuses, county and state fairs, and other events. For assistance, contact Catherine Doyle, PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy at


6. Support conservation organizations working in the field, such as the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and ElephantVoices.


7. Don't buy into sham "conservation" claims. Question the breeding of elephants in captivity and confining them in small enclosures that cause lifelong physical and psychological harm.


8. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, educating people about the need to protect elephants in captivity and the wild.


9. Be a kind educator! Teach children and adults about how unique and wonderful elephants are and why we must ensure their continued existence on our planet. Inspire compassion!


10. Register for PAWS' 2016 International Captive Wildlife Conference, November 11-12 in San Andreas, California, and learn more about elephants and other captive exotic animals from many of the world's leading experts.

Click here for details.


The Performing Animal Welfare Society
P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632
Office Hours: M-F, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST