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PAWS IS HOME TO
3 ASIAN AND 5 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS
15-Year Anniversary at PAWS
It was in 2002 that a small, human-dependent coyote (pictured above) first arrived at PAWS. We named her Jackie. She had been found by the side of a road by a well-meaning person who, instead of leaving her alone or taking her to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, took Jackie home and fed her with a bottle as if she were a young domestic dog. In a home setting, with intensive human contact, Jackie quickly became very attached to the person who found her, losing her natural fear of people. This made her a poor candidate for successful return to a life in the wild.
It is critically important for young coyotes to learn from their own mothers how to survive. Wild mothers often leave their small pups alone and hidden for extended periods of time while they look for food. When people come across these pups they may mistakenly think they have been abandoned or orphaned, and attempt to intervene. Unfortunately, once a young coyote becomes habituated to people it is extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to completely "re-wild" them. They will always remember that people are a source of food and shelter. If a hand-raised coyote is released into the wild there is always a chance the animal will seek human attention and may end up being killed because coyotes are often seen as a danger to humans and pets.
Jackie's enclosure at our Galt sanctuary is filled with tall grasses to hide in and soft soil for digging. She likes to curl up and watch the world from hiding spots she has created among tufts of grass. Although she remains rather aloof with most of her keepers, she seems to enjoy visits from PAWS' co-founder Ed Stewart and veterinarian Dr. Jackie Gai. Jackie was also especially fond of PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, who often "sang" with Jackie, resulting in a joyous display of tail wagging and howling from this sweet coyote.
One November morning just over a year and half ago, Jackie suffered a stroke. It was a sudden and devastating event that rendered her partially paralyzed and disoriented. Because of her trust and affection for Dr. Gai, whom she literally leaned on for support while re-learning to stand and walk, she gradually regained her strength and mobility over a period of several weeks. (To read more about Jackie's stroke and her journey back to health, click here.)
Thanks to her strength and determination, as well as supportive medications and nutritional supplements, Jackie recovered well from this setback and was soon back to her playful, curious self. In terms of coyote lifespan, Jackie is considered elderly and although she has a hitch in her gait due to neurologic damage from the stroke, she is content and active and still enjoys visits with her favorite people.
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New Video of Mack the Bear
Makes Quite a Splash!
Mack is an orphaned, three-legged black bear who arrived at PAWS in August 2016. During the nine months since his arrival, he has made himself right at home at our Galt sanctuary. Mack lives in a specially-designed habitat that is safe and easy to navigate for a young bear with a disability. Although no one knows how he lost part of his leg, it is suspected that it may have been traumatically amputated in a trap.
Mack has not let his rough start in life slow him down. He spends hours each day exploring his enclosure and playing in his pool. He especially loves the fountain-like stream of water that his keepers set up for him. Read Mack's story here, and click on the photo above to watch a new, heartwarming video of this special bear.
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Take Action to Stop Big Cats
Export to German Circus
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has published a notice that Feld Entertainment, owner of the recently closed Ringling Bros. Circus, is applying for an Endangered Species Act permit to export 15 big cats (lions, tigers and a leopard) to the Zirkus Krone in Germany. Rather than send the cats to a sanctuary or other acceptable location, these animals will instead continue to endure the inhumane conditions that are inseparable from circuses, including constant travel, intensive confinement and abusive training methods.
Issuance of a permit by the FWS requires an applicant to demonstrate that the underlying activity for which the permit is sought will enhance the propagation or survival of the species. In reality, the use of big cats in circuses fails to educate the public or provide any conservation benefit for the species. In fact, research has shown that seeing an endangered species such as the chimpanzee in an entertainment context can hinder conservation efforts. Still, the FWS has historically engaged in a controversial "pay-to-play" approach that enables an applicant to make a token donation to a conservation program to fulfill the conservation enhancement requirement.
Please click here to submit a comment to the FWS by June 26, 2017, in opposition to issuance of a permit to export the big cats to Germany. (The application is available for viewing on the website.) In your comments, please reference Feld Entertainment, Inc., PRT-22685C. Thank you!
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Pictured above: Kenny, an inbred white tiger.
Photo courtesy of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.
More PAWS Advocacy. . .
Fighting the inhumane breeding
of big cat hybrids
PAWS is proud to be part of a group of organizations that recently submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeking to end the creation of "Frankencats" - tiger and lion hybrids that include ligers, tigons and liligers (see descriptions below). The breeding of these unnatural hybrids produces cats who are more likely to experience a range of debilitating health problems than other big cats. Other group members include Animal Legal Defense Fund, Big Cat Rescue, Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Keepers of the Wild, Lions, Tigers & Bears, PETA Foundation and The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Ligers are the result of breeding a female tiger with a male lion, and tigons result from breeding a female lion and a male tiger. Liligers are the result of breeding a male lion with a female liger. White tigers are also highly inbred, and, contrary to misleading claims, have no conservation value. While better-run zoos prohibit such breeding, these unfortunate big cats can be found in roadside zoos across the U.S.
For more information on the efforts to outlaw the breeding of "Frankencats", click here to read the article, "Ligers and tigons: activists aim to outlaw 'inhumane' breeding of frankencats" published on May 19, 2017, by theguardian.com.
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"Elephants Among Us: Two Performing Elephants in 20th Century America"
All too often the sad lives and deaths of captive elephants go unrecorded or they are lost with time. In "Elephants Among Us: Two Performing Elephants in 20th Century America", with the foreword written by PAWS President Ed Stewart, author Mike Jaynes sets out to preserve the memories of elephants Stoney and Mary. Though they lived decades apart, their stories are united by their exploitation for "entertainment" and their tragic ends.
The greater part of "Elephants Among Us" chronicles the plight of Stoney, a male Asian elephant who was crippled when his rear leg hamstring snapped while practicing a hind leg stand for a Las Vegas show. In excruciating pain and unable to stand, he was relegated to a windowless building. That's when fearless animal activist Linda Faso joined forces with PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, to fight for Stoney.
Jaynes effectively uses first-hand accounts of events, both for Stoney and the elephant Mary, whose much older story is told in the latter part of the book. While the subject matter may be difficult, Jaynes' meticulous research and interesting perspectives keep you engaged. After reading this book you will never forget these elephants - and that's how it should be.
Click here to order your copy of "Elephants Among Us."
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Eight New Tigers to ARK 2000
In January we reported on the arrival at ARK 2000 of the first four of eight tigers coming to PAWS from a defunct roadside zoo (read story here). We are happy to report that the remaining four tigers arrived safely at PAWS in February and are settling in nicely. It was extremely gratifying to watch as they stepped out of their transport cages and onto the lush green grass of their new habitat. The "Colorado Eight" now have a peaceful, lifetime home at PAWS.
Meet the "Colorado Eight"
Marin, 18-year-old female
Pharaoh, 14-year-old male
Sawyer, 9-year-old female
Bigelow, Nimmo and Wilhelm, 6-year-old brothers
Morris, 5-year-old male
Rosemary Arnot, 5-year-old female
We urgently need your support for these tigers because some of them will require spay and neuter surgery and others arrived with chronic health conditions that must be treated. Your contribution for the "Colorado Eight" will provide them with a healthy diet and lifetime, expert care at PAWS. To make a donation, click here. To "adopt" one of the Colorado Eight tigers, visit our tiger adoption page here.
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PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby, and African elephant 71, walking through the hills at ARK 2000. Pat and Ed rescued 71 in 1986; she was PAWS' founding elephant. 71 died in 2008 - read about her here.
Pat Derby: A Life Dedicated
to Protecting Captive Wildlife
Pat Derby, co-founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, was a champion for captive wild and exotic animals, particularly those used in “entertainment.” Working side by side with her partner, current PAWS’ president and co-founder Ed Stewart, they set a new standard of care for captive wildlife, including establishing the first elephant sanctuary in the U.S. Sadly, Pat lost a long battle with cancer and passed away on February 15, 2013. But her spirit continues to live in PAWS’ rescue, sanctuary, and advocacy work.
Taking Action for Performing Wild Animals
In the 1960s and 70s, Pat was best known for her work as an animal trainer on Hollywood film and television productions, including “Gunsmoke”, “Lassie”, “Daktari”, and “Flipper.” She was the trainer for cougars Chauncey and Christopher, who graced the Lincoln Mercury “Sign of the Cat” ad campaign, and were the most recognized advertising symbols in the country at the time. Behind the scenes, Pat witnessed the pervasive neglect and abuse of performing wild animals and decided to take action. She wrote a tell-all book, The Lady and Her Tiger, exposing the inhumane treatment and calling for better standards of animal care and handling. The book went on to win an American Library Association Award and was a Book of the Month Club selection. With this bold action, Pat became the first to champion the cause of performing wild animals – and later campaigned for those in circuses and other “entertainment” – and inspired modern animal protection organizations to take up this important cause.
The Performing Animal Welfare Society is Born
Pat met Ed Stewart in 1976, and the two spent the next few years promoting The Lady & Her Tiger with television appearances on the “Today Show”, the “Tonight Show”, “The Merv Griffin Show” and other national media outlets. They also toured extensively, educating people about the serious welfare problems suffered by performing animals. In 1984 Pat and Ed established the Performing Animal Welfare Society to formalize their captive wildlife protection work. Their first effort was to create standards for the care of captive wildlife in California, which they achieved that same year with the enactment of Assembly Bill 1620. They also began investigating, protesting and exposing the abuse of wild animals in circuses. In 1986, Pat and Ed established their first sanctuary in Galt, California, to care for abused and abandoned captive wildlife. Today, under Ed’s leadership, PAWS operates three sanctuaries in California for captive wild and exotic animals, including the 2,300-acre ARK 2000 natural habitat refuge in San Andreas that is home to elephants, big cats and bears. It is the only accredited sanctuary in the country to house male elephants.
Leadership in Animal Care and Advocacy
Pat remained an outspoken advocate for captive wild animals until the end. As a recognized expert on the care of captive wildlife, she testified twice before Congress on efforts to end the use of elephants in traveling shows. She also served on several state committees to set standards for the care and handling of captive wildlife, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director’s Advisory Committee on the Humane Care and Treatment of Wild Animals, a position now filled by Ed.
Pat’s Legacy for the Animals
Pat’s bravery and vision for a better life for captive wildlife helped lay the groundwork for the profound changes we are seeing today, including the public’s increasing rejection of the use of wild animals in entertainment, whether elephants and tigers in circuses or orcas in marine parks, and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to an end. Her battle against the use of cruel elephhant bullhooks has resulted in statewide bans in California and Rhode Island, with PAWS playing an integral role in their passage.
Pat remains an inspiration to everyone at PAWS and to the greater animal protection community. Her determination and fighting spirit continue to drive PAWS’ efforts to create a more just and humane world for captive wild animals, each and every day.
Read Ed Stewart's 2013 tribute to Pat Derby here.
The following videos were created in honor of Pat Derby and shown during the PAWS 30th Anniversary Gala and the International Captive Wildlife Conference in November 2014.
The early years. (click on the picture to play video.)
It had to begin with elephants. (click on the picture to play video.)
Through our public awareness campaigns, more and more actively concerned individuals are becoming aware of the problems inherent in the breeding of wildlife in captivity and the use of animals in entertainment. Learn More »
PAWS Celebrates Opening of
The Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center
Earlier this year PAWS celebrated the opening of the Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center, named in honor of the late PAWS co-founder. The facility allows on-site diagnosis and treatment of animals, sparing them the stress of transport to a specialty veterinary facility. Guests at this special, invitation-only event included many of the generous donors who helped make this dream a reality, as well as veterinarians and medical professionals.
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Second Dental Procedure
by Dr. Jackie Gai, PAWS Director of Veterinary Services
On April 18th, African elephant Maggie underwent a second dental procedure of mammoth proportions at ARK 2000. A team of 28 animal care professionals worked together to safely put Maggie under general anesthesia and address her dental problems. The team was organized and led by representatives of the Colyer Institute, and included professionals from the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Oakland Zoo, the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and 15 members of PAWS' elephant care and veterinary staff. It "takes a village" to accomplish a procedure of this size, and every individual played a significant role.
Maggie's dental team was made up of five people, including two veterinarians and a dentist who treats both humans and animals. Surprisingly, elephants have a very small mouth relative to their enormous body size. There is actually room for only one person to perform work inside the oral cavity at a time (photo, below). Heavy equipment and power tools are necessary to place the elephant's head and mouth in the proper position and to trim or extract their massive teeth.
General anesthesia is a very delicate and tricky procedure for an elephant. Elephants can suffocate under the weight of their own organs if they lie down in certain positions, so it was critically important to carefully and quickly assist Maggie onto her side once the anesthetic drugs began to take effect. Strength, special equipment and choreography are all necessary to assure safe positioning. PAWS' president, Ed Stewart, led members of our elephant care staff in both assisting Maggie down and giving her support in getting up at the end of the procedure (photo, below). The anesthesia team was composed of 12 people, each with a specific task such as administering I.V. fluids or anesthetic drugs, monitoring vital signs and maintaining ventilation.
Dental problems appear to be fairly common in captive elephants in the U.S., and can lead to death from malnutrition or infection if not corrected. Elephants usually have six sets of molar teeth during their lifetimes, which erupt from the back of the mouth, migrate forward toward the front of the mouth, and are eventually shed in segments while a new molar grows in from behind. Unfortunately, some elephants have deformed teeth that become impacted instead of shed, or curve towards the cheek or tongue. While the definitive cause of these deformities is not yet known, it is speculated that inadequate nutrition at a very young age may play a role. All of the teeth that an elephant will have in his or her lifetime are present as small buds in the upper and lower jawbones when they are babies. These immature teeth can be permanently damaged by poor nutrition during important developmental stages of life, causing deformed teeth to erupt decades later.
Maggie has three abnormal molars, with the two bottom molars most affected. Normal teeth are oval in shape, and move straight from the back to the front of the mouth, but Maggie's teeth are curved and are moving towards her tongue and cheek instead of forward. An additional complication is that her jawbone has grown firmly around the base of at least one tooth, anchoring it in its abnormal position and preventing normal movement of this tooth and the teeth behind it. Because of the severity and complexity of Maggie's dental problems, she will probably need procedures like this on an annual basis until they are corrected.
We are grateful to the Colyer Institute for bringing together some of the world's most experienced elephant professionals to help Maggie. Their team members have successfully anesthetized hundreds of elephants, and have a vast amount of experience with elephant dentistry. Some of the participants in Maggie's procedure volunteered their time and expertise, and we are also very grateful to them for their generosity.
The total cost for this procedure is approximately $70,000 and includes not only fees associated with the visiting team, but a virtual mountain of fluids, medications, diagnostic materials, and other consumable veterinary supplies.
Please make a donation to help offset the cost of Maggie's procedure and support our mission of providing excellent care to all the animals at PAWS. To make a contribution, click here. To everyone who has already donated to Maggie's dental care, we sincerely thank you!
Maggie (above left) recovered beautifully from her dental procedure and the next morning was outside mud bathing and happily munching on grass with her close friends Lulu and Toka.
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Special Veterinary Care
For Tiger Roy
Thirteen-year old tiger Roy came to PAWS as a cub with his sisters, Kim and Claire, when the roadside zoo where they were born was shut down. The young cubs were products of "puppy mill"-style breeding, to produce a steady supply of cubs to be used for photo sessions with the public, handling and petting, and other exploitative uses. Captive tigers in these situations are often encouraged to breed with their own siblings, parents or other close relatives in order to produce desired color mutations. Until they were rescued, Roy, Kim and Claire were destined to become part of this cycle of abuse, including breeding when they became mature enough. Roy's crossed eyes and crooked spine are examples of the kinds of genetic defects often associated with irresponsible breeding.
In October 2016, keepers at PAWS noticed an unusual appearance on the surface of Roy's left eye, and our veterinary staff prescribed appropriate antiviral and antibiotic medications that were carefully hidden in his food. Roy seemed healthy in every other way, active, and alert with a good appetite. Keepers and veterinary staff regularly checked on his eyes, and the lesions seemed to be quiet and even looked like they were healing. In late March, however, Roy's left eye suddenly and unexpectedly became very inflamed. PAWS' veterinarians examined his eyes under anesthesia and discovered that his left cornea was severely damaged beyond repair, and that he was now blind in that eye. In order to relieve pain and prevent severe infection, the decision was made to remove his eye.
On April 7th, Roy was brought into The Pat Derby Animal Wellness Center for surgery. This recently completed facility is ARK 2000's first on-site clinic, with state-of-the-art equipment that enables us to provide the best veterinary care possible. Roy's surgery was the first major procedure to take place in the Wellness Center, which was designed to easily accommodate important procedures on large animals. Dr. Jennifer Curtis performed Roy's enucleation surgery, assisted by Dr. Jackie Gai. PAWS' staff registered veterinary technician Lynn Dowling monitored anesthesia and provided a vital support role, assisted by longtime PAWS friend and supporter Kirk Stafford, RVT. PAWS' president, Ed Stewart, sanctuary manager, Brian Busta, and tiger staff were also instrumental in making this surgery safe and successful.
Roy recovered quickly after surgery, and almost immediately seemed more comfortable. Tissue and other samples collected during surgery will be analyzed by U.C. Davis and Cornell diagnostic laboratories in an effort to determine the underlying cause of his eye lesions. Dr. Gai has also been consulting with veterinary ophthalmologists at U.C. Davis. Our veterinarians have developed a treatment plan intended to keep Roy's remaining eye healthy. His condition is very unusual, and every effort is being made to keep him comfortable and preserve his vision. We thank Kirk Stafford for generously volunteering his time and lending his expertise to help Roy.
Your support is vital to our veterinary program and providing expert medical care to the animals at our sanctuaries. Click here to make a donation to PAWS today.
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Above: Alexander, black leopard
PAWS' Animal Habitats Designed
to Encourage Natural Behaviors
Every animal living at a PAWS sanctuary receives expert care tailored specifically to the individual's needs and preferences. This comprehensive approach to animal care incorporates a broad spectrum of factors intended to promote physical and emotional health and overall well-being. Habitats at PAWS' 2,300-acre ARK 2000 sanctuary are thoughtfully designed and constructed to give animals room to roam and include elements that encourage them to express their natural instincts like digging, climbing, swimming, and foraging for food.
Wild leopards will often climb trees to find a safe place to rest and when not in trees they are experts at hiding in tall grass where they stalk their prey. Though PAWS' black leopard Alexander was born in captivity, like most captive wild animals he is genetically hard-wired with the instincts of a wild leopard. Alexander's habitat at ARK 2000 includes a majestic oak and many pine trees, but one of his favorite places to spend his days is resting high up on a specially-designed platform where he can watch birds and observe all of the activities of the sanctuary.
When Alexander moved into his new habitat at ARK 2000 in 2013, he explored every inch of it and seemed especially excited about a tall platform with big logs leaning against it. From atop this elevated perch, he can alternate between taking comfortable naps and gazing at the world below. When watchful keepers noticed that an area of the platform was beginning to wear down and needed replacement, they put the word out and PAWS volunteer Joey Harvey stepped up to make repairs and build a beautiful new ramp for Alexander. Joey has generously given his time and talents over the past several years to construct a number of elevated wooden platforms for PAWS' lions and tigers, which the animals truly enjoy.
Confiscated from a private home in Texas after injuring a child, Alexander was 11 months old when he arrived at PAWS' Galt sanctuary in 1998. He lived in Galt for 13 years, and although he was comfortable, it was the dream of PAWS' co-founder, the late Pat Derby, to give Alex a special place to live: a much larger, tree-filled habitat that he could explore and enjoy. Pat's dream was made possible by an incredibly generous donor, and in 2013 Alexander moved from Galt to his new home at ARK 2000. Click here to watch the video of his move.
PAWS is forever grateful for the support of our donors and volunteers, whose dedication to the animals greatly enhances the quality of care that we strive to provide. Heartfelt thanks to Audrey Steele Burnand and family for donating the funds to build Alexander's habitat, and to Joey Harvey for building the new ramp for Alexander.
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Thank you May Amazon
"Wish List" Donors
Patricia L. Connelly: one 2-pack of Purell hand sanitizer. James C. Cooper: one, 10 lb. tub of Psyllium, one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat. Teresa Dillinger (donated in memory of her mother, Jean L.H. Anderson): one 2-pack of Purell hand sanitizer, one bottle of Renal Essentials. Carole Bognar: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium, three Probiocin. Yanina Vashcenko: one pack of AAA Batteries, 60#. Anonymous Donors: one gallon of bleach, one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#, one gallon of Red Cell, one 10 lb. tub of Psyllium, one gallon of Red Cell.
View wish list items that are needed, but not included on our Amazon list here.
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