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Privacy Policy for the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) PAWS assures unambiguously that: (1) PAWS will not trade, share or sell a donor’s personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations. (2) In special circumstances, PAWS will only share personal information once the donor has given PAWS specific permission to do so. Read more here.

Since 1984, The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has been at the forefront of efforts to rescue and provide appropriate, humane sanctuary for animals who have been the victims of the exotic and performing animal trades. PAWS investigates reports of abused performing and exotic animals, documents cruelty and assists in investigations and prosecutions by regulatory agencies to alleviate the suffering of captive wildlife.


The five elephant habitats at ARK 2000 provide the elephants with hundreds of acres of varied natural terrain to roam, lakes and pools to bathe in, and elephant barns equipped with heated stalls and a indoor therapy pool.
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In memory of Bob Barker

12/12/1923 to 8/26/2023

Remembering Bob Barker

by PAWS' President and CEO Ed Stewart

All of us at the PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary are paying tribute to Bob Barker, celebrating the life of this incredible man and animal activist who passed away on August 26th at age 99.

Bob is greatly responsible for PAWS’ nearly 40 years of success in advocating on behalf of and providing sanctuary to captive wild animals at our 2,300-acre captive wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas, California.

Read more here.

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2023 Is the Year of the Bear!

At PAWS, we care for bears every day. (One of our bears, Ben, is pictured above.) Bears get far less notice than exotic animals like elephants and tigers – although once you learn more about bears, they’re just as fascinating.

As part of our Year of the Bear campaign, PAWS is drawing attention to an animal that deserves more of our respect and protection in the wild and in captivity. Each month in our newsletter we will provide interesting and sometimes little-known facts about bears – their intelligence, agility, and complex behaviors.

Read our 2023 newsletters here.

Take the Pledge for Bears!

Captive bears are overlooked animals – and they suffer more than you know. YOU can make a difference!

Click here to learn more, sign our petition, and take the pledge for bears!

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Celebrating Tigers Rosemary and Morris

Tigers Morris and Rosemary (pictured above) turned 11 years old in May. The two were rescued from a defunct roadside zoo that exploited big cats for profit, selling cruel cub petting sessions and photo ops to the public. They arrived at PAWS in 2017, part of the “Colorado Eight” group of tigers. The siblings (who are spayed and neutered) share a spacious habitat at ARK 2000 filled with trees and native vegetation – yet they couldn’t be more different.

Rosemary is our smallest tiger – with a big personality. Her caregivers describe her as energetic and playful, and report that she loves to spend time in her pool. She also has a knack for annoying her brother.

Morris, on the other hand, is very mellow and laid back, preferring to spend his days lounging in the sun or playing with his large enrichment ball. He is also inquisitive, quietly watching the comings and goings of PAWS staff.

Despite their differences, Rosemary and Morris are very fond of one another. We are proud to provide a lifetime home and loving care for these two special tigers.


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You Can Help Captive Tigers!

By far, the largest number of animals rescued by PAWS are tigers – making them one of the animals most desperately in need of your help. We have rescued tigers from cub petting operations, circuses, roadside zoos, and private owners.

Caring for tigers is expensive. It costs $20,000 to care for one healthy tiger for a year – about $400 a week per big cat. That’s why we need your help.

Your donation to PAWS works in two important ways:

You provide rescued tigers with large habitats filled with trees, grass, pools, and native vegetation. Our expert staff provides daily care, veterinary attention, nutritious food, and 24/7 monitoring.

You support PAWS’ efforts to end the exploitation of tigers for entertainment. Click here to learn more.


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Attention Gunsmoke Fans:

Ongoing Amanda Blake ("Miss Kitty")

Sale to Benefit PAWS

With the closing of the Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge (see article in our January 2023 newsletter here), PAWS began working with Schiff Estate Services in Sacramento, California, to sell many of the valued items from the Amanda Blake Museum – making them available for the first time. Amanda Blake played "Miss Kitty" on the popular TV series Gunsmoke that ran from 1955-1975, though we knew her best as a cherished friend. The series and Miss Kitty have continued to find new fans through re-runs on regular and cable television.

Schiff Estate Services will continue to sell items that were on display in the museum, as well as a selection of Amanda’s personal items kept in storage, until every item as been sold. Framed art, honors and awards, vintage western items, and photographs are among the items that are still available as of August 1st.

Items are currently on display and available for purchase at Schiff’s Estate Sale Building, located at 1309 Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Purchases can be made in person, or over the phone by credit card, and can be shipped anywhere in the United States. Shipping costs vary by item and destination. Visit the Schiff's Estate Services website or call the Schiff Estate Sale Building at (916) 923-1443 for more information.

In addition, PAWS will continue to list items from Amanda’s estate and the museum on eBay. New treasures are listed weekly. Click here to view the items currently up for bid. (eBay auction has been paused until late October so our volunteer can take a vacation break.)

All proceeds go to the care of the rescued and retired elephants, tigers, bears and other wild animals at PAWS’ ARK 2000 sanctuary. Thank you Amanda!


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PAWS Co-Founder Pat Derby:

Remembering a Legendary Figure for Captive Wildlife

On February 15, 2013, we mourned the passing of Pat Derby, who co-founded PAWS with partner and PAWS President Ed Stewart. Pat truly was legendary, known for her ferocity in the battle against animal abusers and her relentless drive to end the exploitation of captive wild animals used for entertainment – whether in circuses, film and TV, the exotic “pet” trade, or zoos.

Pat’s early career as a well-known Hollywood animal trainer planted the seeds for her later rescue and advocacy work. No longer able to tolerate the behind-the-scenes abuse of captive wildlife used for film, TV and advertising, Pat wrote a tell-all book, The Lady and Her Tiger (1976). For the first time, the public got an inside look at a shocking world they never even knew existed. This launched her life’s work to educate the public about the suffering of wild animals for entertainment, and to rescue and provide sanctuary for those in need. In 1984, Pat and Ed founded PAWS to fully realize that vision.

PAWS continues this important work under Ed’s able leadership, always working harder and reaching higher in order to change the world for captive wildlife. While she may not have considered herself to be a legend, no one who met Pat could ever forget her and her great passion for animals. She left an indelible mark on the world and our hearts – and she will never be forgotten.


At PAWS ARK 2000 Sanctuary rescued animals live in peaceful, natural habitats, free from fear, chains, and harsh confinement. They are at complete liberty to act out natural behaviors in the comfort of their individually designed enclosures. PAWS' animals are not bred, traded, sold, rented or forced to perform in any way. PAWS educates the entertainment industry, public officials and the general public in humane care and treatment of captive wildlife.

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 »


Appreciating Elephants

at PAWS' ARK 2000 Sanctuary

National Elephant Appreciation Day is September 22! It’s time to celebrate the seven elephants we care for at PAWS’ ARK 2000 sanctuary who were rescued or retired from zoos and circuses.

Get to know our elephants! Click here to learn more. 


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African elephants Mara (left) and Thika use their trunks to grab leaves high up in trees. Thika uses the fence to increase her reach.

The Powerful, Multi-Use

Elephant Trunk

Caring for our seven Asian and African elephants – Lulu, Toka, Gypsy, Thika, Mara, Prince, and Nicholas – we are reminded of just how amazing these animals are. We see the evidence of it each and every day, including when it comes to the wonder that is the elephant’s trunk.

Elephants use their powerful trunks – the fusion of the elephant’s upper lip and nose – for everything from drinking water, foraging, bathing, smelling, exploring, tossing dust and mud onto their bodies, picking up and manipulating objects, blowing objects away or sniffing them in, signaling aggression, producing sounds, tactile contact with other elephants, and other behaviors.

At the ARK 2000 sanctuary, we have witnessed the incredible physical strength of an elephant, who can pull down huge tree limbs and move them around with ease (we’re thinking about you, Mara!). That’s no surprise when you consider that an elephant’s trunk is capable of lifting over 700 pounds.

The trunk itself can weigh up to 300 pounds, and its musculature makes it extraordinarily flexible. There are eight major muscles on either side of the trunk (which does not have bones), and one central muscle between nasal passages. However, there are about 150,000 fascicles (bundles of muscle fibers surrounded by connective tissue) that work together with the major muscles and give the trunk its great flexibility.

One of the differences between Asian and African elephants – which are two different species – is the number of “fingers” at the end of the trunk. These fingers allow for great dexterity.

Asian elephants have one “finger” that can be used to curl around and scoop up food, whereas African elephants have “two fingers” that allow them to firmly grasp items such as blades of grass. The skin of the trunk tip actually differs from that of the surrounding skin, with a high density of nerve endings, making it very sensitive.

Elephant trunks also have numerous whiskers, with the most found near the sensitive tip. Elephant whiskers do not actually “whisk” (quickly and repeatedly sweep back and forth) like a rat, nor are they as exquisitely sensitive. The flexibility of the trunk allows the whiskers to do their job of providing sensory input, although their role is more for sensing coarse tactile stimuli.

The trunk gives elephants great reach. We often see the elephants at PAWS extend their trunks high up into the trees in their habitats to grab leaves or acorns. Elephants can extend their trunks quite far – about six to 6.5 feet or even longer. That’s why we always take serious precautions around our elephants in order to protect caregivers.

Water is essential for an elephant – for drinking and bathing – which is why our elephants always have access to fresh water. Elephants drink water by sucking it into their trunk and spraying it into the mouth. Researchers found that an elephant can suck up three liters of water per second – a speed 30 times faster than a human sneeze. They also can dilate their nostrils to create more space in their trunks and hold up to 5.5 liters of water.

The trunk’s multifaceted use and flexibility are truly a wonder and part of what makes elephants such interesting and exceptional animals.

Do you have a question about elephants, tigers, or bears? Send it to us and we may write a newsletter item based on your question. Send your questions to PAWS Director of Science, Research and Public Policy Catherine Doyle at

Article references include: The functional anatomy of elephant trunk whiskers, Deiringer et al. (2023); Suction feeding by elephants, Schulz et al. (2021); Frequently Asked Questions About Elephants, Shoshani & Foley (2000).

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Lulu Turns 57!

Earlier this year PAWS held a special celebration for African elephant Lulu’s 57th birthday. She is the oldest African elephant in North America. The event was held at the ARK 2000 sanctuary and attended by a small group of local volunteers, board members, and PAWS staff.

Of course, there was cake! Lulu was presented with a healthy, specially made cake (pictured) containing bran and flour, apple sauce, fruit, vegetables, and a drizzle of molasses. Not to be left out, Lulu’s companion, Toka, also received a cake.

Lulu arrived at PAWS in March 2005 from the San Francisco Zoo. She originally had come from Africa as a two-year-old calf. When Lulu first came to PAWS, her behavior reflected the trauma she had experienced in her life, from capture in the wild to living alongside an overly dominant elephant at the zoo. Whenever she saw the sanctuary's other elephants, she would drop to the ground and crawl on her knees.

PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, worked intensively with Lulu. She helped build her confidence and made her feel safe. Since that time, Lulu has socialized with many other elephants and today spends her days in the company of Toka.

Lulu's age is exceptional for an African elephant in captivity. The stresses and unnatural conditions of their confinement mean that elephants tend to live much shorter lives in captivity than in the wild.

During the birthday event, PAWS presented a $20,000 check to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), in Lulu’s name. The Trust’s work includes the longest-running study of wild elephants ever undertaken, documenting the lives of more than 3,500 elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. PAWS’ donation will support ATE’s important work to ensure the long-term conservation of African elephants.

All of us at PAWS are honored to care for this very special elephant, who has found a more natural and truly peaceful life at the ARK 2000 sanctuary.


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Have You Taken the Pledge

to Help Elephants?

PAWS has launched a new campaign called Take the Pledge! to bring attention to the use of elephants for tourism and elephant “encounters” overseas and in the U.S. The only way to stop this form of exploitation is through education and by decreasing demand for these attractions. Read more about PAWS' "Take the Pledge" campaign here.


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Thank you Amazon "Wish List" Donors

JULY - Dawn Danko: one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro Flax Seed; four 2 lb. bags of sunflower seed kernels. Yvonne Hart: one 3 lb. bag of Brazil nuts; one 2 lb. bag of pecans; five 1 lb. bags of dried blueberries; one 5 lb. bag of cashews. Joleene Ladyman: one bottle of AminAvast 60#. Michele Madrid: one 8 lb. tub or Manna Pro Flax Seed. Alissa Chulack: two 2 lb. bags of banana chips. Patricia D. Adler: one 2 lb. bag of banana chips; one 3 lb. bag of Brazil nuts; one 8 lb. tub of Manna Pro Flax Seed. Cynthia B. Bianchi: two 2-way walkie talkie radios. Walter Adams: one 8 oz. bottle of EicosaDerm; two 2.5 lb. Biotin 100 powder. Patricia D. Adler Cartozian: one 5 lb. Biotin 100. Lisa McNeil: one 3 lb. bag of walnuts. N. Gordon: one 3 lb. bag of walnuts; one 4 lb. bag of almonds. Lynn Castiglione: one 4 lb. bag of almonds; one box of AA batteries, 24#; one 3 lb. bag of Brazil nuts. Ellie Bryant: one 4 lb. bag of sunflower seed kernels. Kathryn M. Dodds: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#; one 4 lb. bag of sunflower seed kernels; one 2 lb. bag of banana chips; one 4 lb. bag of almonds; one 3 lb. bag of Brazil nuts. Patricia Glenn: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin and Coat; one bottle of AminAvast, 60#. Michele Mitchell: one 5 lb. bag of cashews; one 4 lb. bag of sunflower seed kernels. Jayne Alenier: one box of AA batteries, #144. Anonymous Donors: one box of AA batteries, 24#; one 3 lb. bag of walnuts.


JUNE - Suzi Brooks: one bottle of AminAvast, 60#. Joleene M. Ladyman: one bottle of AminAvast, 60#. Wendy Mitchell: one 2 lb. bag of banana chips. Lynn Bruser: one 2 lb. bag of pecans; one 5 lb. bag of pumpkin seeds; one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Peggy Buckner: one 5 lb. bag of cashews. Sandy Gwinner (in memory of Claire): One 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat; one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Joanna Grayson: one 3 lb. bag of walnuts; one 5 lb. bag of pumpkin seeds. Elizabeth M. Peterson: one 3 lb. bag of walnuts. Elke Riesterer: one 2 lb. bag of almonds. Leona Heraty: one 4 lb. bag of sunflower kernels. Nancy Gordon: one 5 lb. bag of cashews; one 4 lb. bag of sunflower kernels. Anonymous Donors: one 5 lb. bag of cashews; one 2 lb. bag of sunflower kernals; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat.





Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

(209) 745-2606 Office/Sanctuary
(209) 745-1809 fax

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