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Meet the Elephants

View additional elephant information here: Studbooks contain information such as year of birth, place of birth, wild captures, current location of, and all transfers for Asian and African elephants living in North America.

North American Region Studbook for the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

North American Region Studbook for the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus)

 

AFRICAN ELEPHANTS

 


LULU

$200 Annual Adoption*

 

 



 

LULU (African Elephant, Loxodonta africana)

In March of 2005, African elephant Lulu, then 38, arrived at PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary from the San Francisco Zoo. The journey, only her second trip since 1968, when she was captured in Swaziland and moved to San Francisco at the age of 2.

When Lulu first arrived, she had a habit of covering herself with feces and throwing feces inside her barn and at her keepers; happily, she no longer engages in this behavior and is much calmer with people.

Psychologically, we have observed many important changes in Lulu's attitude toward the other elephants. When she first arrived, our greatest challenge was alleviating her fear of 71 and Mara and her anxiety when she felt trapped inside any area. When we released her into the big habitat, she stayed outside all night and hesitated at the gate on coming back in. Realizing these fears were deep seated, we concentrated on moving her slowly through gates and into different areas, giving her ample time and space to comfortably choose to move through a gate and allow it to close behind her. Lulu had the long hallway in the middle of the inside stalls which enabled her to approach 71 and Mara whenever she chose and to retreat at will. This became an excellent tool for her socialization with the other elephants. She became totally bonded with them and stopped squatting when they approached. We were very cautious with this process because of her past history with an overly dominant female and our desire to allow her to socialize without stress.

We constantly remind all who are interested in elephants and their welfare of the complexity of their society and the challenges which are created by captivity. All moves are stressful to elephants who have an inherent need for functioning social order and close companions, and change is seldom easy.

We are quite pleased with Lulu's adaptation to her new home and friends; she is a truly remarkable elephant and is loved by both elephants and humans at PAWS.

1968, LULU'S ARRIVAL

AT THE SAN FRANCISCO ZOO: VIEW HERE


MAGGIE

$200 Annual Adoption*

 

 


MAGGIE (African Elephant, Loxodonta africana)

Maggie is an African elephant who lived at the Alaska Zoo, in Anchorage, for 24 years.

Born in Zimbabwe, Africa in 1982, Maggie was captured after her mother was shot in a cull (the systematic killing of adult elephants by the government in order to control populations encroaching upon human civilization), and brought to the Alaska Zoo in 1983. After arriving at the Alaska Zoo Maggie became a companion for Annabelle, an Asian elephant. Sadly, Annabelle passed away in December of 1997 and left Maggie alone — the only elephant in Alaska.

Following an impassioned public outcry, the Alaska Zoo board of directors voted to move Maggie to a warmer climate. On Nov. 1, 2007, the 25-year-old elephant was crated and put aboard one of the largest cargo jets made, on loan from the United States Air Force, and flown 2,000 miles to California. Maggie's friend Bob Barker paid for her flight.

Today Maggie is enjoying the warm California weather, expansive habitat and African elephant friends Mara and Lulu. Maggie continues to captivate her keepers and entrance her fellow elephants. She manipulates and cons her elephant friends who allow her to break all the rules and have her way about everything. They treat her like a young calf and indulge her shamelessly as she bats her eyes and prances in and out of the group stealing all the best treats and the best spots at the mud holes.

MAGGIE'S MIGRATION,

From Alaska to ARK 2000: VIEW HERE

THE BIG DAY ARRIVES; Maggie joins her group: VIEW HERE

MAGGIE HEADS FOR THE LAKE: VIEW HERE

MAGGIE'S FIRST TREE: VIEW HERE


MARA

$200 Annual Adoption*

MARA (African Elephant, Loxodonta africana)

Like all elephants, Mara has a story to tell. Hers began in Africa, where she was born around 1982. She lived with her extended family, as baby elephants do, doted on by loving aunts and older female siblings. Her mother would have been fiercely protective, as Mara explored the rich and complex natural world that was her home.

 

Then disaster struck. Mara's mother was killed in a cull - the unconscionable government slaughter of elephants to reduce the size of a population. Mara surely saw her mother and other family members executed. The traumatized two-year-old calf was captured as part of the operation and sent to the Catskill Game Farm in New York. There she was sold to a European animal dealer who also happened to own the Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose, California, where he sent Mara. The lone elephant at the zoo, Mara "entertained" visitors during the day. But behind the scenes, she was immobilized in chains and trained with a bullhook.

 

It didn't take long before Mara's life was to change again. The zoo threatened to sell her to a circus in Mexico, but a kindly group called "Friends of Mara" took up her cause, determined to stop the transfer. Fortunately, a very generous mother and daughter donated the funds needed to purchase Mara from the zoo. (This family is still helping Mara and PAWS all these years later, and we cannot thank them enough for their support!) Friends of Mara sent the young elephant to Florida where she lived with 80 other imported elephant orphans on a 600-acre estate owned by Nautilus exercise machine inventor Arthur Jones. After a few years, Jones began selling all the elephants, and Mara was yet again slated for sale to a circus.

 

That's when PAWS co-founders Ed Stewart and the late Pat Derby stepped in. They had previously rescued a sickly baby elephant named "71" from the same Florida estate. When they heard about Mara's fate, they alerted Friends of Mara and quickly moved to rescue her from a life of misery in the circus. Ed Stewart enlisted the help of a local truck driver and the two men headed out on the 6,000-mile, round-trip journey to Florida to pick up the young elephant and bring her back to PAWS. Mara arrived at PAWS' Galt sanctuary in January 1990, and shared a habitat with 71. The two remained companions until 71's death in 2008.

 

Today, Mara is known for her mischievous spirit, athleticism, high energy, and love of large, leafy branches that she skillfully removes from the sanctuary's trees. She has come a long way from her real home and family in Africa - a life we can never give back to her. What we can do is give her and all of our elephants the best life possible in captivity, for the entirety of their lives.

 

As elephants have a natural life span of 65-70 years (though their lives in captivity are often tragically cut short due to decades spent in unnatural conditions), it takes real commitment to care for them. We are proud that we have been able to provide our elephants with stability, a spacious and enriching natural environment, and a life of peace and dignity.

 

 

THE TORONTO ELEPHANTS

 


THIKA

$200 Annual Adoption*

 

 

THIKA (African Elephant, Loxodonta africana)

Thika (pronounced “Teeka”), an African elephant, was born at the Toronto Zoo on October 18, 1980. Her mother was Tequila and her father was Tantor. Thika lost her mother in 2008, when Tequila was age 38 (female offspring naturally remain with their mothers for life). Tantor died in 1989 at only 20 years old. Thika’s birth was followed three years later by the arrival of a sister, Tumpe, who was transferred to another zoo at the age of three. Thika arrived at PAWS with elephants Toka and Iringa, who are not related to her.

The Toronto Zoo board voted in May 2011 to end the zoo's elephant program and send the elephants to another facility. In October 2011, the Toronto City Council voted to move the elephants to PAWS.

Thika is the youngest and the tallest of the three elephants. She, Iringa and Toka are all enjoying the fresh vegetation that’s readily available to them. Thika has only ever known life in a zoo environment, so it will be exciting to see her explore and adapt to her new natural-habitat home.

The Toronto Elephants: PAWS Photo Albums

Album #1 "The Journey" - view here

Album #2 "First 30 Days" - view here

 


TOKA

$200 Annual Adoption*

 

TOKA (African Elephant, Loxodonta africana)

Born in 1970 in Mozambique, Toka is an African elephant who was captured in 1972 and acquired by the Toronto Zoo on September 4, 1974. She was among the first group of elephants to arrive at the newly opened zoo. Like Iringa, she was orphaned after her mother was killed in a cull, and was sold to the Toronto Zoo by an animal dealer. Toka made her way to PAWS with Thika and Iringa, arriving at ARK 2000 on October 20, 2013. The Toronto Zoo board voted in May 2011 to end the zoo's elephant program and send the elephants to another facility. In October 2011, the Toronto City Council voted to move the elephants to PAWS.

It’s easy to identify Toka, with her elegant, long tusks. She is the most adventuresome of the three elephants. Toka likes to grab a bundle of hay and tuck it under one of her tusks – then she snacks on it as she walks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRINGA

It is with great sadness that PAWS had to say a final good-bye to African elephant Iringa, who was humanely euthanized at ARK 2000 on July 22, 2015. She had a long history of degenerative joint and foot disease, the leading reasons for euthanizing elephants in captivity. At age 46, Iringa was among the oldest African elephants in North America. Read PAWS' press release below.

IN MEMORY OF IRINGA

 

 

ASIAN ELEPHANTS

 


GYPSY

$200 Annual Adoption*

 

 



 

GYPSY (Asian Elephant, Elephas maximus)

Nicholas and his surrogate mother, GYPSY, arrived in Galt on April 2, 2007. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Hawthorn Corporation negotiated a consent agreement which permitted the transfer of the two Asian elephants to PAWS. The two elephants were closely bonded and their devotion to each other was indescribably touching. They shared food, rumbled, chirped and remained in close proximity to each other at all times.

When we accepted the responsibility of caring for Nicholas & Gypsy, we knew that dealing with the relationship between the young male and his older female companion would be challenging. When Nicholas matured and his hormones became an issue, separation would be inevitable.

When it came time to separate the two, on January 13, 2009, we knew it was the end of an era, a time when the young, captive born male no longer needed a surrogate mother. Gypsy had provided security, safety and wisdom to him as long as she could. In the wild, he would be sent out to follow older bulls and learn the ritual that all elephants understand.

We moved Gypsy down the hill to join the other Asian elephants where she's been given a much deserved rest and retirement after the daunting task of raising a young bull. When Gypsy moved to the Asian barn, she gravitated to Wanda immediately. When she made her first trips out to the habitat, she stayed close to Wanda, and since that time the two have remained almost inseparable.

Several weeks after Gypsy's move we were reviewing 20 year old circus videos, searching for footage of Ruby when she performed in the circus. What we found was astonishing — no footage of Ruby, but we did find Nicholas’ father Tunga, Gypsy, Gypsy’s calf (Brat, now deceased), and Wanda!

Sadly, circus elephants have little solace in their lives except for the comfort of other elephants, and they never forget old friends, even after more than 20 years. Gypsy and Wanda — best friends forever.

Gypsy was born in 1967.


GYPSY & WANDA

FROM THE CIRCUS, TO PAWS: View Here

NAP TIME FOR GYPSY: View Here

WANDA & GYPSY GO FOR A SWIM: View Here



NICHOLAS

$200 Annual Adoption*

NICHOLAS (Asian Elephant, Elephas maximus)

Nicholas was a 13-year-old bull elephant when he arrived at our Galt Sanctuary on April 2, 2007. He was born on December 15, 1993, at a circus breeding facility, then separated from his mother before he was two years old. He was trained to ride a tricycle and performed in a circus at that age. The circus retired him when he became to difficult to manage at the young age of five.

Nicholas lived with Gypsy (see above), an unrelated female, who was his constant companion for nine years. The two shared a single stall until their transfer to our Galt sanctuary where they remained in mandated quarantine for one year. They were then moved to their new home at ARK 2000. When they arrived in Galt, their obvious devotion to each other triggered our decision to keep them together for as long as possible.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Hawthorn Corporation negotiated a consent agreement which permitted the transfer of the two Asian elephants to PAWS. The two elephants were closely bonded and their devotion to each other was indescribably touching. They shared food, rumbled, chirped and remained in close proximity to each other at all times.

When we accepted the responsibility of caring for Nicholas & Gypsy, we knew that dealing with the relationship between the young male and his older female companion would be challenging. When Nicholas matured and his hormones became an issue, separation would be inevitable.

When it came time to separate the two, on January 13, 2009, we knew it was the end of an era, a time when the young, captive born male no longer needed a surrogate mother. Gypsy had provided security, safety and wisdom to him as long as she could. In the wild, he would be sent out to follow older bulls and learn the ritual that all elephants understand.

We moved Gypsy down the hill to join the other Asian elephants where she's been given a much deserved rest and retirement after the daunting task of raising a young bull.

Nicholas is now a neighbor to Prince, PAWS' other bull elephant.

NICHOLAS PERFORMING ON A TRICYCLE: VIEW HERE

NICHOLAS & GYPSY move to ARK 2000: VIEW HERE

NICHOLAS' FIRST DAY

in his new habitat: VIEW HERE

NICHOLAS PLAYS in his lake: VIEW HERE

BATH TIME ON BULL MOUNTAIN: VIEW HERE

NEW BARN, FRESH DIRT: VIEW HERE

Help bull elephants like Nicholas and Prince.

Join PAWS "Bucks for Bulls" campaign today!


PRINCE

$200 Annual Adoption*

 

 

PRINCE (Asian Elephant, Elephas maximus)

Prince (Chang Dee) arrived at PAWS on July 21, 2011. Upon arrival, he threw dirt for two hours, ate like a fiend, had a drink, then laid on his dirt pile and went to sleep.

Prince is a retired circus elephant donated voluntarily to PAWS, at its request, by Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. He was born on May 24, 1987, at the Portland Zoo — part of their highly touted captive breeding program. Prince's mother was Me-tu, also born at Portland Zoo; his father was Hugo.

Prince loves his habitat at ARK 2000, especially the pool. He is in and out of his pool all day, ending each of his forays down the hill with a 20- or 30-minute dip. He has also learned to pull branches out of the oak trees. One week we observed him challenging one of the smaller trees to a game of "shove." The tree lost, but will ultimately keep growing.

THE ARRIVAL OF PRINCE: View Here

DAY 2: Introduction to outdoor yard and pool: View Here

DAY 2: Introduction to large habitat: View Here

FIRST DAY IN HIS POOL: View Here

Prince loves his pool! View Here

 

 

*PLEASE NOTE: Adoptions are symbolic only. The animal does not actually go home with you.

donations made via animal adoption are used for the care, feeding and maintenance of the animals.

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

209/745-2606 office/sanctuary
209/745-1809 fax
info@pawsweb.org

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