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Meet the Tigers

It costs approximately $18,000 per year to feed and care for one healthy tiger.



How Can You Help A PAWS Tiger?

Donate to PAWS' "Help Rescued Tigers" campaign on Mighty Cause.

Click here for more information.

Adopt a PAWS Tiger.* Read about PAWS adoption program here. Adopting a PAWS animal helps us provide nutritious food, veterinarian care and an enriching habitat for your animal — and you’ll have the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re making a difference in the life of a PAWS animal. 

Annual tiger adoptions $150

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In Memoriam



In Memoriam


The Waystation Three:



On October 8, 2019, PAWS welcomed three new tigers to our ARK 2000 sanctuary. Czar, Mungar and Tessa needed immediate placement when their previous home, southern California's Wildlife Waystation, permanently ceased operations and relinquished their permit to keep wild animals. PAWS and other sanctuaries across the country stepped up to help.


CZAR is 17 years old, active, inquisitive, and very friendly. He loves water, and enjoys his pool as well as hose baths given by PAWS' caregivers. He always greets people and neighboring tigers with a friendly "chuff", and even chuffs at his pool! The first thing he did when he came out of the transport cage and stepped onto the soft soil of his new enclosure was to make a beeline to eat green grass. Tigers, like many domestic cats, love to eat grass and PAWS irrigates animal areas so that some grass stays green throughout the hot summer months. 


MUNGAR: In Memoriam

Mungar came to us with a host of health challenges, and PAWS gladly assumed both the responsibility and honor of caring for his special needs. Our veterinary and caregiving staff have a wealth of experience in providing specialized care for elderly and differently-abled animals, that is tailored to each individual's needs. He was born with multiple physical disabilities, believed to be the result of genetic defects caused by inbreeding. He had a deformed jaw that affected his ability to eat, eye problems that significantly impaired his vision, and malformed neck vertebrae that pinched his spinal cord causing neurological challenges such as unstable gait and occasional urinary incontinence. Mungar took all of these challenges in stride and developed his own unique ways of walking and eating. If he lost his balance, he would pick himself up and keep going with a cheerful "chuff." Mungar's mobility began to decline in May 2021, and medications were no longer helping. Perhaps more significantly, he seemed more tired and less cheerful than usual. On June 12th, Mungar was suddenly unable to use his rear legs. His spinal cord disease had progressed to the point where he was no longer able to stand or walk, and so the difficult but most compassionate decision was made to humanely euthanize him. Mungar passed from this life at the age of 16, surrounded by many who loved him, including his veterinarian Dr. Gai, caregiving supervisor Renae, and many of the staff who doted on this magnificent tiger and delighted in his accomplishments and triumphs. Resilient Mungar had an inner strength that inspired all who knew him, and a joy for life that transcended all obstacles. He will be greatly missed.

TESSA: In Memoriam

Tessa was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in the summer of 2020. This is a progressive ailment that is unfortunately common in older cats, both domestic and wild. Special medications and supplements gave her a new lease on life until her condition suddenly declined in April of 2021. When it became clear that medications and special care could no longer make her feel better, and when diagnostic tests confirmed that her kidneys were failing, the very difficult but most compassionate decision was made to perform euthanasia to prevent future suffering. Tessa passed from this life on April 27, 2021, at the age of 19. She was surrounded by many of her loving caregivers. When we welcome older animals to our sanctuary, we provide a safe, healthy, comfortable, and peaceful place for them to enjoy life. Although we knew her for what seemed like too short a time, we adored her and are honored to have been able to provide her a home for the last few years of her life. She will always hold a special place in our hearts.



In Memoriam





Siberian Siblings:


Roy and his sisters Kim and Claire were four months old when they arrived at PAWS. They were born on June 2, 2003, at a now defunct roadside zoo in New Hampshire that constantly bred cubs for photos shoots, other roadside zoos and the exotic pet trade. PAWS was contacted by an animal welfare group asking if we would take the three cubs, and our co-founder, the late Pat Derby, wholeheartedly agreed to provide permanent sanctuary. When the three young tigers arrived at our Galt sanctuary on October 2, 2003, they received a thorough medical exam and were immediately started on a wholesome, nutritious diet. To prevent future breeding, Roy was neutered a few months after arrival. Kim and Claire would later undergo spay surgery. The three cubs moved into a large, grassy enclosure in Galt complete with a custom-built pool. This habitat was their home until March of 2016 when we moved them to a much larger habitat at ARK 2000.

ROY: In Memoriam

He was the largest tiger PAWS has ever rescued. He was tall and lanky, and standing on all fours was almost as tall as some of our keeper staff! We estimated his weight to be well over 500 pounds. Roy was always watchful and observant, never missing anything going on nearby. He enjoyed playing as much as sleeping, and could often be seen stretched out in the grass sound asleep with his "little" sisters. His distinctive crossed eyes and mild curvature of the spine were visible evidence that he was the product of inbreeding, and as a consequence he suffered from impaired vision and developed early arthritis.

It is never easy to lose a beloved animal, but it is especially hard when one we have known since he was a baby leaves us unexpectedly. Such was the case on November 22, 2020, when tiger Roy passed away during the night after a sudden, very brief illness. Preliminary necropsy results from U.C. Davis revealed a rare type of meningoencephalitis was likely the cause of his death, a condition that would have been impossible to cure.

Roy and his story made a lasting impression on everyone who met him. Many ARK 2000 Open House guests will remember him coming down the hill to greet them with a friendly "chuff" from inside his habitat. He was physically impressive. His very regal appearance could quickly turn into silly cub behavior as he rolled around on his back and chuffed cheerfully. His positive attitude, easygoing personality, and affection for his sisters made him very easy to love. Roy passed from this life at the age of 17 years, and we will always miss and remember our "big man." 

KIM is the smallest but most brave of the three tigers. She is always keen to explore new things, and is usually the first to have a look (and sniff) at anything new. Not surprising, Kim walked confidently into the transport cage in Galt - ready for the adventure ahead! During the trip, she rested calmly on a bed of soft hay. Upon arrival at ARK 2000, she strolled out of the cage and into her new den box and made herself right at home. She seems to be thoroughly enjoying the new sights and smells of her new home, and explores the hillside trees, logs, and grass with great relish.

CLAIRE is the most cautious of the trio, and was the last one to walk into the transport cage for her big move. Once in, she seemed accepting of the plan and was calm. When we stopped halfway through the road trip to check on her, Claire peeked back at us from a comfortable position on her bed of hay. Claire is never far from her big brother Roy, and can often be seen lying in the tall grass with him. She loves the grass so much that it is sometimes a challenge to encourage her to come in from the habitat to eat. At meal time PAWS' keeper staff call the tigers in so that they can each be fed in their own den box. This allows each tiger to eat at his or her own pace, without competition, and also allows staff time to clean the habitat. When Claire is called, she walks several steps toward us and then plops down in the grass, luxuriously rolling on her back for a few minutes. Then she gets up, walks a little bit, and plops down to roll again!


From 2011: Watch this video of Roy, Kim and Claire. Click here >>>

In 2016, Siberian tiger siblings Roy, Kim and Claire were moved to a much larger habitat at our 2,300-acre ARK 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas.

Watch a video of their move here >>>



In Memoriam


In Memoriam


In  Memoriam

The Ohio Trio, In Memoriam:


Thirty-two wild and exotic animals were removed from a failing facility in Ohio — forced to close its doors due to lower-than-expected donations and tougher regulations. As Ohio was getting ready to implement a new law that prohibited the private ownership of exotic animals, one animal facility near Columbus, found the harsh realities of exotic animal care too much. Faced with having its license revoked by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to unsafe enclosures, the facility chose to find new homes for its animals. In this situation, the owner did the right thing by reaching out for assistance when the financial stress became too much.

In April of 2012, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) was asked to lead a team of wild-animal professionals seeking to find homes and safe and healthy transportation for the 32 orphaned animals. The first order of business was to find willing and appropriate facilities that maintained the necessary standards. This effort relied on a number of organizations coming together to provide resources and funds. There was a great deal of coordination among facilities. All animals were required to undergo a veterinary check-up to ensure that they were fit enough for the journey and to protect other animals they would come into contact with. Vets were called in to perform physical exams, including blood work, parasite exams, dental inspections, and other procedures that required tranquilization. While under sedation, the animals were loaded onto trailers that were equipped to keep the animals comfortable and safe during transport.

Three of the tigers, Zeus, Jake and Apollo, came to PAWS. The tigers arrived at our ARK 2000 sanctuary in June, 2012. Brothers Zeus and Apollo lived in our tiger habitat at ARK 2000 until Zeus' death on October 29, 2018. Jake passed away in February 2018. Apollo died on December 30, 2020.

Jake was born on 6/23/2001

Apollo and Zeus were born in May 2002.



In Memoriam


The Colton Tigers

Remembering the Colton tigers who are no longer with us: Alka, Amelia, Artemis, Boebie, Charlotte, Cherokee, Claude, Couch, Erica, Emily, Fluffy, Ginger, Grace, Gus, Hammer, Jay Logan, Jesus, Lily, Majesty, Malabar, Matahari, Masala, Miss Kitty, McGuire, Mookie, Pat Jr., Patty, Peja, Pele, PK, Quiggle, Ray Charles, Ravi, Rex, Rodney, Spanky, Sunita, Willie, Winston.


Alka, Last Tiger from Historic PAWS Rescue,

Passes Away

In 2004 PAWS undertook what was then the largest big cat rescue in U.S. history, saving 39 sick and starving tigers from a roadside attraction in Colton, California, that once offered public tours and photos with tiger cubs. When state officials closed the facility and confiscated the animals, they found more than 90 dead tigers – including 58 baby tigers in a freezer. Thirteen others were barely alive. The rescue was an enormous undertaking for PAWS – and one of the most memorable rescues in our 36-year history. So it is with heavy hearts that we announce that the last of the tigers, Alka, has passed on.

At the time of the rescue Alka was thought to be five years old, and she had only ever known stress and deprivation. She arrived with four companions – Mookie, Patty, Ginger, and Quiggle – and stayed with this group in their new home at PAWS until the others passed away. Mookie was Alka's closest friend and although their relatedness may never be known for certain, they looked and behaved like closely bonded sisters.

Alka quickly adapted to her new life at ARK 2000, where she enjoyed sixteen years in true sanctuary. For the first time in her life, she could relax and enjoy a large, grassy habitat with trees to scratch and sleep under, bushes to hide behind and then pounce on her friends, and a swimming pool with cool, refreshing water. Although every tiger had their own cozy den box, Alka usually preferred to snuggle with Mookie (above) at night. Tiger Supervisor Renae remembers Alka's unique voice and her outgoing, vocal personality. She would "talk" to her caregivers at mealtimes and when excited to go out into her habitat to explore new scents and new toys.

As Alka got older, she was gradually affected by kidney disease and arthritis - two ailments that commonly afflict elderly cats, both exotic and domestic. Her dedicated caregivers doted over Alka, especially after Mookie passed away in 2018 from kidney failure. Special supplements and medications kept her comfortable and active, and the sides of her pool were altered so she could easily get in for a swim. Limited vision and hearing didn't slow this resilient older lady down; every morning she made her rounds to see what her neighbor tigers were doing.

In early April, Alka suddenly became weak and had difficulty walking, and her normally hearty appetite declined. When it became clear that her kidneys were failing, and that medications and special care were not helping, the difficult but most compassionate decision was made to euthanize her to prevent suffering. Alka passed from this life on April 14th at the estimated age of 21 years, surrounded by many who loved her.

We will always remember her beautiful face, and her fearless joy of living is an inspiration to all who knew her.

PAWS thanks everyone who contributed to helping the 39 Colton tigers along the way, including those who “adopted” tigers, donors who contributed to their care, the Fund for Animals' Chuck Traisi and an army of volunteers who provided 24-hour care for the tigers before their transport to ARK 2000, and those who helped deliver them safely.

To learn more, you can view a documentary film about this historic rescue, "39 Tigers," by Tigers in America below.




The Colton Tiger Rescue 10th Anniversary

June 2014 marked a monumental event for PAWS - the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first of 39 tigers to ARK 2000, from the defunct, pseudo-sanctuary called Tiger Rescue in Colton, California. PAWS has been challenged, changed and strengthened as a result of accepting these very needy tigers, and providing them a permanent, safe, and healthy home.


Read our report here >>>



39 Tigers: A video documentary by William Nimmo, founder of "Tigers in America". Click on the photo below to watch.






In Memoriam






In Memoriam







The Colorado Eight:



More than 100 animals needed immediate placement in new homes after a roadside zoo in Colorado closed. Several reputable sanctuaries throughout the U.S. stepped up to provide lifetime care for the animals from this rescue, with PAWS accepting eight tigers.

The zoo made money by offering the public the opportunity to hold tiger and bear cubs for a fee. To ensure a steady supply of cubs for photo and "play" sessions, tigers and bears on the property were constantly bred, producing litter after litter. Cubs were forcibly removed from their mothers soon after birth, so they could be bottle-fed and handled by people. Cubs who are removed from their mothers at birth miss out on important antibodies that they should be receiving from mother' s milk, and as a result their weakened immune systems leave them completely vulnerable to deadly infections. Cubs that managed to survive this horrifying start to their lives quickly grew too big to be handled, and were immediately put into the breeding population to create even more cubs. This hellish, self-perpetuating cycle is found wherever tiger and bear cubs are subjected to public handling.

As we welcomed these new tigers into sanctuary, we celebrated their symbolic rebirth into a life where they will be treated with respect and where their dignity and individual needs will be honored. Former, and sometimes derogatory, names were changed to reflect their new life. The Colorado Eight are:

  • Marin, 19-year-old female - In Memoriam
  • Pharaoh, 15-year-old male - In Memoriam
  • Sawyer, 11-year-old female
  • Bigelow, Nimmo and Wilhelm, 9-year-old brothers
  • Morris, 7-year-old male
  • Rosemary Arnot, 7-year-old female





*PLEASE NOTE: Adoptions are in name 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.


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

209/745-2606 office/sanctuary
209/745-1809 fax

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