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Ruby Arrives Safely At Paws Ark 2000 – May 15, 2007

After a six hour journey, Ruby, the elephant, arrived at the PAWS sanctuary in San Andreas, CA. She was accompanied by her keepers, veterinarian, zoo officials and a van full of her favorite toys.

Ruby calmly backed out of the transport trailer and walked into the large African elephant barn acting like she had lived there for a long time. After an exploratory trip around the three stalls and a brief scan of the Jacuzzi, Ruby seemed ready to receive company, so Lulu came in first to greet her. The two became instant friends and Ruby actually backed up to Lulu who was allowed to be dominant for the first time in her life after years spent with an obsessively dominant female who never allowed her to make choices.

After Lulu and Ruby finished their greeting, we decided to open the gate for 71 and Mara who were waiting patiently to meet their new companion.

71 and Mara entered the barn and started the raucous welcome ritual that is peculiar to African elephants--bellows, trumpets, rumbles, squeaks and lots of spinning and urinating and defecating. Ruby calmly allowed the excited pair to reach out to touch her with their trunks. For the rest of the evening the excitement level was high and Lulu pranced up and down the hall checking Ruby carefully as she moved about.

Ed and I slept in the barn for the next two nights and the gentle rumbles and loud snores were a happy reminder that Ruby was a very welcome addition to our African family. On Wednesday, Lulu and Ruby were together in the barn, happily munching on hay and mud bathing like two old friends. Later, when Ruby went out into the yard, she laid down and pushed her head into the grass, then ambled over to the fence to join 71 and Mara. The three touched trunks to mouths, heads and butts and Ruby turned her back to her two new friends as they caressed her with their trunks.

The next morning, Ruby’s keepers and we agreed that the elephants were making all the right moves for introduction, so we opened the gate and let 71 and Mara come into the yard with Ruby. The three spent the day together and returned very calmly to the barn that night.

Ruby has accepted all three of our elephants and has quietly taken her place among them. She is a lovely, gentle and intelligent elephant who seems to know how much we all care for her. 71 and Mara are delighted with their new friend, and Lulu is happier than she has ever been.

The Los Angeles Zoo staff--Jennie, Jeff and Vicki, have been incredibly helpful in effecting a smooth transition for Ruby. Their devotion to her and their concern is much appreciated by all of us at PAWS. The cooperation between PAWS and the San Francisco, Detroit and Los Angeles Zoos to help elephants is a welcome relief from the turmoil that often surrounds captive elephants and their welfare.

Thank you to everyone who helped bring Ruby to ARK 2000.



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

(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
(209) 745-1809 fax

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