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On April 8th, 2005, Wanda and her companion Winky arrived at ARK 2000 followed by an entourage of devoted keepers and veterinarians and a truckload of their favorite toys-- an assortment of balls, street cleaners, custom designed hay nets and plastic pipes for hiding treats.

The two prima donnas were welcomed by a bevy of reporters from across the country as they walked out of the PAWS' truck and inspected their new home. Their exhausted keepers watched tearfully as Wanda took a spin around the barn and made a bee line for the huge Asian habitat leaving Winky, the more cautious of the two elephants, alone in the barn.

Wanda's declining health and the frigid climate in Detroit had precipitated the controversial decision by the zoo's progressive director to send the two elephants to live their remaining years in the warm California sunshine.

Despite her chronic foot problems and arthritic joints, Wanda blossomed at ARK, befriending all the other Asian elephants with her gregarious, fun-loving personality, moving coyly between Minnie, the dominant female, and Minnie's best friend, Rebecca. She squeaks, chirps and rumbles with pleasure as the keepers ply her with Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops during her twice daily foot soaks, secure in the knowledge that she is everyone's special friend.

Winky and Minnie have passed on leaving Wanda with old friends, Rebecca and Annie, and her new best friend forever, Gypsy. She continues to roam the steep hills, grazing voraciously on the new spring grass, following Gypsy to the trees for a long nap in the sun before retiring to the barn for a bout of dusting and conversation with the other "girls". Wanda is enjoying the good life and we hope it lasts for many more years. HAPPY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY, WANDA!




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

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

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