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December 7, 2009

A blanket of snow covered the California foothills for the first time in thirty years. The unusual weather elicited mixed reactions from the residents at ARK 2000. The Colton tigers, who are predominantly Siberian, seemed to enjoy the aberrant weather more than their neighbours, the elephants, who refused to leave their heated barn. As the tigers cavorted in the new environment, all elephants watched cautiously from their warm shelters.

Nicholas walked outside for a few moments, but he obviously preferred a heated floor and very warm water for drinking to the beautiful, but frigid conditions in his outdoor habitat.
Maggie, who recognized the strange, white powder, peered out of the barn with dismay, and the other Africans clustered with her inside the heated barn waiting for the sunshine.

The older Asian girls remained inside all day, dusting, chirping, touching trunks and throwing branches. They always remind us of the "red hat ladies" in a tea shop whenever anything unusual occurs to disrupt their routine.

The uncommon weather will change in a few days, and the sunny winter days will return. Our elephants will climb the hills and forage for acorns and fallen branches; sadly, Lucy, the lone elephant in Canada, will spend the winter inside her barn, waiting for an occasional visit from her "human family".

Snow at ARK 2000, a very rare event!

Photos of the tigers were by Renae Smith
and photos of the landscapes and Elephant by Brian Busta.

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

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

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