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February 19 , 2008

Maggie Joins the Other Girls

(San Andreas, CA)  Their trunks intertwining, searching for closeness – they seemed to form a sort of Valentine heart, if you will.  The crisp California sun was shining brightly -- warranting some sunscreen…and Maggie was ready…ready to venture out onto the hillside at ARK2000…to join her new family.

“She reached right up to them, got right in the middle, she did a big rumble,” said Pat Derby, PAWS founder and director.  “They all got excited and started rumbling and trumpeting.  And they didn’t do any of the things we feared:  the bigger elephants did not lean on her and knock her over; they didn’t fight; she wasn’t scared.  You do this slowly.  We don’t want to overwhelm her or make her feel pressured.” 

“So far, she doesn’t seem pressured.  She seems eager to socialize.  In the barn at night, the elephants touch trunks while sleeping.  When Maggie gets lonely in her yard, she calls them back to the fence to be near her.  She does not tolerate having them get too far away.”  Derby went on to say. Maggie, is the lone African elephant who had lived at the Alaska Zoo for 24 years.  She recently traveled from Anchorage to PAWS in California on an Air Force C-17 cargo plane. PAWS founder, Pat Derby said, “Maggie has friends all over the world who have anxiously waited for Maggie to join the rest of the PAWS family of African elephants.  But until yesterday, the timing wasn’t yet right. Because of extreme winter storms and deep saturation of mud on ARK2000’s hillsides, we felt it best to wait till Maggie was stronger…and until she was willing and eager to join the others.  Well, that day came yesterday.”   PAWS invites the public to watch Maggie and the other elephants at ARK2000 on PAWS’ webcams at   www.pawsweb.org.   PAWS will also host an Open House on May 10, 2008 where guests can see Maggie and the other elephants and tigers at its ARK2000 sanctuary.  Tickets may be reserved by calling (209) 745-2606. 

In addition to caring for over 100 rescued captive wildlife, PAWS’ nonprofit sanctuaries are home to seven Asian elephants and five African elephants – Maggie, Lulu, Ruby, Mara and 71 – who are now almost an African elephant “herd”… right here in gold country.


News Advisory
Contact: Kim Gardner (916) 488-3991


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

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

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