Rescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.
Since 1984

August 2021 | Newsletter
Lulu and Maggie
PAWS Remembers
African Elephant Maggie
PAWS was very sad to announce earlier this month that our beloved African elephant Maggie passed away at age 41. She was beneath her favorite shady oak tree and near her best loved mudhole in the sanctuary’s largest habitat. Maggie lived with significant arthritis and dental disease for much of her life, and although these conditions were greatly helped by excellent care and the therapeutic setting of the sanctuary, they continued to worsen over time and contributed to her passing.
Maggie was always special to us, as was her extraordinary life story.
Maggie was born in Zimbabwe, Africa, in 1980 and captured as a calf, likely as a result of an elephant cull during which she would have witnessed her mother and adult relatives slaughtered. She was brought to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage in 1983 to be a companion for an adult Asian elephant, Annabelle, who died in 1997 from foot disease. Maggie spent the next 10 years alone.
During the mid-2000s, people were becoming more aware of the plight of elephants in captivity. This included local people in Anchorage who campaigned for a better life for Maggie – a place where she could live in a warmer climate and be outdoors year-round, and where she could mingle with other African elephants. According to The Fifth Estate, there were concerns about Maggie’s health, and in 2007 she twice was found down in her enclosure and unable to get up, requiring the local fire department to hoist her back onto her feet each time.
Fortunately, the Alaska Zoo made the compassionate decision to send Maggie to PAWS. She arrived in November 2007, thanks to the U.S. Air Force. There was no commercial airline option available to move Maggie, so arrangements were made to fly her aboard a C-17 Globemaster III (pictured) from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska to Travis Air Force Base in California. Emmy Award-winning television game show host and animal advocate Bob Barker, who had campaigned for Maggie’s relocation, reimbursed the Air Force for the full cost of transport. PAWS thanks Mr. Barker and everyone with the U.S. Air Force who made “Operation Maggie Migration” possible!

Maggie flourished at PAWS, roaming acres of hills, foraging on grass and tree branches, wallowing in mud holes, and socializing with her newfound friends. She could often be found napping on a hillside, watched over by elephants Lulu and Toka. The two elephants would stay close to Maggie as she napped, not leaving her side until she arose – then they all would resume their usual activities of foraging and exploring their large habitat or maybe getting a hose bath from one of their caregivers.
Toka, Lulu and Maggie
“We tried to give Maggie the best captive life possible. She had great veterinary care, doting caregivers and space, but the best thing PAWS gave her was other elephants,” said PAWS President Ed Stewart. “Maggie was the favorite of all the elephants. In fact, sometimes it looked like they treated Maggie like a baby. She could call the elephants to her with the slightest rumble. If she trumpeted all hell would break loose, with elephants running from every direction to see what Maggie wanted. The perfect life for Maggie would have been to live in Africa with her family. . . but we did our best.”
Maggie was always closest with Lulu, another wild-born elephant who also had experienced trauma and loss in her life, both in captivity and when she was torn from her wild family. PAWS Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Jackie Gai explained, “They refused to be apart. Everywhere Maggie went, Lulu went, and vice versa. It was the deepest of friendships.” In fact, Lulu stayed at Maggie’s side long after she had passed, unwilling to leave her friend until she was ready.

The people of Alaska did not forget Maggie after she left Anchorage. Many people made the long trip to PAWS to see their beloved Maggie during our open house and Seeing the Elephant events. We’ve also received many emails of condolence from people who knew Maggie in Alaska and shared their memories of her. Alaska Zoo Executive Director Pat Lampi, a good friend of PAWS, said that Maggie “touched the lives of many Alaskans and people all over the world.”

“Maggie was really a wonderful elephant. A beautiful elephant with a rough history but an indomitable spirit. A big, big personality,” said Dr. Gai.

We thank everyone who shared memories, sent condolences, made a donation in memory of Maggie, and expressed their sadness and love via email and our social media sites. We will always remember this special elephant who so deeply touched all of our hearts. Maggie was loved by the other elephants, PAWS’ staff, and everyone who knew her or followed her compelling story, from Alaska to California and beyond.

Update on Lulu and Toka (pictured below): Following Maggie’s passing, PAWS’ caregivers very carefully monitored both elephants. At first, Lulu and Toka were subdued, calm, and touched trunks reassuringly. For a brief period, they appeared a little confused. Now it seems they have settled into their old routine. We continue to observe them closely.
Lulu and Toka graze on a hillside at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary
Join PAWS in Recognizing
These Milestone Anniversaries!
As a true sanctuary, PAWS is dedicated to caring for all of our animals for life – and for many of the species at our sanctuaries that can be a matter of decades. African elephant Mara has been with us the longest, at 31 years. Black bear Boo Boo has been with us for 26 years, and capuchin monkeys Chico and Zeppo (see below) for 25 years.
Not only are we caring for the animals – who we know and love as family – for a very long time, we will be tending to some of them as they pass through different stages of their lives. For example, tigers Kim and Claire came to PAWS, along with their late brother Roy, when they were just cubs, having been rescued from the wild animal trade. Eighteen years later, we are providing specialized care for them as they are now in their golden years.
Please join us in celebrating these notable anniversaries.
Capuchin monkeys Zeppo and Chico – 25 years at PAWS
Zeppo (right) and Chico were among four capuchin monkeys rescued by PAWS after authorities seized 50 monkeys from a home in Iowa. The monkeys were discovered in a basement, with little food and water. They were malnourished and living in utterly filthy conditions. Upon arriving at our Galt sanctuary and a new home that provided plenty of room to move and an enriching environment, the monkeys curiously explored their new surroundings. For the first time in their lives, they were in a more natural environment with trees to climb, branches to perch on, and ropes to swing from. Their energy and antics were so fun and joyous that PAWS co-founder, the late Pat Derby, named them after the twentieth-century comedy act, the Marx Brothers! Chico and Zeppo continue to be active – and we are proud to care for these senior residents.
Black bear Mack –
5 years at PAWS
This is Mack’s first milestone anniversary. We can’t believe it’s been five years since he arrived at PAWS! Mack – who is missing part of his right rear leg – was born in the wild and found as an orphan. California wildlife authorities captured the cub, who was begging for food and being fed by people. Mack was first cared for by The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California, before being transferred to PAWS. He now lives in the Bob Barker Bear Habitat at ARK 2000 where he has plenty of space to move and explore among shady oak trees and natural foliage. Despite missing part of his leg, Mack is extremely agile; he loves to climb and play in his pool. In fact, video of Mack frolicking in his pool went viral! (Click here to see the video.) We look forward to caring for Mack for many years to come.
How Does Captivity Affect Wild Animals? 
That’s the question a recent Discover magazine article tackled, finding that much evidence shows large mammals suffer under even the best human care. The article features Dr. Bob Jacobs, a neuroscientist at Colorado College who has presented at the last two PAWS’ International Captive Wildlife conferences – to rave reviews – and will again join us at our 2022 conference (more information to come in future newsletters!).
Dr. Jacobs has described the caging of wild animals as a form of “neural cruelty.” (See his article, “The neural cruelty of captivity: Keeping large mammals in zoos and aquariums damages their brains.”) He argues that given the similarities between brain structures that control stress in humans and those of captive wild animals such as chimpanzees, elephants or dolphins, “it stands to reason that the neurological response to captivity in those animals will be somewhat the same as our own.” (Think of how you felt during last year’s pandemic lockdowns, even with the ability to take a walk outside whenever you wanted.) Dr. Jacobs says this is substantiated by a half century of research into how impoverished environments alter the brains of various species.
This informative article contains other interesting discussions surrounding a topic that seems to be getting more attention as of late. Certainly, increased knowledge about other animals’ natural lives and capabilities, as well as how their brains function, is causing people to think more deeply about how we treat them. The article concludes with environmental author Emma Marris and her observation that “animals clearly show us that they do not enjoy captivity.” Dr. Jacobs concurs, stating “the evidence is becoming overwhelming” that many large mammals cannot thrive in confinement.
You can read “How Does Captivity Affect Wild Animals” here.
New Global Group of Experts
Works to End Elephant Exploitation
Elephant Specialists Alliance International (ESAI) is a global group of elephant experts who aim to provide the best possible fact-based information and scientific evidence to protect wild elephants from capture and export to ex-situ destinations and to end the exploitation of elephants in captivity. Formed in 2020, the group represents a range of disciplines, including natural science, conservation, behavior and psychology, veterinary medicine, animal welfare, academia, and animal care and management. (PAWS Director of Science, Research and Advocacy Catherine Doyle is a founding member of the group, although members work as individuals and not as representatives of affiliated organizations.)
ESAI has begun posting statements on important elephant issues, complete with citations and references, that are available for elephant advocates to use. Additional valuable scientific resources are planned for the website. Learn more about ESAI by clicking here or visiting their Facebook page here.
Help Stop Cruel Cub Petting and the Big Cat Pet Trade
Big cats need your help! Please support the federal Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R.263/S.1210) that would ban the private ownership of big cats such as lions and tigers and restrict public contact with these animals. the bill would end inhumane cub petting operations, where both babies and their mothers suffer, and stop the endless breeding of big cats for profit.
PAWS cares for tigers rescued from the exotic “pet” trade and defunct cub petting facilities – including Kim, Claire, Bigelow, Morris, Nimmo, Rosemary, Sawyer and Wilhelm. We need your help to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act and ensure that big cats no longer harmed for entertainment and profit.

Click here for more information and to see what you can do to help.
Rescued African lion Camba relaxes in her habitat at ARK 2000

PAWS provides lifetime care to the tigers, bears, elephants, and other animals who call our sanctuaries home. Your kind support provides expert daily care, necessary veterinary treatments, and specialized nutritional support, all tailored to the individual needs of each animal.
Your generous donations make this excellent care possible.
PAWS is proud of its 4-star rating with Charity Navigator - the highest rating possible. We are part of an elite group of charities with an "exceptional" designation (at least four consecutive years of 4-star ratings), meaning that your gift will have the greatest impact possible. CharityWatch gives PAWS an "A" rating.
Did you know that PAWS has an Amazon Wish List? We have chosen specific items that are needed at the sanctuary, which you can purchase directly from Amazon. We have an ongoing need for many of the products listed. Click here to review the items and donate. You can also review “wish list” items that are needed but not listed on Amazon. Click here for that list.
August Amazon Wish List Donors:
Jane G. Droogsma: 10 Probiocin; four 76.5 oz. cannisters of Gatorade; four 5 lb. bags of Missing Link; one DeWalt Saw, 10 amp; one pkg. DeWalt saw blades; 10 boxes of gloves, size L; 10 boxes of gloves, size M. Laurie Hutton: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link. Shawna M. Pilsl: one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#. Willie and Jan Nelson: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. K. L. Adler: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Nancy Gordon: six Probiocin. Matt Donovan: one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#; one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#. Pam Meadows: two bottles of Renal Essentials, 60#. Ronald Sutton: two Probiocin. Caroline Hendrickson: five 8 oz. bottles of EicosaDerm. Anonymous Donors: twelve 5 lb. bags of peanuts in the shell.
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P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606
There are many ways
you can help PAWS animals:
Donate To PAWS. Although we work closely with regulatory agencies on animal rescues, PAWS receives no government funding and must rely on your donations to continue our work. Three ways to give and every donation matters. Learn more

Adopt A PAWS Animal. If you would like to help our animals, one of the best ways is to become an "adoptive parent," or give a PAWS adoption as a gift to an animal lover in your life. PAWS adoptions are symbolic adoptions only. No animal will be sent! Learn more

PAWS Partnerships. Help us change the life of a victim of captivity by becoming a PAWS Partner. PAWS partnerships help support our sanctuary operations and the day-to-day care of the animals. Learn more

Estates/Planned Giving. You can help us make sure captive wildlife in need of shelter will always have a PAWS sanctuary to call home! Learn more

Give to one of PAWS' ongoing MightyCause campaigns: Our "Dollars for Dirt" or "Give BIG for PAWS' Elephants" fundraisers for the elephants, or our "Support a Rescued Tiger" fundraiser to benefit the rescued tigers living at our ARK 2000 sanctuary.
Purchase PAWS apparel and merchandise. Clothing for adults, kids, toddlers and infants, as well as other fun merchandise like coffee mugs - available from our online gift shop.

Shop online through IGive and raise money for PAWS! Up to 26% of your purchase - at more than 1,600 retailers - can be donated to PAWS. Learn more

PAWS Amazon Wish List. View here, and shop using AmazonSmile.

EBAY Giving Works. List items on EBAY and choose PAWS as your charity. Donate a percentage of each sale to the animals. Visit our EBAY charity listing page here. Start selling!

Corporate Donations and Matching Fund Programs. Learn more about what is needed.

Donate Your Vehicle To PAWS.

Attend A Fundraiser. PAWS sanctuaries ARE NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC but we do schedule a limited number of special events throughout the year. Click here to view PAWS' Calendar of Events. Due to COVID-19 concerns, all PAWS' events have been cancelled until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.