Rescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.
Since 1984

August 2020 | Newsletter
African elephant Toka in her favorite mud hole.

The Amazing Ways PAWS' Animals Beat the Heat at ARK 2000
The California summer has turned blazing hot. Being wild animals, our elephants, wild cats and bears instinctively alter their behavior to cope with the heat. Even so, this is a time when our caregivers work even harder to ensure that all of the animals are kept comfortable. They check on them often, providing cooling hose baths and icy treats (like the one Ben the bear is eating), and making sure there is plenty of fresh water.
Although African and Asian elephants have evolved to live in hot climates, they essentially lack sweat glands to regulate body temperature. So how do they stay cool? Flapping their ears cools the blood as it circulates through the veins in their ears, and then recirculates throughout the body. Researchers have discovered that elephants’ bodies are covered in “thermal windows” that help them shed excess heat, and even their sparse bristles of hair contribute to heat reduction. Their wrinkled skin traps moisture, which takes longer to evaporate and keeps elephants cooler.
Nicholas plays in the sprinkler near his pond.
To beat the heat, the elephants at ARK 2000 often take a refreshing mud bath. This is a joyous activity, with plenty of splashing, flopping, and rolling until they are thoroughly coated. The mud serves to cool them and protect their skin from the elements. Caregivers regularly provide an invigorating hose bath, or an elephant may opt for a swim in a lake or pool – only to immediately dust or mud afterwards. Asian elephant Prince has not one but two pools! Each habitat also has overhead sprinklers that provide a refreshing mist.
Hot day activities vary by elephant. Lulu, Toka and Maggie tend to be less active on hot afternoons whereas Mara and Thika keep busy actively foraging in the shade of broad oak trees. Gypsy will indulge in a good mud bath, and bulls Nicholas and Prince often nap in a cool, breezy spot.
Black bears’ thick fur provides much-needed insulation during cold weather, but it can be problematic when it’s hot. Bears do not have sweat glands, so they must reduce their body temperature in different ways. They may rest in shady day beds (bears make “nests” of grass and leaves), lie with their stomachs touching the cool ground, reduce activity levels, pant like a dog does, or submerge in water. (In the photo above, Winston plays in the pool he shares with Boo Boo.)
Our bears stay comfortable by digging shallow hollows in the cool ground where they will take a leisurely nap, or they may retire to their cozy dens. The Bob Barker Bear Habitat is set in a shaded area filled with native trees, and each enclosure contains a pool. Mack’s love of water is legendary – his antics in a pool went viral on social media a few years ago. (You can watch that video here.) He’s also known to enjoy a hose bath from his caregivers. Ben swims daily, while Boo Boo and Winston prefer to refresh themselves under a fine mist from overhead sprinklers. Caregivers may provide icy treats such as small pieces of fruit frozen into ice cubes and fresh water is always available.
Like domestic cats, big cats lack sweat glands. They sweat through the pads of their paws and pant to release excess heat. They may lie on their backs with legs outstretched to expose the stomach – where they have the least amount of fur – to the air or seek out a cool pool.
Most of the big cats at ARK 2000 – 13 tigers and African lion Camba – find a shady spot to nap by the time the temperature starts to rise. Younger tigers like Rosemary and Morris may engage in play despite the heat. All of the big cats have pools available but it’s the tigers who really love water. Nimmo will soak in his pool for long periods, while Bigelow (above) often sits on the edge of his pool with his feet in the water. Mungar and Apollo have mobility issues, so their pools are specially designed for easy access. On hot days, both tigers sometimes lounge in their pools until breakfast. The big cat habitats have overhead sprinklers and drinking water is replenished throughout the day.
Bobcat Owen, who recently moved to ARK 2000, is more active in the morning. In the afternoon he prefers to rest in shady areas near his giant log pile or under his custom-built misters. Owen also may stand in his pools, run through them, or lie down in the water to cool off.
We are so grateful to the caregivers and veterinary staff at PAWS who work through temperature extremes to deliver the very best care for the animals. Please join us in thanking them for their dedication and compassion!
Click on the arrow above to watch Ben playing in his pool.
Nickleby the Bull Mountain Cat
About five years ago, a grey and white cat showed up near the barns at ARK 2000’s Bull Mountain where our male Asian elephants live. He was dirty and scruffy, had a big gash on his side, and clearly was in need of help. The little guy was friendly but did not fully trust people, so we had to trap him before we could take him to the vet for treatment, vaccinations and neutering. We brought him back to the sanctuary where he decided to stay, and he was named Nickleby.
It turns out that Nickleby is a very friendly cat who likes to hang out with people. He mainly stays in and near elephant Nicholas’ barn. When participants in our educational Seeing the Elephant events come by, Nickleby works the crowd and charms everyone.
Nickleby likes to spend time with PAWS caregivers and he will follow them around as they work. Caregivers know to keep their car windows closed or to double check the back seat before leaving for the day. Nickleby will curl up to nap on a car seat, and he has been known to suddenly pop up in the rearview mirror, leading to a quick ride back to Bull Mountain (top photo).
This is not the story of an unusual animal friendship. While Nickleby and Nicholas may be in the barn at the same time, they don’t really “hang out.” Nickleby keeps his distance and Nicholas doesn’t seem to mind the cat being there. Nickleby has his own pillow to sleep on, with heat in the winter and a cool floor during the summer, along with regular meals.
Sanctuary Manager Brian Busta (right) has formed a special bond with Nickleby. Brian says he is the most “chill” cat he’s ever known. We have no idea of how Nickleby made his way to Bull Mountain but he certainly has made his way into all of our hearts.
Book a PAWS Speaker for Your Online Class!

If you are looking for a unique way to broaden your students’ online learning experience, PAWS can provide a guest speaker for your college, high school or elementary school classes. Topics can range from an overview of our sanctuary work to more in-depth discussions of captive wild animal issues, ethics, and care. Available speakers are Catherine Doyle, M.S., Director of Science, Research and Advocacy, and Dr. Jackie Gai, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services. Contact Catherine at for more information. Speakers are provided at no charge.
Memorable Animal Dates for August
Rescued Capuchin monkeys Zeppo (right), Chico, and the late Harpo and Groucho (a.k.a. the Marx Brothers), arrived at PAWS' Galt Sanctuary in August 1996. Zeppo and Chico still live together at our Galt sanctuary in a large habitat filled with grass, climbing structures, and a cozy den. The special monkeys are always busy. Whether they are exploring the grass looking for bugs and treats, playing in a sprinkler, making faces in their outdoor play mirror, or chattering from high atop a perch, they keep an eye on all activities at the sanctuary.
 Ben the bear arrived at ARK 2000 on August 10, 2012, with travel provided by FedEx on a plane dubbed Bear Force One! View a video about Ben's rescue here. Read PAWS' report on Ben's 5-year anniversary at PAWS here.
Mack the bear arrived in Galt on August 16, 2016. He now lives in the Bob Barker Bear Habitat at ARK 2000. We reported on Mack, and his move to ARK 2000, in our January 2020 newsletter. You can read it here.
Tiger Czar had a birthday on the 22nd – he’s 18 years old. Read more about Czar's rescue, and his arrival at our sanctuary, in PAWS' March 2020 newsletter here.
PAWS Exposes Fort Worth Zoo Plan
to Pay Record-Setting $2 Million for Two Asian Elephants from Canada
Earlier this month, PAWS alerted the media to the Fort Worth Zoo’s plan to purchase two female elephants from African Lion Safari in Canada. According to the zoo’s permit application submitted to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), it is set to pay the astronomical sum of two million dollars for the two elephants, and another $200,000 if one of the elephants produces a calf. Read PAWS' press release here.)
PAWS is deeply concerned that this deal will increase elephant trafficking by creating a financial incentive for other countries to engage in poor conservation management practices and sell their elephants under the guise of “conservation.” The deal is highly unusual in that zoos normally loan Asian elephants to each other at no cost.
PAWS has submitted written comments to the USFWS in opposition to the import permit. We are awaiting its decision.
Read more in this article that ran in the Fort Worth News-Telegram.
Take action:
If you live in the U.S., contact your senators and representative in Washington, DC, and ask them to urge the USFWS to deny the Fort Worth Zoo’s permit request because it will not enhance the survival of Asian elephants. In fact, no elephant born in a zoo will ever live in the wild. Click here to find your representative and senators.
If you live in Canada, please contact your elected officials and urge them to investigate this dangerous deal and help rescind African Lion Safari’s export permit for the two elephants.
Big Cat News
Feds shut down notorious zoo in Netflix series "Tiger King"!

Tiger exploiter Jeff Lowe (seen in the Netflix docu-series Tiger King) and his Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma have been shut down. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suspended his exhibitor’s license, so Lowe cannot display big cats or any of the other animals at this zoo or any other location. In June the USDA cited Lowe for several egregious violations of the animal welfare act, including fly strike on the ears of tigers and wolves, animals with open wounds, an extremely thin bear, and a lion cub who needed immediate veterinary care. Permanent revocation of Lowe’s license should follow so no animals will ever suffer in his hands again. 
PAWS opposes Las Vegas magic act featuring tigers

PAWS submitted a letter to the Clark County Board of Commissioners opposing a permit for a “tent” show to be set up in a parking lot by Jay Owenhouse, who performs a magic show with three tigers. Despite fierce opposition and serious safety concerns, the board approved the permit for a six-month run during which the tigers would be kept in 30'x30' cages in the scorching Las Vegas heat. Owenhouse bought his tigers from Doc Antle, another despicable tiger exploiter featured in Tiger King. PAWS is continuing to monitor this situation, working together with other animal protection organizations, the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance, and outstanding animal activists like Linda Faso. Read Linda's letter-to-the-editor in the Las Vegas Review-Journal here
What is most outrageous about Cardi B’s new music video?

Kudos to the Washington Post’s Robert Gebelhoff for his opinion piece on Cardi B’s new music video for the single “WAP.” He wrote that what people should really be shocked about is the use of live tigers and leopards in the video. (She did not appear together with the animals; they were edited in.) Gebelhoff stated, “These animals are not for human entertainment. They do not belong in music videos. Every time celebrities use big cats or other exotic species for self-aggrandizement, they become complicit in the unethical treatment of animals.” Read the article here.
PETA wins Endangered Species Act lawsuit against Tim Stark of Wildlife in Need
In a huge win for big cats, an Indiana judge issued a permanent injunction that prevents Stark from conducting big-cat cub interactions with the public, separating mother cats and their infants, declawing big cats, and possessing the tigers, lions, and tiger/lion hybrids who were unlawfully taken in violation of the ESA. The cats will be sent to reputable sanctuaries.
Take action on the Big Cat Public Safety Act

If you haven’t yet contacted your senators in Washington, DC, and asked them to become a co-sponsor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (S. 2561), please take action now. The bill would prohibit the private ownership of big cats and stop public contact with these animals, including in cruel cub petting operations.
Click here to see a list of the bill’s co-sponsors. Click here to find your senators and their contact information.
Other Animal News
The Republic of Singapore destroyed nine tonnes of elephant ivory this month, pulverizing truckloads of tusks in an industrial rock crusher, in what authorities claim was the biggest such event globally in recent years. The event symbolized the island nation’s fight against the illegal wildlife trade.
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P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606
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. 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.
Thank You August
Amazon Wish List Donors!
Michele Grafton: two sets of Cobra radios/walkie talkies. Aprille Hammond: one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132. Timor Morodshoev: two 32 oz. bottles of EicosaDerm. Susan Richardson: one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132; two 32 oz. bottles of EicosaDerm; two Laxatone. Peggy Buckner: one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132. DH Rasineiler: one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132. Carmen I. Crosby: one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132. Jeff Yee: three bottles of Cosequin DS, #132; five gallons of Red Cell; two bags of raisins; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat. Irene Breedlove-Olrich: one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium; one 8 oz. bottle of EicosaDerm; two Probiocin; one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin & Coat. Cristen Esquibel: one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#; one 8 oz. bottle of EicosaDerm. Debra Laughlin: one Probiocin; one bottle of Renal Essentials, 60#. Susan Richardson: one bottle of AminAvast, #60. Suzanne Block: one bottle of Renal Essentials, #60; one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132. Wendy and Scott Calvect: four Probiocin; two 20 lb. tubs of Psyllium. Julie Pickard: one Probiocin. Kathleen A. Rabeneau: four bottles of Cosequin DS, #132. Stephen Kern: one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132. Deborah I. John Shadle: one Laxatone; one quart of Red Cell, one 32 oz. bottle of EicosaDerm; two bottles of Cosequin DS, #132. Kristen Garcia: one bottle of Cosequin DS, #132. Barbara Almstead: three quarts of Red Cell. Ken and Kathy Barbour: two bags of peanuts in the shell; one bag of fig bars; one bag of dates; one bag of prunes, one bag of almonds; two bags of dried mango; one bag of dried pineapple; one bag of walnuts; one bag of pumpkin seeds; one bag of sunflower seeds; one box of raisins; one can of PB bites; one box of pill treats; one bottle of Cosequin DS, 60#; one 4-pk of AA batteries; two Costco gift cards. Anonymous Donors: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Skin and Coat; two boxes of raisins; 10 bottles of Emcelle Tocopherol; two bottles of Renal Essentials, 60#; one gallon of Red Cell; one bag of raw peanuts in the shell.
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 fundraisers: the "Dollars for Dirt" or "Give BIG" campaigns for PAWS' elephants, or our "Support a Rescued Tiger" campaign to benefit the 14 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.
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.