The Elephant Who Flew
With the U.S. Air Force
PAWS Commemorates  Maggie's  10th Anniversary at ARK 2000
November marks the 10-year anniversary of African elephant Maggie's arrival at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. What we celebrate today is her resilience as an individual - not her captivity through no choice of her own. Most captive elephants have a story to tell of hardship, spirit, and survival. We think you'll agree that Maggie's story has all of that, and more.

U.S. Air Force crew at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska, load Maggie's crate onto the C-17 Globemaster III that would fly her to California.
Photo courtesy of the United States Air Force
Maggie's life story began in Zimbabwe, Africa, where she was born into a closely-knit elephant family. But her life would change forever after her mother and family were gunned down during a government-sanctioned cull. Traumatized calves like Maggie were usually spared so they could be sold into captivity.
The Alaska Zoo acquired Maggie in 1983 when she was a small calf. She would spend the next 24 years in Anchorage, the last 10 years of that time alone in a small enclosure. But then things changed again. . .
A group of Anchorage citizens believed it was time to let Maggie retire to a place with a warmer climate and more natural surroundings, and where she could live with other African elephants. Their impassioned outcry soon spread well beyond Alaska's borders. Around that time Maggie also developed some serious health challenges related to her confinement. Fortunately, Alaska Zoo Director Pat Lampi and the zoo's board of directors did the right thing and voted to relocate Maggie. PAWS was honored when they chose ARK 2000 as her forever home.
Being the special elephant that she is, Maggie was flown to California by the U.S. Air Force in a move they dubbed Operation Maggie Migration. Because no commercial airline option was available to transport her, Maggie was flown aboard a C-17 Globemaster III from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska to Travis Air Force Base in California. From there she traveled by truck to her new home at PAWS. The Air Force was reimbursed for the full cost of transport by Emmy Award-winning television game show host and animal advocate Bob Barker.

Lulu, Maggie and Toka at ARK 2000

Thanks to moderate California temperatures, Maggie can spend her days outdoors in a large natural habitat where she engages in behaviors natural to elephants: walking as much as she likes, foraging on green grass and trees, exploring the environment, or lying down to nap on a sunny hillside.
Maggie has gone from being a lone elephant - not only at the Alaska Zoo but in the entire state of Alaska! - to one of the more gregarious elephants at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. She has forged friendships with other elephants, and socializes these days with friends Lulu and Toka. In fact, the two elephants stand guard over Maggie during her afternoon naps, only moving away once she rises.
Everybody seems to love Maggie - the other elephants, PAWS' staff
(including Michelle Harvey, who had formerly cared for Maggie at the Alaska Zoo) , and everyone who tracks her continuing story through PAWS' social media sit es. T he people of Anchorage and the Alaska Zoo have remained true friends, visiting Maggie during our "Seeing The Elephant" weekends, open houses and other welcome visits. Alaska Zoo Director Pat Lampi not only visits Maggie, he has participated as a speaker at PAWS' International Captive Wildlife Conferences (next conference will be in Los Angeles in November 2018).
Maggie is truly a special elephant, and PAWS is proud that we have provided a loving home for her for the last 10 years. We look forward to many more.

Maggie's Migration to PAWS

Click on arrow above to watch "Maggie's Migration" to PAWS

Thank You for Making #GivingTuesday
a Big Success for PAWS' Tigers!
PAWS thanks everyone who donated and made #GivingTuesday a terrific success for the 18 rescued tigers at our sanctuary. Through your compassion and generosity, PAWS far exceeded its fundraising goal of $27,000 in 24 hours to care for our tigers for one month (yes, just one month!). Your contributions provide daily care and veterinary treatments, nutritious diets, and special medications for our older tigers.

PAWS is very grateful to Tigers in America for its $10,000 matching grant and to the AWC Family Foundation for its $5,000 matching grant. #GivingTuesday is an annual day of charitable giving that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and benefits nonprofits everywhere.

If you were unable to donate on #GivingTuesday and would like to help the tigers and other wild animals at PAWS,  you can make a donation by clicking here.

Animal Care at PAWS:
Capuchin Monkey Ella Undergoes
Special Medical Treatment
Thirty-year-old capuchin monkey Ella is a "product" of the exotic pet industry, having been bred by an exotic animal dealer. She was sold at a young age to a family in the state of Washington who kept her in a small cage in the laundry room of their home. Keeping monkeys as pets, especially in a home setting, is never a good idea. They can bite, scratch, transmit diseases to people, and easily escape. The novelty of having a pet monkey typically wears off once the animal becomes mature and dangerous. This leads to poor welfare for the monkey who is often confined to a small cage for the rest of his or her life.
PAWS was alerted to Ella's plight, and our co-founder, the late Pat Derby, convinced her owners to relocate the young monkey to our sanctuary. There, she would receive the safe and appropriate housing and expert care she needed. Ella arrived at PAWS' Galt Sanctuary in the summer of 1992, and lived with Jacque, another capuchin, for more than 20 years until his passing a few years ago. Jacque and Ella lived as neighbors to capuchins Groucho, Zeppo and Chico. PAWS' monkeys enjoy specially designed habitats where they can se arch for bugs in the grass, climb on tree branches, observe the world from high perches, and stay warm and cozy in indoor den areas.
During a recent examination by PAWS' veterinarians, Dr. Gai and Dr. Curtis, Ella was diagnosed with a type of cancer known as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Although her overall health seemed good, our attentive animal care staff had noticed that she was losing some hair in patches. Under general anesthesia our veterinarians collected blood and other samples which confirmed her diagnosis. After consultation with veterinary oncologists, and researching treatment options, Ella was prescribed a combination of special medications to treat the cancer and help alleviate the itchy skin that this disease can cause.

CLL is a type of slowly growing cancer that is somewhat common in elderly humans, dogs and cats. While it is not completely curable, partial or complete remission is possible with treatment. With  timely diagnosis and proper treatment, patients can live with CLL for a long time.

We are happy to report that Ella eagerly takes her daily medicine that is given as part of a special food treat. She has had no negative side effects from her treatment, and her hair is growing back, she is active, playful, and seems to be feeling better.

We are pleased that Ella is doing well, grateful that our veterinarians diagnosed her condition, and are cautiously optimistic that we can slow the progression of her cancer and support her in a happy, healthy life for what we hope is many more years. 
You can help Ella by donating towards her care, and that of all of the special animals who call PAWS' sanctuaries home. Please click  here to make a special gift. Thank you!

Cal Fire Delivers for the Elephants -
Tasty Branches, That Is!

Trumpets and rumbles and a BIG thank you to our friends at Cal Fire (above) who delivered a truckload of tasty mulberry branches for the elephants at our ARK 2000 sanctuary. The elephants love these special "treats!" Every year Cal Fire trims the huge trees near their station in Calaveras County and then donates the branches for the elephants to enjoy. We are so grateful to these wonderful firefighters for all they do for the elephants - and for our community. Heroes every one!

Special Holiday Raffle
To Benefit Animals at PAWS

Calaveras County resident Laura McGavren is donating her beautiful elephant-themed quilt, "Elephant For PAWS" (pictured above), to be raffled at our upcoming Holiday Open House at ARK 2000 on December 9th. She won first place for the quilt at the Independence Hall Quilter's 40th Annual Mountain Heirloom Quilt Faire held in October at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, California. Laura has been quilting for 40 years, and was inspired to create this beautiful work of art after attending an open house event at the sanctuary. All proceeds from the raffle go to the care of our animals. PAWS thanks Laura for her generosity and compassion for captive wild animals.

Information for our Holiday Open House is available below. 

ARK 2000 Holiday Open House, December 9th
Limited Number of Tickets Still Available
We have a limited number of tickets remaining for our ARK 2000 Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We expect this event to sell out. Tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for seniors (60 and over) and $25 for children age 12 and under. No tickets will be sold at the gate on the day of the event.
Holiday Open House visitors will board shuttles to the bear, big cat and elephant habitats. Upon exiting the shuttle you will be walking on grass, dirt, gravel, and some paved surfaces, so please wear comfortable shoes. PAWS' staff and volunteers will be on hand to talk about the animals and answer questions. A special gift shop will be featured at the event. We accept cash, checks and all major credit cards.
If you would like to bring a holiday gift for the animals, we suggest any of the following favorites: apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, squash, pumpkins, melons, pears, unsalted peanuts in the shell, fresh mint leaves and fresh rosemary. You may drop off your gift at the front gate, or near the gift shop table. Thank you!
This event happens rain or shine. Tickets are not refundable.
Two ways to purchase: Click here to buy tickets online and print your tickets at home; or call 209-745-2606, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST, to charge by phone. Visit our calendar of events page for more information. Ticket sales close on Thursday, December 7, 2017, or earlier if this event sells out.
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PLEASE READ: Folding wheelchairs and strollers may be taken on most shuttles. Special arrangements for visitors with power scooters and power wheelchairs can be made by calling Kim Gardner at 916-539-5305. Yes, you may bring your cameras but no drones are allowed. There is no smoking on any PAWS property, including in our parking lots. We take fire prevention very seriously every day of the year. No pets are allowed on any PAWS property, including in our parking lots. Please leave your pets at home. You will not touch any animals and all visitors will be required to stay a safe distance away from all animals.

Zambian elephants photo by Kasanka Chronicles/Bastiaan Boon

Defending Wild Elephants:
Say No to Import of Elephant Trophies

The U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife (USFWS) recently made the shocking announcement that it was overturning critical protections for elephants and allowing the import of elephant trophies from the African countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Thanks to an enormous public outcry, the plan was put on hold. But it is critical to keep pressure on the USFWS to ensure that grisly trophies taken from slaughtered elephants cannot be imported into the U.S. from these countries.
Some still hold the belief that killing elephants will help conserve them, even though the evidence contradicts this idea. According to  The Atlantic , studies have found that the trophy hunting industry does not provide significant benefits to local communities, and that it amounts to less than 2 percent of tourism revenue in the eight African countries that allow it. Still, the USFWS is using this unsubstantiated position to justify overturning the ban on elephant trophy imports.
Take action!
Call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services comment line at 703-358-1980. Simply state that you oppose lifting the ban on importing elephant trophies.
Call Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at 202-208-7351 and leave the same message for him. (You can also call the department's general number at 202-208-3100.)

Good News for Animals
Another country bans animal circuses. In a move intended to reflect the government's commitment to animal welfare, Ireland will no longer allow the use of wild animals in circuses starting in 2018.

Windsor, Ontario (Canada) bans animal acts. The Windsor city council voted 6-4 in favor of amending its bylaws to ban circus acts featuring animals. Other Canadian municipalities that have banned animal acts include Barrie, Burlington, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, Markham, Mississauga, Niagara Falls and Toronto, according to a city report.
Wild cats disappear from Las Vegas magic act. Dirk Arthur's Wild Magic at the Westgate Cabaret will forego the magician's usual use of wild cats, such as a snow leopard and bobcat. Local animal rights activists have long protested Arthur's act. It is yet to be seen if Arthur will include the cats again in the future.

Holiday Shopping That
Helps the Animals at PAWS
PAWS can make your holiday shopping easy with meaningful gift items that are sure to put a smile on the face of even the most hard-to-buy-for person on your list. All purchases and donations help feed and care for the rescued and retired wild animals at PAWS' three sanctuaries.
"Adopt" a PAWS animal . The perfect gift for a friend, family member, youngster, or the Secret Santa gift exchange in your office. You get to choose the animal(s) to adopt. Adopters receive a bio of the selected animal, certificate of adoption, color photo and more! Click here to learn more.
"Seeing the Elephant" Weekend Getaway gift certificate . A prized gift for the special people in your life, featuring an insider's tour of the ARK 2000 captive wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas, California. Led by PAWS President Ed Stewart and Sanctuary Manager Brian Busta, you will see and learn not only about our eight elephants, but our rescued big cats and bears as well. Price for the full weekend package includes a two-night stay at a beautiful bed and breakfast in California's Gold Country. A one-day visit is also available. Click here for more information. Please note that these weekends book up fast!
PAWS apparel and merchandise . From t-shirts, hoodies and coffee mugs, to totes, hats and other fun items. Find out more about our online gift shop by clicking here .
Give a PAWS Partnership . PAWS Partners receive our E-newsletter with all the latest news about PAWS, special action alerts, and invitations to special events. PAWS partnerships support our sanctuary operations and care of the animals. Partnership levels begin at $20 . Click here to choose the one that works best for you or your gift recipient.
Amazon Wish List . Give a gift to the animals! Purchase items that we need for the day-to-day care of the elephants, tigers, bears and other wild animals at PAWS. Click here to see our list of items to buy!
Shop through iGive and AmazonSmile. You can do your holiday shopping AND donate to PAWS at the same time. iGive has more than 1,800 retailers, and up to 26% of your purchase will be donated to PAWS at no cost to you. Use this iGive link to shop for PAWS. AmazonSmile donates .5% of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice (PAWS!). Click here to join the AmazonSmile program.

PAWS Says Goodbye to
"Gentle Giants"  Couch and Pat Jr.
Couch and Pat Jr. were two of the 39 tigers rescued by PAWS in 2004 after they were found in conditions of horrific abuse and neglect at a defunct roadside zoo in Colton, California. When they first arrived at PAWS' ARK 2000 sanctuary they were malnourished and battle-scarred. They soon realized that life in true sanctuary meant grass and soft soil beneath their paws, trees with bark to claw and scratch, pools to cool off in, nutritious food and expert care, and the freedom to just be a tiger.
Couch (right) was a big tiger whose name reflected his overall size and relaxed demeanor. For several years after his arrival, he enjoyed the company of female tigers including a special female named Fluffy who he would tease and coax into playing with him. After Fluffy passed away, he mellowed into a more leisurely life, taking daily, long naps under a shady oak tree. Couch had a unique preference for playing with empty buckets, which he would intentionally wear on his head while walking around. At times he would fall asleep on a wooden platform in his habitat still wearing the bucket.
Pat Jr. (right) was another large tiger who enjoyed the company of his "brothers"  Malabar, Jay Logan and Boebie for many years. He was the strong and silent type, preferring to sit back and observe while the other three would rough house and play. Pat Jr., with his richly colored beautiful coat and expressive face, weighed 450 pounds in his prime. He was especially fond of taking long naps in the afternoon sun, while lying on a large elevated wooden platform built by PAWS volunteer Joey.
It is common for elderly tigers to develop kidney disease. Both Couch and Pat Jr. received special medications and supplements to support their kidney function. In early November, both tigers began showing signs of decreased appetite and less energy - clues that their kidney disease was progressing. Examinations were performed and PAWS veterinary staff confirmed that both were in the end stages of renal failure. 
Couch and Pat Jr. passed from this life on November 9th, in the loving presence of many of their caregivers. They were both estimated to be at least 20 years old. Tiger supervisor Renae describes them as "gentle, beautiful giants. . . and two of the biggest Colton tigers." They have left equally big holes in all of our hearts. 

Thank you to our November
Amazon Wish List Donors
Susie Rosen & Jonathan Swinton in honor of their upcoming wedding on December 9: one bottle of CosequinDS, 250#, one 20 lb. tub of Psyllium, four 30 lb. bags of Blue Buffalo. Marilyn Higginson: one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat. Amanda Thompson: one bottle of CosequinDS, 132#, one bottle Renal Essentials, 60#, one bottle AminAvast, six Probiocin Oral Gel, one 10 lb. tub of Psyllium. William F. Mentus: one bottle CosequinDS 132#, one packet AA Batteries, 100#. Julie Doyle: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat. Carole Bognar: two quarts of Red Cell. Leezer: one bottle Renal Essentials, 60#, one bottle CosequinDS, 132#, one 10 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat. Anonymous Donors: one 5 lb. bag of Missing Link Ultimate Skin and Coat, one 5 lb. tub of Psyllium, two heavy-duty extension cords. 
View wish list items that are needed,
but not listed on the Amazon list, here.

There are many ways you can help PAWS animals:
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!
PAWS Amazon Wish List

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

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.

Shop through IGIVE and raise money for PAWS!
Up to 26% of your purchase - at more than 1,600 retailers - can be donated to PAWS.
PAWS is rated
a 4-Star Charity 
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 .

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

PAWS merchandise is fun, educational,
and makes great gifts for the holidays !
PAWS' Note Cards
Bears, Tigers, Elephants
Dozens of different designs are now available in our gift shop.
$24.99 for a set of 10 + tax + worldwide shipping

More items, more designs, more fun - all to benefit the animals at PAWS!
Logo clothing available in adult, children, toddler and infant sizes.

"Seeing the Elephant" Weekend Getaways | PAWS Animal Adoptions
Both available for gift purchases.
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PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606