Rescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.
Since 1984

October 2021 | Newsletter
African elephants Lulu and Toka at ARK 2000.

ARK 2000 in October:
Turning of the Seasons at the Sanctuary
October is an interesting month at PAWS’ ARK 2000 sanctuary – a time of seasonal transition. Hot summer temperatures are giving way to cooler days and nights. And much anticipated rains are starting to come our way, bringing green grass back to the rolling hills of the sanctuary.

The elephants are roaming, as usual, throughout their spacious habitats that look much like the African savanna right now. African elephants Thika (above) and Mara seem to especially enjoy making their way through heaps of browse – large, leafy tree branches that the elephants spend time disentangling, stripping, and eating.

Lulu and Toka – now missing their beloved companion, Maggie, who passed away in August (we miss this special elephant every single day) – do not stray far from one another. You can find them foraging together atop a hill or taking a rest standing side-by-side. Both elephants also enjoy a good mud bath, which protects their skin from insects and the elements.

Asian elephants Prince, Nicholas and Gypsy seem energized by the cooler fall weather. Prince enjoys playful, splashing swim sessions in his pool, followed by a restful nap on the hillside of his habitat. Nicholas likes to roll and toss big logs, and looks forward to visits and training sessions with his caregiver Brian. Gypsy ambles around her large habitat in search of food, including succulent vegetation sprouting at the edge of her pond.
Sunny, warm afternoons find the big cats relaxing in their habitats filled with trees, shrubs, and native grasses. If you’re lucky, you might spot Morris (pictured) or Sawyer lying on their backs, with bellies exposed to the sun – a sure sign of a relaxed and content tiger. Or they may be napping on a platform where they can also keep an eye on the world and any wild turkeys passing outside their enclosure. In contrast to the quieter tigers, African lion Camba (below) greets the sunset most evenings with a full serenade of rumbling roars.
The bears, of course, are in heaven during the fall. Some of the trees in their habitats are broad oaks that drop plenty of acorns during this time of year. That’s when Mack, Ben (below), and Boo Boo gorge themselves – as bears normally do in preparation for the winter.
The beauty of the PAWS sanctuary is that the animals truly experience the seasons, which bring different sights, smells, and even foods. The animals are immersed in nature and all that it offers: ever-changing environments, peace and quiet, and freedom of choice.

It is your support that makes all this possible for the elephants, bears, and big cats at PAWS – and those animals yet to be rescued. Thank you!
Notable October dates for PAWS’ animals:

  • African elephant Thika celebrated her 41st birthday.
  • Tigers Kim and Claire were rescued by PAWS 18 years ago.
  • African elephants Thika and Toka arrived at ARK 2000 eight years ago.
  • Tiger Czar (above) found sanctuary at PAWS two years ago.
Have You Taken the Pledge Yet?
Elephant tourism facilities prey on people who love elephants and want to be near them. They offer different types of interactions, from riding or bathing an elephant to taking up-close photos. These tourist attractions are never humane for the elephants.
Our Take the Pledge! campaign aims to bring attention to the use of elephants for tourism and elephant “encounters” overseas and in the U.S. The only way to stop this form of exploitation is through education and by decreasing demand for these attractions.
You can take action by pledging to:
  • NEVER ride an elephant in another country or at home – or at a fair or circus.
  • NEVER pet, bathe, or participate in an up-close photo op with an elephant.
  • NEVER patronize places where elephants perform tricks.
Visit PAWS’ Take the Pledge! site and find out what the elephant tourism industry doesn’t want you to know and what you can do to help.
Sign PAWS' petition and make your pledge official! Share the petition widely!
Make a donation to PAWS so we can continue our work to eradicate elephant exploitation and care for the seven rescued or retired elephants at our ARK 2000 sanctuary.
Share this information with friends, family and colleagues. 
Thank you!
PAWS Says Goodbye to Beloved Bobcat Owen
PAWS is sad to announce the passing of bobcat Owen. This special cat was born in 2002 and purchased as a small kitten to be a "pet." Not much is known about his early life, but it is certain that he was not fed properly, as Owen’s skeleton did not develop normally. Metabolic bone disease is a common syndrome in young captive exotic animals who are fed a diet that lacks the proper vitamins and nutrients necessary for normal development. This nutritional deficiency often results in irreparable damage to developing animals, causing pain and disability throughout their lives.
In 2015, Owen was confiscated from private owners in California, where bobcat ownership is illegal. He was found in a small, filthy cage, in distress and unable to keep himself clean. When PAWS was contacted by authorities immediately after Owen's confiscation, we wholeheartedly agreed to offer him a permanent home at our sanctuary. Because of the nature of the confiscation, authorities asked us to keep his presence a secret until the legal case was resolved. He lived at our Galt sanctuary for five years in a "witness protection program" of sorts, until moving to our ARK 2000 sanctuary in the summer of 2020.
Wild animals, even when born and raised in captivity, are still at their very essence wild animals with all of their instincts, desires, and behaviors intact. When Owen first arrived at PAWS' Galt sanctuary he preferred to use a litter box for housecats, a habit to which he had become accustomed while living inside his owner's home. It wasn't long before he lost this habit and gradually became more and more like the true bobcat that he was. He had a spitfire personality and seemed to enjoy suddenly jumping at the fence while emitting a hair-raising growl to scare keeper staff.
Owen enjoyed exploring his large habitat full of fallen logs, tall grasses, oak trees, and a climbing structure with a pool. He was excellent at hiding, blending into his surroundings perfectly. When Tiger Supervisor Renae was unable to easily spot Owen in his habitat, she would call out "bobcat, bobcat" and his tail would begin to twitch, giving away his location every time. His short, fluffy tail would come to life when his favorite caregivers came to visit, and its lively twitching expressed his mood perfectly. Owen was sometimes serious and aloof, but just as often playful and kitten-like. He played with pinecones and rocks (above), tossing them in the air, rolling them down a hill, and pouncing on them delightedly. He stalked insects in the grass and leaf litter. And after a good session of play, Owen loved to curl up on a soft bed of hay inside his wooden den box, or in an extra-cozy round tub (below).
Owen's history of metabolic bone disease caused him to develop arthritis early in life, aging his body long before his time. PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Gai, diagnosed his condition from X-rays taken during his first anesthetized physical exam, soon after he arrived in Galt, and she prescribed medications and supplements to help ease any discomfort he was experiencing as a result of his condition. When he later began to develop chronic kidney disease, another ailment that is all too common in older cats, additional medications were added to help keep him comfortable. Caregivers creatively hid his medications in favorite foods, and they enjoyed building elevated ramps, platforms, and cozy nests that were easy for him to use and which allowed him to safely and comfortably view the activities of the sanctuary.
In early October, caregivers noticed that Owen's appetite was declining, and he was not able to groom himself normally. An anesthetized examination revealed that his kidney disease had progressed, and his arthritis had also worsened, now affecting almost every joint in his body. Owen had become frail in body, but his spirit and mind were still strong. He rallied for a short time after his exam, but soon it became apparent that multiple medical conditions had taken an irreversible toll on him. The heart-wrenching but most compassionate decision was made to perform euthanasia, to prevent him from suffering. Owen passed from this life at the age of 19, surrounded by many who loved him. His toughness, his playfulness, his piercing gaze, and his wiggling tail made indelible impressions on our hearts and he will be greatly missed by all who knew this very special bobcat.
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.
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.
October Amazon Wish List Donors:
Erlinda and Frank Novak, and Kathy Stevens: three bottles of CosequinDS, 132#. Laurel Grindy: one bottle of AminAvast, 60#.
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.
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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.