Saturday, April 19, 2014

PAWS - Gypsy's Story

Come to PAWS and Meet Gypsy! 

Gypsy at PAWS

Gypsy was born in 1967.

Nicholas (PAWS'Asian Bull Elephant) and his surrogate mother, GYPSY, arrived in Galt on April 2, 2007. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Hawthorn Corporation negotiated a consent agreement which permitted the transfer of the two Asian elephants to PAWS. The two elephants were closely bonded and their devotion to each other was indescribably touching. They shared food, rumbled, chirped and remained in close proximity to each other at all times.

When we accepted the responsibility of caring for Nicholas & Gypsy, we knew that dealing with the relationship between the young male and his older female companion would be challenging. When Nicholas matured and his hormones became an issue, separation would be inevitable.

When it came time to separate the two, on January 13, 2009, we knew it was the end of an era, a time when the young, captive born male no longer needed a surrogate mother. Gypsy had provided security, safety and wisdom to him as long as she could. In the wild, he would be sent out to follow older bulls and learn the ritual that all elephants understand.

Wanda at PAWS

We moved Gypsy down the hill to join the other Asian elephants where she's been given a much deserved rest and retirement after the daunting task of raising a young bull. When Gypsy moved to the Asian barn, she gravitated to Wanda immediately. When she made her first trips out to the habitat, she stayed close to Wanda, and since that time the two have remained almost inseparable.

Several weeks after Gypsy's move we were reviewing 20 year old circus videos, searching for footage of Ruby when she performed in the circus. What we found was astonishing — no footage of Ruby, but we did find Nicholas’ father Tunga, Gypsy, Gypsy’s calf (Brat, now deceased), and Wanda!

Sadly, circus elephants have little solace in their lives except for the comfort of other elephants, and they never forget old friends, even after more than 20 years. Gypsy and Wanda — best friends forever.

Gypsy was born in 1967 and after many years performing in circuses, she now enjoys the freedom to roam with her friend Gyspy on the large acreage of the PAWS sanctuary where they both will live out her live in peace.


You can come and meet Gyspy, Wanda and all the 11 African and Asian elephants at PAWS during an unforgettable day at PAWS.  Learn about the plight of captive elephants and see for yourself how PAWS has created a true sanctuary for these animals.

Please see all details here.

Til next time,