Elephant of the Week or Elephants to Adopt / Foster / Sponsor

Nicholas : Elephant of the Week at PAWS – Performing Animal Welfare Society : Elephas Maximus

Name: Nicholas

Date of Birth: 15 December 1993

Gender: Male

Where Now: PAWS Wildlife Sanctuary


Elephas Maximus    For more information and Videos of Nicholas that you will love see them at: PAWS


He was forced to ride a special elephant sized tricycle when he was  very young (he was taken from his mama before he was two) and as part of a circus troupe he was expected to perform other stunts as well.

You see, this Asian elephant was not sought out and purchased exclusively for the circus. He was one of a number of baby elephants that was bred at a compound that the circus owned and maintained for the purpose of keeping their enterprise ongoing and profitable.

But from the day he was born, on 15 December 1993, little Nicholas would have other ideas. That is why by the time he was 5 years old the circus had decided that this bull elephant was more trouble than he was worth. They had no use for him then and the circus made the decision to retire him.

After many years of controversy at the “circus training facility” in Illinois (and controversy surrounding the facility’s owner), the only home Nicholas had ever known, he was practically left abandoned there.

If not for his constant companion, Gypsy (with whom he lived for 9 years) he would have been completely alone. These two elephants had an incredible devotion to one another. It was “indescribably touching,” PAWS noted, to watch them communicate through “chirping & rumbling” and to observe them sharing their meals.


Nicholas enjoying the sanctuary at PAWS


Now who was capable and had the facilities to “handle a boisterous bull elephant”?

This is where the co-founder of PAWS, the late Pat Derby, stepped in. Pat Derby who not only had the gumption (she was a “former Hollywood animal trainer”) but the wherewithal to take both pachyderms in.

At the time of securing Nicholas Derby said, “I have a particular fondness for bulls. I’ve always really loved them. They have such spirit. They really seem to appreciate everything that people do for them. They’re just quite wonderful.”


Nicholas happy to be at his home at PAWS


So in May 2007 Nicholas could finally call the PAWS sanctuary home. It would be another 2 years before Nicholas (The transition was purposeful; to give Gypsy time to let go of her charge and at a time when the bull “in nature would be sent out to follow older bulls and to learn the ritual that all elephants understand.”) would have a new “neighbor, Prince, PAW’s other bull elephant.” (See campaign: BUCKS FOR BULLS)

But not far away, just “down the hill”, you will find Gypsy, who can now enjoy the rest of her days in peace knowing that the boy she had “provided safety, security and wisdom” to will never have to suffer abuse at the hands of humans ever again.


For information on how to Adopt Nicholas see: PAWS

Save Bull Elephants With PAWS : Donate to their BUCKS FOR BULLS Campaign

Photo credit of Nicholas: PAWS Sanctuary & Nicholas Enjoying Sanctuary

PAWS Sanctuary (Galt, CA)

Nicholas and Gypsy Update Video:

It Had To Begin With Elephants video: PAWS Remembers Pat Derby









2 thoughts on “Nicholas : Elephant of the Week at PAWS – Performing Animal Welfare Society : Elephas Maximus

  1. Pingback: PAWS Launches ‘BUCKS FOR BULLS’ Campaign & Your Donations Save Bull Elephants | Elephant Spoken Here

  2. Pingback: Gypsy : Elephant of the Week at PAWS – Performing Animal Welfare Society : Elephas Maximus | Elephant Spoken Here

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