Black Leopard: Alexander Moves To PAWS' ARK 2000

Black Leopard: Alexander Moves To PAWS' ARK 2000

Alexander, PAWS' black leopard, was purchased as a small cub to be a pet for a family in Houston, Texas. His "owners", who paid $2,500, kept him chained in their backyard until one day when he scratched a toddler. The incident resulted in Alexander being seized by local animal control officers. Scheduled to be euthanized, he was saved when the Houston SPCA intervened on his behalf. He spent seven months in the care of the SPCA while they searched for an appropriate home, which they ultimately found at PAWS.

Alexander was 11 months old when he arrived at our Galt sanctuary in 1999. Brian Busta, and a crew made up of PAWS staff and dedicated volunteers, quickly built a special enclosure for him that included elevated platforms, a den, and a big plum tree suitable for climbing. Since he was found in Houston, and moved like a rocket, Alexander was named in honor of Nanci and Leslie Alexander, owners of the Houston Rockets, and longtime champions of animal welfare.

Alexander lived in his enclosure in Galt for 14 years, until an incredibly generous donor stepped forward to fund construction of a big new habitat for him at ARK 2000. Inspired by Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, and their dream for a better world for captive wildlife, Mrs. Audrey Steele Burnand donated funds to construct a beautiful new home for Alex. His spacious new habitat includes many climbable oak and pine trees, a pool, and a large, raised deck with a commanding view of the rolling hills of ARK 2000.

On May 30, 2013, Alexander was loaded into a PAWS' animal transport cage and moved from our Galt sanctuary to ARK 2000 in San Andreas, in a comfortable, air-conditioned van driven by Ed Stewart. Alex was accompanied by PAWS' veterinary staff during his journey to his new home.

Members of Mrs. Burnand's family were on hand to help us unload Alexander's cage from the van and release him into his new home where he strode confidently into the new habitat, checked out his new den, and seemed very impressed with his new digs!

Pat Derby dreamed of the day PAWS would be able to move Alexander to ARK 2000. One of her biggest wishes was to see him in a larger habitat where he could run, climb trees and have a pool. From her bed, shortly before her death, Pat could see construction of his habitat nearing completion and she spoke often of her excitement at his upcoming big move. Sadly, Pat did not live long enough to see the completion, but we could not help but feel that she was watching last Thursday when Mrs. Burnand's granddaughter, Kristin Stewart, pulled open the gate and Aexander took his first step into his magnificent new home.

With deep and heartfelt gratitude and appreciation, we thank Mrs. Audrey Steele Burnand for her very generous donation, and for making this dream come true for Alexander, for Pat, and for all of us at PAWS.
Black Leopard: Alexander Moves To PAWS' ARK 2000 backup