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Animal welfare advocate to speak at Drury University

For Immediate Release: September 25

Dr. Patricia McEachern
Director of the Drury University Forum on Animal Rights
Professor of French
Office: (417) 873-7875

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 25, 2009
— Ed Stewart from The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) will speak at Drury University on Oct. 1, 2009, at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall. Stewart’s appearance is sponsored by the Drury University Forum on Animal Rights.

PAWS was founded in 1984 by Stewart and former Hollywood animal trainer and author Pat Derby. PAWS maintains three sanctuaries for captive wildlife in California to offer abandoned, abused or retired performing animals and victims of the exotic animal trade a place to live in peace and dignity. PAWS cares for several species of exotic animals including elephants, bears, mountain lions, African lions and primates. Stewart oversees the daily operations at PAWS’ sanctuaries.

Derby worked as a trainer on the set of many popular films and television shows in the 1970s, including “Flipper,” “Gunsmoke,” “Lassie” and “Gentle Ben.” In the process of developing her own training methods based on trust and love, she discovered a profession rampant with neglect and abuse. She and Stewart pioneered a method of elephant handling that uses no bull hooks, weapons or aversive training techniques. Their elephant handling method is the model for elephant trainers around the world, and Stewart consults on wildlife care and housing around the world.

Besides co-founding and running PAWS, Stewart and Derby are recognized as leaders in wildlife protection, design world-renowned natural wildlife habitats and coordinate international wildlife rescues. One major transfer involved moving Maggie the elephant from the Alaska Zoo to a PAWS’ sanctuary.

For more information on the Performing Animal Welfare Society go to

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