Ed Stewart is the President and Co-Founder with Pat Derby of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). In 1985, Ed began initial construction of the original PAWS sanctuary for captive wildlife in Galt, California, and later he oversaw the construction of ARK 2000, PAWS’ 2,300-acre captive wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas, California.
Ed’s innovative and enriching wildlife habitat designs at ARK 2000 have taken him all over the world as a consultant for other wildlife facilities. His expertise in wildlife management has helped with rescues and transportation issues, and his work as an international consultant and founder of a Rotary International program to mitigate elephant and human conflicts has led to developing programs in India and Thailand. He has relocated hundreds of animals by truck and has flown elephants, lions and bears to PAWS sanctuaries.
He continues to advocate at the California State Legislature and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure better care for exotic animals in entertainment. His first effort was in 1984, when he introduced legislation to set higher standards for the humane care and handling of captive wildlife. The bill was signed into law in 1985.
Ed is a member of the Detroit Zoological Society’s Center for Zoo Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, and also sits on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director’s Advisory Committee on the Humane Care and Treatment of Wild Animals.
He also participates in community projects, local committees and boards, spearheading philanthropic causes for seniors and under-served children, and has also served on the Board of Governors for a charter school in Calaveras County, CA.
Among his many appearances in the international media to protect captive wildlife, Ed and Pat were featured in the critically-acclaimed HBO documentary “An Apology to Elephants.”