Pat Derby, the animal rights activist famous for her work training animals for iconic television shows and commercials during the 1960s and 1970s, died Friday at her ARK 2000 animal sanctuary in San Andreas, California after a two-year battle with throat cancer. She was 69. During her career as a trainer, she worked with elephants, tigers, and animals for shows like Lassie, Flipper and Gunsmoke, developing methods based on trust between animals and their trainer, instead of fear. She shocked the entertainment world in 1976 with her memoir The Lady and Her Tiger, which detailed widespread abuse of performance animals in the film and television industry. Derby became a vocal advocate for reform and legislation protecting animals in entertainment, establishing the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in 1984. PAWS would eventually found three wildlife sanctuaries for abandoned and abused animals, including the 2,000 acre ARK 2000 facility, the first elephant sanctuary in the United States. She is survived by her partner and PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart.
R.I.P. Pat Derby
For all of Deadline’s headlines, follow us @Deadline on Twitter
Sign up for Newsletters
Trending Now on Deadline
More From Team
- Shine International Taps Ted Bookstaver SVP Head Of Americas
- Hot Trailer: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children'
- Annika Marks Joins ABC Family's 'The Fosters'; Rotimi Akinosho In Starz's 'Power'
- 'TMZ Hollywood Sports' To Anchor Reelz Primetime
- Relativity Sets Thrillers 'The Disappointments Room' & 'Kidnap' For Fall 2015
- Zach Gilford & Jonathan Cake Join USA Pilot 'Stanistan'