Nine Innocent Lives have been saved, and some have found a summer home in Alpine
By Bobbi Brink, Founder/Director
For The Alpine Sun
Eleven days and 6,000 miles later, the Lions, Tigers & Bears (LTB) Rescue team and I arrived home Monday morning, after saving nine exotic animals from two sites in upstate New York. This epic cross-country rescue began as a mission to save six captive bred black bears - Sasha, Sebastian, Dasha, Dora, Diego and Darwin- living at a backyard zoo in Greenwich, New York. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Lions, Tigers & Bears’ members and supporters (YOU!), Pat Craig, Founder/Director of The Wild Animal Sanctuary(TWAS) in Keenesburg, Colorado, the national non-profit group Rock to the Rescue Directed by Hannah Shaw and a generous grant from the ASPCA, this rescue became a reality!
While on the rescue mission, Pat Craig and I were asked by New York DEC officials to rescue three additional exotic animals - a black bear (Skittles), mountain lion (Kira), and African serval (Shaka)- that were being seized from a private residence near Buffalo, New York.
All nine animals were destined to be euthanized by New York state authorities earlier in the month due to lack of permitting and no contingency plans. The LTB Rescue team and myself, along with our partners, immediately went to work as part of this dramatic rescue mission that saved these nine innocent lives -and we could not have done it without your support!
With tens of thousands of captive big cats and bears being kept in private hands across the United States, there is increased pressure placed upon sanctuaries to step up and provide lifetime homes when the animals are seized or relinquished by their private owners. Accredited sanctuaries such as ours are stretched thin due to so many factors -financial, staffing and capacity restraints. It is a major struggle to keep up with the demand placed upon us to provide these animals with enriching lifetime homes. As I write this, we are in the midst of constructing a multi-acre habitat for the bears we rescued from North Carolina at the end of May, and Pat Craig is breaking ground to create a habitat for Sasha, Sebastian, Dasha, Dora, Diego and Darwin.
TWAS will be providing all nine animals a lifetime home at their sanctuary. While en route back to California, the team and I dropped Skittles, Kira, and Shaka off at TWAS .
The six Greenwich bears will be spending the summer at our sanctuary, but their rescue journey does not end here! They are undergoing medical quarantine at our sanctuary and then will be loaded up one more time and driven by myself and our Rescue Team in our state of the art rescue hauler the 1,200 miles to TWAS in the fall.