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Archive for the ‘Endangered Animals’ Category

dr_dresser_345What do you think about cloning the DNA from an endangered animal to keep it from going extinct?  Dr. Betsy Dresser, senior vice president of research for the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, is doing just that.  She takes the DNA from an endangered animal and uses it with a non-endangered relative.  An example is the typical house cat and the African Wildcat.

She takes the egg of the house cat and sucks out the DNA.  She then takes DNA from the skin cells of the African Wildcat and places it inside the egg.  She uses electrodes to spit the eggs.  If everything goes well she places the egg inside the house cat so it can mature and product a new kitten.  It has been going so well, the cloned cats are mating and giving birth to very healthy kittens on their own.

african wildcat

This procedure might sound easy but it’s not.  There is a lot of scientific research that goes into this.  Take the Woolly Mammoth.  They don’t know the gestation period for an animal like that so they would have guess.  The goal is to keep endangered species from going extinct, not to bring back the Woolly Mammoth.  She would like to do work on the Lynx to keep it from going extinct, or the bongo, cousin to the antelope.

The Audubon Nature Institute is located on 1,200 acres of land.  It seems part Serengeti, part high-tech medical facility.  She knows there is a lot of controversy on this topic.  Her opinion, she doesn’t want our next generation of kids to only know an elephant from a text book.  She wants the kids to be able to see these animals alive, in their own environment.  If she doesn’t do this now, then we will be losing a lot of animals for future generations.

She is known as the lady with the “frozen zoo”.  She collects tiny skin samples from thousands of different animals, representing hundreds of species, and is storing them at 343 degrees below zero in tiny canisters inside tanks filled with liquid nitrogen.  She has samples from tigers, bears, frogs, rhinos and many more animals.  She feels there is no reason not to save DNA from every species since the cells can survive for hundreds, if not thousands of years in these tanks.

Woolly Mammoth

The Woolly Mammoth is her poster animal because the thought of it is inspiring.  Imagine the face of a 9 year old child.  This child sees a picture of the Woolly Mammoth and knows that there might be the possibility of brining that animal back to life.  Talk about inspiring for a kid to want to get involved in science that way.  If not, there is the message to do something to improve our environment NOW so we are not impacting and affecting animals is such a negative way.  We all live on the same planet and are connected to each other.

No one has yet found the intact cell it would take to resurrect that Woolly Mammoth, but in Siberia, two years ago, a reindeer herder discovered a remarkably well-preserved one month old baby mammoth that had lain frozen in permafrost for 40,000 years.

Its DNA was in better shape than any previously found, raising hopes that between new finds and new technology, it may just be a matter of time.

Watch the Frozen Zoo  video

ringling picElephants working in the circus have been a hot topic for quite sometime.  Recently people have been commenting on the footage, and pictures, I took at the Ringling Brother’s Center for Elephant Conservation.    Several months ago I had been invited to go see the Ringling facility, as well as the new born baby that was only one month old at the time.  Obviously they knew I was coming so they were prepared.  I was limited to certain areas of the facility.  They told me it was for my safety as well as the elephants.  The people I met were very nice and knowledgeable.  Many of them had been with Ringling their whole lives and so had their parents.  It seemed like a “family”. You can also read the specific piece I did on the Asian elephant back on December 10, 2009.


I am not an expert in animal training or behavior.  I have seen dogs being trained by ”experts” and in my opinion it was extreme.  There are a lot of people who criticize Cesar Millan and say he is “abusive” in the way he trains dogs.  In the end, the goal is reached, the behavior is changed and the dog does what Cesar, and the owners, wants them to do.

A few months ago I had been notified of a local dog sanctuary.  They take dogs most people would not want because they are aggressive and untrained.  These dogs might not be alive if it had not been for the man who has the sanctuary.   He seems to be able to bond with these dogs and the dogs listen to him.   They live out in the swamps of Florida and the conditions are brutal.  My heart went out to these dogs because of the environment they were living in.  Then I realized, this guy lives on the property with them.  If he can do it, why can’t the dogs?  I’ve spoken to some dog trainers and behaviorists who have sent dogs there.  They told me that the dogs love this man.  The dogs don’t know how rough the living conditions are.  They are fed, have lots of other dogs for companionship and get love from this man.  That is where the difference between humans and animals can be so different.  Animals seem to want very little but give so much.

elephant kneesI was sent pictures and information from PETA.  Here is an excerpt:  Bound with ropes in the practice area, baby elephants are wrestled by several adult men—some using sharp bull hooks and electric shock prods—slammed to the ground, and aggressively pushed and pulled into positions that will eventually be incorporated into a circus routine. The frightened baby elephants cry out, but according to the whistleblower, Ringling uses loud music to muffle their screams.

The whistleblower is former elephant handler Sam Haddock, who worked at Ringling’s Center for Elephant Conservation, a breeding and training center, in Polk City, Florida, off and on between 1997 and 2005. His late wife had urged him to do the right thing and expose Ringling’s torturous treatment of elephants at its so-called “conservation center.”

elephant legs

The pictures really bothered me and I wished I could take these animals home with me.  I sent the pictures and information to a friend of mine who is in Asia helping the elephants over there.  Here is what she wrote to me regarding the Ringling elephants:

What is this world coming to? My God…it’s heartbreaking!

Actually the sad truth is, what happens in real life is far, far worse than those Ringling pictures. What I saw in Asia, those poor elephants had so many deep cuts and lots of blood from their ears, head, legs, chest and sometimes their eyes are gouged to render them blind (easier to control),  it’s that brutal! The beatings happen round the clock too- they take turns for days and nights in a row until the elephant is dead or almost, no food or water is given to them for a week. If it is unfortunate to survive the torture, the rest of its life will be succumbed to slave-like conditions, daily beatings, poor nourishment, no love and neglect.  And/or they get shipped around the world to zoos and circuses only to endure the same treatment, as you can see. The white man is no better!

The video footage, the pictures and what I saw in person was far more disturbing, which is why I couldn’t turn my back on it, it made my blood boil! But sadly, yes those pictures are very similar to what I saw. I guess it’s standard practice everywhere to torture and abuse the animals into submission. In Thailand this process is called  “the Pajaan”, in India they call it “The Kraal” etc. AKA “Spirit Crusher”…believe me it’s not just the elephant’s spirit that is crushed!! Anyone with any humanity will be crushed seeing that, I don’t understand those “people” who can do it, and have they no ounce of compassion?

So many battles to fight…

elephant side

I don’t have the answers but I do want to put information out there so that people can see what is going on, different points of view and can take action in their own way.

Here you can watch the birth of an elephant.

elephant wallThe Asian elephant is an endangered species.  I have always heard that they are very sensitive, loving and emotional animals.  When babies are separated from their moms they become extremely depressed.  I have always been told they have feelings that match the feelings that humans have.  My friend, Hanna,  is in Asia doing a documentary about them called “Elephant Nature Park“.

One elephant she told me about is Menaka.  She was rescued by the Forest Department.  Menaka was emaciated and had a bad case of gangrene when she was picked up.  She could no longer dance or even stand on her feet.  She had been housed in appalling conditions in a garage in a Gayatri Temple in Yeshwantpur.  The only water was she had access to was from a small spicket.  The 17 year old elephant had been exploited. She is in such bad shape it is assumed she will not make it.  She receives medical services at Bannerghatta, Biological Park, and animal shelter.  Unfortunately, there are 9 other elephants that are being treated as well.  They were all rescued from Temples in the area.  It is so costly to care for these animals (RS 15 K a month for food alone) that they can only stabilize the animals before sending them on.

baby elephant

Menaka had been born with 22 other elephants in an elephant camp.  At 3 years old she got separated from the herd and was sold to Gayatri Temple, where she has been earning revenue for the temple.  She was made to walk on tarred roads in the scorching sun damaging her health and psyche.  The captive elephants suffer from untrained and unaffectionate mahouts and lack of water resources, which is essential for bathing.  The animal can turn violent if it is subjected to unlivable living conditions.

Lek, which means “little” in Thai, is a very special lady.  The name might mean little but she has a lot of courage!  She is now touring and filming a documentary, Elephant Nature Park”.  The Indian elephant is the symbol of the Asiatic elephant.  There is an urgent need to protect the wild elephant, as well as the ones suffering in human captivity.  Lek was successful in creating an artificial forest close to a village for rescued elephants.  Today 33 elephants live a hassle-free life on the 50 acres.  The Maytag River cuts across so the elephants have a lot of water.  Currently elephants have no support from the Government in Bangkok.   Lek says there are ways to help end the conflict between humans and animals.

elephant head

Currently, elephants that are captured are brought to submission so the can do hard physical work, paint for the public, give rides, etc.  Many don’t survive the process of “breaking” them.  If they do it can be a very hard life.  Elephants bring in a lot of revenue for the Asian people.

I will be posting more information once I get updates from Hanna.  Here is a link to a photo gallery.

Here is a statement Hanna sent to me:

“When you meet one in life and look into their eyes, it is so painful to think of how they are treated. They are such intelligent animals with compassion (they do weep!) and incredible memories. At Lek’s sanctuary- all of them come from a morbid past, and  though they have suffered for years at the hands of humans, they can forgive and are extremely gentle with all people who surround them. Probably because they can feel the love and a safe environment. It’s the closest to paradise they’ll get!”

elephant woods

Here are some facts about Asian elephants:

1. Giant herbivores, Asian elephants can tear down huge tree limbs or pick up small objects with their muscular trunks.

2. Physical Description: Asian elephants are huge gray animals inhabiting Asian tropical forests. Their gray coloration conceals them in their shady habitat. Elephants’ trunks, unique among living mammals, are versatile, enabling them to reach the ground, manipulate tiny objects or tear down huge tree limbs, squirt water over their backs or into their mouths, or blow dirt onto their backs during dust baths. Female Asian elephants usually lack visible tusks as do males in some populations, such as those in northeast India. Wide, padded feet enable them to walk quietly. Large, flappable ears help these huge animals cool off, although elephants often must retreat to the shade or water during the hottest part of the day.

3. Size: Asian elephants grow up to 21 feet long, stand up to 10 feet tall, and weigh up to 11,000 pounds. Females reach around eight and a half feet tall and weigh less than males. Despite their size, elephants are able to walk silently.

4. Geographic Distribution: Asian elephants live in large blocks of forest near water sources and grasslands, habitat that has been greatly reduced in the last half century. They inhabit India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and southern China.

5. Status: The Asian elephant is listed as endangered on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals.

6. Habitat: Asian elephants inhabit a variety of tropical forest habitats from moist, evergreen lowland forest to dry semi-deciduous teak forests to cooler mountain forests up to 10,000 feet. They also frequent adjacent grasslands and farm areas. Their varied diet enables them to live in disturbed forests as long as they have plenty of space to move around and exploit different foods without coming into conflict with people.

7. Natural Diet: A dexterous trunk and large, rasping molars allow Asian elephants to gather and process a wide variety of vegetation, including grasses and herbs, leaves, fruit, farm crops, and bark.

8. Reproduction: Older and larger males—especially those in musth (condition of heightened testosterone levels) dominate the breeding, winning the acceptance of females in heat. Gestation takes 20 to 22 months, and usually only one calf is born. Female Asian elephants can usually breed by age 14 and usually give birth to one young every four years.

9. Life Span: In the wild, Asian elephants may live up to about 60 years but most do not live that long.

10. Behavior: Female and young male Asian elephants live in cohesive herds of related adults and their offspring. The matriarch, usually the oldest and largest female, sets the pace of the group’s activities. Herds often join with others to form large groups called clans. Males leave herds at puberty, around their 13th year, and travel alone or in bachelor groups. Elephants wander widely in search of food. Movements vary widely depending upon food availability. Asian elephants communicate via rumbles, growls, bellows, and moans. Some of these varied, low-frequency sounds may travel a mile or more.

Past/Present/Future: Asian elephants once ranged from Iraq east through Asia south of the Himalayas, into southern China and possibly south to Java. However, centuries of hunting and habitat destruction caused dramatic declines. Males are still killed for their tusks, although this happens less often today thanks to a global ivory ban, in place since 1989. Today, Asian elephants thrive mostly in large remote reserves as well as in and among human habitation. Where elephants and people inhabit the same area, conflicts often occur.

Elephants can cause great damage to crops, and they occasionally kill people. Males in musth are responsible for the majority of attacks. Elephants play important roles in the cultures and religions of countries in most of their range, which inspires support for habitat protection measures, continued studies about elephants and their conservation needs, and efforts to mitigate conflicts between elephants and people.

Information found here.

Today I got some emails I wanted to share with you.

vegan food guide1. Did you know that November is “Go Vegan” month?

I, honestly, was not exactly sure what vegan meant.  I hear “vegan”, “vegetarian”, raw diet”, etc.  Because of this information,  I learned a lot more about being vegan.  I was aware of Georges Laraque, the NHL player,  who went vegan this summer to bring awareness to animal rights and issues.  I also knew that Portia De Rossi and Ellen Degeneres also became vegan earlier this year.  Until now I never really investigated it.  If you would like to learn more here is one website you can check out.  Vegan month.

diabetes2. November is also, National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month.

Today 50 percent of our pets are overweight or obese, which certainly can predispose them to developing diabetes. Both dogs and cats develop the same two types of diabetes seen in humans. The greater majority of dogs develop Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus where the body simply does not produce any insulin.

Most cats, on the other hand, develop Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. In cats the disease is due either to not producing enough insulin or an inability to utilize the insulin that is produced in the body — the same as Type 2 diabetes in humans.

Treating and caring for a diabetic pet takes a huge commitment in both time and dollars.  Initial symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst and urination, possible sudden weight loss and frequent urinary tract infections. Lack of energy and listlessness also are on the list.

Be sure you take your pet to the vet at least once a year for a full physical.  Make sure it is, and stays, healthy!

Proud mom and dad

3.  Here are some pictures a friend of mine took of some Javelina.. also known as Collared Peccary.   They are so cute I had to share them with you.  He had 14 of these critters come out from under his house a few weeks ago, with a couple of new born babies!!!
If you would like to learn more about these interesting animals just check out this link.


turkeys 1

4.  This came from Judy Landers, one of my board members:

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are working urgently to help stop the intense suffering of turkeys. Their situation is grave. The abuse they endure on factory farms is difficult to even imagine. Farm Sanctuary’s public awareness campaign to expose the hidden horrors of commercial turkey production, combined with our efforts to rescue and provide refuge to the victims of this cruel industry, are having an impactopening hearts and minds and creating real change. But we need your help to expand our reach even further. Please help END the abuse.

pig5. ALSOThis Sunday night 60 Minutes will feature an unprecedented exposé on the factory farming of pigs in Australia which has been underpinned by an investigation conducted by Animals Australia.  You can learn more from this link.

dolphins6.Denmark is a big shame

The sea is stained in red and it’s not because of the climate effects of nature. It’s because of the cruelty that the human beings (civilised human) kill hundreds of the famous and intelligent Calderon dolphins. This happens every year in Faroe Island in Denmark. In this slaughter the main participants are young teens.
WHY?   To show that they are adults and mature….

In this big celebration, nothing is missing for the fun. Everyone is participating in one way or the other, killing or looking at the cruelty “supporting like a spectator”. Is it necessary to mention that the Calderon dolphin, like all the other species of dolphins, is near extinction and they get close to men to play and interact in a way of PURE friendship . They don’t die instantly; they are cut 1, 2 or 3 times with thick hooks. And at that time the dolphins produce a grim cry extremely compatible with the cry of a new born child. But he suffers and there’s no compassion till this sweet being slowly dies in its own blood.


Lately I have seen some very interesting, educating and amazing videos about animals.  The ones I seem to like the most are ones that are filmed in the wild. We get to see animals in their own, natural, habitat.  It bothers me to think that a lot of these animals might not be here for our children, or grand children, to see.

It’s Monday so I wanted everyone to be able to start the week off with something enjoyable.  Some of these might be disturbing, but remember, you’re viewing nature.

Have a fabulous day!

There are all kinds of animals that could use your help.  Sometimes saving an animal is as simple as signing a petition.  Below are links to a number of different petitions.  Pick one, or all of them, and help animals all over the world.  Please pass our link on to other people in your database so they can do the same thing.  Thanks to everyone for all you do to make the world a better place.

wolf1. Since 2003, Alaska‘s aerial hunting program has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 wolves. During these hunts, wolves are shot from the air or chased by airplanes to the point of exhaustion before the pilot lands the plane and a gunner shoots the animals point blank. Sign the petition below and urge Alaska Governor Sean Parnell to end the state’s irresponsible and cruel aerial wolf-killing program immediately.

Help save Wolves!


2. Bats play an essential role in healthy ecosystems and should be protected. Unfortunately, an emerging disease is killing North America’s bats. The mysterious white-nose syndrome has already claimed the lives of nearly one million bats, yet scientists still know very little about how to stop the spread of this terrible disease.

Help save our bats!


3.  Coal Is Not Clean

Indonesia’s Sumatran tiger could be the first large predator to become extinct this century, unless poaching for body parts and illegal logging in the area are stopped. Today, the total population of Sumatran tigers left in the wild is estimated to be of only 400 to 500.

The number of tigers across the world has declined by 95% in the past century, and three subspecies have become extinct, including the two others native to Indonesia – the Bali tiger and the Java tiger, which was seen in the wild as late as the 1970s. With fewer than 400 of the creatures estimated to be left in the wild, the Sumatran tiger is classified as critically endangered, the most vulnerable of all the six surviving tiger subspecies.

Tigers are hunted for skins as well as body parts such as bones, which are ground up and used as traditional medicine in some areas of Asia. Another major pressure this species face is the illegal logging by paper companies, which has eliminated more than 1.2 million acres of tiger habitat since 1998 – at least four tigers, and nine people, have been killed in the past month alone, as the shrinking of Sumatra’s already depleted forests brings an increase in attacks on farmers, hunters and illegal loggers.

Help the Tigers!

polar bear

4. Global Warming is Having an Impact!

Global warming is one of the most pressing issues facing our wildlife and our planet. Scientists warn that our rising temperatures could cause 20 – 30 percent of the Earth’s plants and animals to go extinct between now and 2050. But will the Senate take action to save these species?

The news is grim: Walruses by the thousands are flocking ashore as they flee retreating sea ice, abandoning their young and risking fatal stampedes that could kill thousands. Rising temperatures have cause nesting colonies of rare ivory gulls to plummet by 80 percent in the last twenty years.

And global warming could very well doom polar bears to extinction in our lifetime. Vanishing sea ice is already causing these arctic icons to drown in their search for the sea ice they need for hunting and denning. Some are even resorting to cannibalism to survive as their quest for food becomes increasingly difficult.

Help the Polar Bear!


5. Ten species are in critical need of protection

From black, red and gag grouper that make up the popular fish sandwich to the Warsaw grouper, a gentle giant that can grow nearly eight feet long and weigh up to 440 pounds. Additionally, red snapper populations have plummeted to just 3 percent of 1945 levels, and although they can live up to 54 years, few are older than 10.

Regional fishery managers are currently working on important changes to fishing rules that would strengthen limits on the numbers of fish caught annually, prohibit fishing in some areas of the ocean where imperiled fish live and limit certain kinds of fishing so populations have time to replenish themselves.

Help Save Fish!

turtle6. Prevent the Deaths of Thousands of Sea Turtles

Untargeted or discarded catch from commercial fisheries, also known as bycatch, is an enormous problem throughout the world. Trawl fisheries indiscriminately catch everything in their path, including sea turtles!
The National Marine Fisheries Service recognized this problem in 2007 and issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Although this was a first step to get in the water requirements to protect turtles from trawl nets, more than two years later a satisfactory rule has yet to be proposed! Even with this rule, however, trawls in the waters off New England and the Mid-Atlantic States will continue to catch sea turtles for many years.

Sea turtles have been swimming in the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years. While they have been able to survive many challenges over the years, sea turtles are not equipped to withstand the threat humans pose.

Help the Sea Turtle!

dog and cat7. Help Feed Animals in Shelters

Did you know there is a link you can go to each day and with one click give .6 bowls of food to an animal shelter? Check out this link.

If you can remember, do it everyday.  It will help so many animals!

Thanks again for helping any and all animals that matter to you.  If there are other organizations or sites you would like to promote, please let us know.

grouperDid you know U.S. South Atlantic waters have more dwindling fish populations than any other region in the nation?  Fish catches are expected to decline dramatically in the world’s tropical regions because of climate change, but may increase in the north.  This mega-shift in ocean productivity from south to north over the next three to four decades will leave those most reliant on fish, for both food and income, high and dry.  Here are some things I found out.  If you have comments or suggestions please let us know.

The shift has already been seen over the last 20 years.  Major shifts in fish populations will create a host of changes in ocean ecosystems likely resulting in species loss and problems for the people who now catch them.

Ten species are in critical need of protection — from black, red and gag grouper that make up the popular fish sandwich to the Warsaw grouper, a gentle giant that can grow nearly eight feet long and weigh up to 440 pounds. Additionally, red snapper populations have plummeted to just 3 percent of 1945 levels, and although they can live up to 54 years, few are older than 10. IF YOU WANT HELP.


In the first major study to examine the effects of climate change on ocean fisheries, a team of researchers from UBC and Princeton University discovered that catch potential will fall 40 percent in the tropics and may increase 30 to 70 percent in high latitude regions, affecting ocean food supply throughout the world by 2055.  They examined the impacts of rising ocean temperatures, changes in salinity and currents resulting from a warming climate.

A lot of people who live in the tropical area rely heavily on the oceans for their food. This new information shows that the food source will be highly affected because of climate change.

Countries facing the biggest loss in catch potential include Indonesia, the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), Chile and China.

Many oceanographers predict severe loss of coral reefs in coming decades due to rising acidity from emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Corals support about 25 to 33 percent of the oceans’ living creatures. We are already seeing a lot of this taking place around the Keys of Florida.  Around one billion people depend directly, and indirectly, on reefs for their livelihoods.

Here is a petition you can sign if you want to have an impact on this issue. YOU CAN TAKE ACTION FOR THE FISH


What will these poor people do if they can’t make a living, or can’t feed themselves because they also survive eating seafood?

In addition, industrial fisheries are scooping up enormous amounts of fish like  anchovies, herring, mackerel and other small fish so they can feed their farmed salmon.  Some turn the fish into animal feed or pet food.

These small fish contribute more than 50 percent of the total food fish supply in more than 36 countries in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. Especially hard-hit is sub-Saharan Africa, where more than half of the population receives 25 percent or more of its protein from fish.

In Mexico the poor people eat these small fish.  Now that the demand for these fish have increased so much the poor can’t afford to eat the fish.  They are also not getting the protein they need, which should be another concern.

Previous studies looking at impacts of climate change on the global food supply have mostly been done on land-based food sources.  These showed that tropical areas will see a decline in land productivity and there will be a significant decline in crops and there will be major price increases.

There are projections that warmer waters will boost fish catches substantially in Norway, Greenland, Alaska and the east coast of Russia. While greater catch potential in colder regions might appear beneficial, the authors caution that more research is needed to account for the multitude of dynamic factors that affect every ecosystem.

“While warmer waters might attract new species to colder regions, the rise in temperature might make the environment inhospitable to current species in the region that cannot move to areas to thrive.

Even if the northern ocean produces more in the future, it might not be enough to maintain current levels of fish for consumers

Regional fishery managers are currently working on important changes to fishing rules that would strengthen limits on the numbers of fish caught annually, prohibit fishing in some areas of the ocean where imperiled fish live and limit certain kinds of fishing so populations have time to replenish themselves.  YOU CAN HELP

cougar 1 Do you and your kids like wild animals?  There are places all around the country where you can volunteer and be around lions, tigers, bears and the list goes on.   If you don’t want to volunteer then have a fun day visiting these animals.  Most of these rescues survive by having volunteers help with the day to day care of the animals as well as donations from visitors.  The economy has hit all of the sanctuaries and rescues hard.  They don’t have any option but to feed and care for these animals every single day, regardless of the circumstances.  They barter for food and medical care as well.

pig Many of these organizations have petting areas where you can actually pet animals you would only see in the wild.  It is really sad when you hear the stories about these animals and where they come from.  If it were not for these rescues and sanctuaries these animals would not be alive.

I recently visited two organizations in Florida.  One is called, “Lions, Tigers and Bears”  and they are located in Arcadia.  Click here for their link. The other rescue I visited is called, “The Big Cat Habitat”.  They are located in Sarasota.  Click here for their link.

Both of these sanctuaries have very similar stories about their animals.  Many were bought by people thinking that having a wild animal as a pet was a good, and different, idea.  Most of the owners got their animals when they were very young and cute.  Once the animals got larger they were harder to care for, cost a lot to keep, and began to hurt their owners.  The animals were not intentionally aggressive, they just got big and the “cute nip on the hand” became a HARD bite.  Wild animals are still wild and have certain instincts.  Animals are very much like humans as well.  If they are not disciplined and coached properly when they are young, they will do the same things when they become adults.  Some people think that some behaviors are cute when they have a small child or animal.  Once they grow up it’s not cute anymore and they get scolded, or worse, for the behavior.  Unfortunately, they don’t know why they are scolded when it was ok a year ago.  Now it’s completely unacceptable.  MIXED MESSAGES!!

The circus, economy and other circumstances, are reasons these sanctuaries and rescues get animals.  Yesterday I heard that one man has 12 wild animals he was keeping at his home.   He can no longer afford to feed them and if someone doesn’t come and get them he will have to put them down.  He said he got them when they were very young and cute.  Now he sees how much they eat everyday and he can’t afford to keep them.  They are also getting too hard for him to manage.  There are a lot of circus and show animals that would not survive if it were not for these organizations.  Once the animals get too old to work they can’t use them anymore.  The circus can’t afford to keep them so they either find someone to take them or put them down.  It is heart wrenching to think these animals give their lives to entertain us then when they want to “retire”, like we do, it’s usually the end of the road for them.

Many of the animals these days are inbred as well.  When that happens these animals tend to have a lot of health issues.  You might see animals who have crossed eyes, pigeon toed, or just seem kind of “weird”.  Most of them have been inbred.

I am not the expert but I do know that I want to help as many animals as possible, live good lives.  If you like animals and want your children to be exposed to animals only seen in the wild, contact your local sanctuary or rescue.  It’s the experience of a lifetime.  They will learn about the animals, responsibility and meet some very interesting people in the process.

We would like you to share your experiences, pictures and stories with us.  Send us an email, make a “comment” or post about a special animal under “Animals Remembered”.

KenyaMore than sixty African Elephants and hundreds of other animals have died so far in Kenya amid the worst drought to hit the country in over a decade, conservationists announced.

rhinoA setback to a program that successfully produced the first calves born in captivity in more than a century.