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Jillian Tiger Liberty Donkeys Natasha in the Waterfall Bakari in the Snow Meatball210 Conga

 “Discover the Difference” and make a difference in the lives of the rescued animals of Lions Tigers & Bears.

2015-03-21_ 1103Did you know you can make a huge difference in the lives of the rescued animals of Lions Tigers & Bears by purchasing an opportunity drawing ticket to win a BRAND NEW Mercedes-Benz CLA250? Tickets are $100 each and only 1,000 tickets will be sold. Don’t miss out – purchase your opportunity tickets today! Thank you to our sponsor – Mercedes Benz of El Cajon – for partnering with Lions Tigers & Bears for this amazing opportunity.

Click here for more info!

CLA Overview



2014-03-21 LTB_ 4919Natasha UPDATE:

March 20, 2015- Thanks to you Natasha underwent ocular surgery on Tuesday, March 17th. Our matriarch tiger required surgery to treat a subluxated lens and secondary glaucoma. Her treatment plan included a lensectomy and laser therapy, however upon examination under anesthesia, our team of veterinarians determined that the lensectomy was not the best procedure for Natasha.  They determined an enucleation of the eye would be the best suited procedure for her condition. Enucleation is a type of ocular surgery that removes the eye, leaving the eye muscles and remaining orbital content intact. Natasha did well throughout her surgery and is recovering nicely, she has been under close observation post surgery. Thank you all for your support. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Natasha the tiger needs your help!



Our matriarch tiger, Natasha, is in need of eye surgery – a lensectomy to be exact. We need your help to make this necessary surgery happen. Natasha suffers from secondary glaucoma and a subluxated lens in her right eye.

The total cost of Natasha’s surgery is $9,250 and is scheduled to take place at the end of March in our onsite medical suite.

A subluxated lens occurs  when the ciliary zonules, which are the series of fibers  that connect the ciliary body to the lens of the eyeball (essentially the fibers that hold the lens in place) break. Natasha’s lens has slipped out of its appropriate position and is now posing a threat to surrounding structures in her eye. A subluxated lens can be caused by trauma to the eye or low grade long term inflammation, however we don’t know the exact cause behind Natasha’s subluxated lens. Natasha has also been diagnosed with secondary glaucoma, a degenerative disease that lens subluxation can be associated with. If left untreated the condition will become progressively worse, cause pain and discomfort and result in damage of the optic nerve and retina.

Our team of veterinarians have assessed Natasha’s condition and her treatment plan includes a lensectomy, which will completely remove her lens, but spare her sight,  and laser therapy to treat her glaucoma. Natasha will require topical therapy daily for an extended period of time, potentially lifelong, after her surgery.

While Natasha is sedated for her eye surgery our team of veterinarians will also take digital x-rays of her paws. They want to assess her declawed paws and see if any further deterioration or damage has occurred since the last time they were x-rayed. Natasha was declawed as a cub by the private owner who had her in Texas before she was rescued by LTB. The vets want to see if there is anything that can be done to help alleviate the damage caused by being declawed. Declawing is an extremely painful procedure that changes the anatomical function of the animal’s paws and causes long term damage including arthritis, lameness  and increased stress on the joints. Natasha suffers from arthritis due to being declawed, and has been on a treatment plan for the last several years.

The total cost of this surgery and digital x-rays is $9,250 plus the cost of her daily topical therapy, which she may require for the remainder of her life. This is a costly but necessary procedure and we are asking for your help to ensure Natasha gets the care she requires to keep her happy and healthy.

In order to perform the operation we are in  need of two pieces of equipment, an autoclave to sterilize surgical instruments and a SurgiAdvisor vital signs monitor. A “share” program has been set up in our online shop, where you can donate a share, starting at $10, to go towards these purchases.

Will you please donate to Natasha’s surgery fund? Your support is vital to upholding our commitment to provide compassionate lifetime care to Natasha and all of the other animals that call our sanctuary home. Thank you for caring about Natasha’s well being. To donate please click on the “Donate- Invest in the future” button on the left side of this page or click here to donate a “share” for the medical equipment. 


Come Visit the Rescued Animals at Lions, Tigers & Bears!

Member and Member-for-a-Day Visits available Wednesday-Friday. Click above to find out about special Feeding experiences and how to arrange your visit today!

Bakari the Lion Natasha the Tiger  Liberty Bear


Lions, Tigers & Bears’ CrowdRise Holiday Challenge!

Please donate today!

Help support the rescued animals of Lions, Tigers & Bears by donating to our “Every Life Counts” campaign on CrowdRise. We have the chance to win a grand prize of $100,000 if we are the organization that raises the most funds. The challenge runs until January 6th, 2015. Your  year-end donation is tax-deductible and will truly make a world of difference for each and every animal at our sanctuary. Click our unique URL below to donate today. Thank you for your support!


LTB Holiday Challenge













In loving memory of Larry Himmel

 In Loving Memory of Our Dear Friend Larry Himmel

This week we lost a beloved friend and longtime supporter of our sanctuary and the San Diego community at large. We are so grateful for the good times, the laughs, and the stories we were able to share with our dear friend Larry over the years. He was the most fun-loving, genuine person who truly loved everyone and always could bring a big smile to our face.

When we tell the story of Lions, Tigers & Bears, the name Larry Himmel always comes up. Larry was with us since day one. He watched us blossom and grow, and with confidence we can say he has played a huge role in helping shape us into the sanctuary we are today. Larry was always there for us, covering the latest happenings at the ranch. From sharing the news of upcoming rescues, holidays and events, to being there when we welcomed our very first bear, Liberty, and the many rescued bears and animals since. Larry didn’t just cover the latest story, he was a true friend and a genuine blessing to us and the animals. Larry was a gem and a cherished member of our family and he is going to be sorely missed. Rest in peace dear friend. We love you and know you are watching over us and the animals!



Lions, Tigers & Bears to collaborate with three organizations to save six New York bears from grim fate.

Black BearAlpine, CA – (June 18, 2014) This Thursday, the Lions, Tigers & Bears’ rescue team and I are taking to the road, once again. Our mission? To rescue six bears, confined to a backyard menagerie. These bears would have otherwise lost their chance at life if it were not for the quick action of four organizations – the non-profit group Rock to the Rescue, The ASPCA, The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) and our team at Lions, Tigers & Bears (LTB). Click here to read more…








There’s No Place Like Home!



Follow the journey of four bears- Albert, Cherry Bomb, Teddy and Baloo, to their new home at Lions, Tigers & Bears!

Click here to read more.








Meatball 210 Cover

Available Now- “The Story of Meatball 210 – The Hungry Bear”

A children’s book about our own mischievous Meatball the Bear.

Order your copy today!

All proceeds will benefit the animals here at Lions, Tigers & Bears.

Watch a Bear Rescue in action from this past summer, click HERE.

And for nationwide media coverage, click HERE.

Glendale City Council Approves Float for Meatball, the Bear, in the 2014 Rose Parade!

July 24, 2013.  LTB’s own “Meatball, the Bear,” a problem bear that gained celebrity by stealing frozen meatballs from a SoCal garage freezer before being transported to our sanctuary here in Alpine, will be depicted on a 2014 Rose Parade float. The Glendale City Council approved the float on Tuesday — it will depict a mechanical “Meatball” popping up and down from a trashcan, and wearing the lid as a hat. The float design is called “Let’s Be Neighbors” and includes other wildlife, including a skunk and coyote (see the sketch below). The foothill suburb has appropriated $155,000 and is seeking public donations for the city’s 100th entry in neighboring Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses.  Read more…

Will Meatball, the Bear, Get a Float in the Rose Parade?!?

Meatball, the Bear‘s popularity lives on!  Our famous bear, who got his nickname after being caught noshing on frozen meatballs from a garage refrigerator in Glendale, may get his own float in the Rose Parade.  The Glendale City Council now wants to honor Meatball with its float for the 2014 Rose Parade.  Sketches of the proposed float feature an animatronic bear popping out of a garbage can.  It would be Glendale’s 100th entry into the Rose Parade.  It would also be its most expensive parade float, costing about $155,000 for the city. City officials were hoping to raise about half of that sum, or $75,000, from corporate and community sponsors.  However, so far, they have only been raised $10,000 from a local developer and $160 from community support, leaving the fate of the float in question. See the television new story by KTLA (Los Angeles) HERE.

Bobbi Brink to Lead the Rescue of Nine Ohio Bears

Alpine, Calif. – (June 27, 2013) – Bobbi Brink, founder and director of  Lions Tigers and Bears (LTB) exotic animal sanctuary, today announced her departure to lead a rescue and multi-state relocation of nine bears.  The animals will travel from three locations in Ohio to reputable sanctuaries in multiple states across the United States. During the three-week trip beginning June 27, 2013, Brink will remove seven bears from two private residences and two that have been anonymously surrendered.  Read more…

Tell Congress to Support the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act” (H.R. 1998)

Bobbi Brink, Tippi Hedren (actress & founder of Shambala Preserve), and Melissa Giordano in Washington, D.C., to support the “Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act”

Bobbi Brink has witnessed first-hand the abuse and mistreatment of captive exotic animals and says, “I whole-heartedly lend my full and strong support to this landmark federal legislation, which will safeguard our children and communities, while protecting some of the most beautiful animals on earth that are cruelly exploited, abused and neglected. Mr. McKeon and Ms. Sanchez deserve our respect and sincere thanks for addressing this pressing and heartbreaking issue.”

 *     There are as many as 10,000 big cats kept in private hands, but no one knows exactly how many and where.

*     The exact number is a mystery because few records are kept. What we do know is that these animals should never be kept as pets. *     It costs at least $10,000 a year on average just to feed a big cat, and they need huge spaces to roam. Many big cat owners, even those with good intentions, quickly realize they are in over their heads. *     In the last two decades in the U.S., dangerous incidents involving big cats have resulted in 22 people being killed (including five children) and nearly 200 being mauled or otherwise injured. The numbers are likely higher as these are only the incidents widely reported by the media.   Read more…

Readers Choose LTB “Best Local Nonprofit”

February 28, 2013.  Readers of Ranch & Coast, “San Diego’s Ultimate Lifestyle Magazine,” have selected Lions Tigers and Bears as the “Best Local Nonprofit” in the Readers’ Choice Best of Personalities 2013. Here’s what they said:

Dedicated to the conservation and rescue of wild animals, as well as educating people about the need for and care of them, Alpine-based Lions Tigers & Bears offers a variety of community programs that show San Diegans the true beauty of our big cat and bear population. Save the date for Wild in the Country Gala, LTB’s biggest fundraiser of the year, on Saturday, May 4. Enjoy live music, beverages, food catered by Phil’s BBQ, live and silent auction items, and chances to see the exotic animals.

Many thanks to Ranch & Coast and their perceptive readers!  (By the way, you can purchase tickets online for our Wild in the Country Gala by clicking HERE.)

LTB Chosen 2012 Organization of the Year!

January 30, 2013.  This evening, Lions Tigers and Bears was chosen “2012 Alpine Organization of the Year” at the 18th Annual Alpine Mountain Empire Leadership & Public Service Awards.  These awards are presented yearly to recognize and honor individuals and organizations that have demonstrated community leadership for the benefit of Alpine and the Mountain Empire communities.  LTB won this year’s award:

In recognition for their conservation of animals and for providing public awareness of the issues of the needs of wild animals.  They are committed to being a giving partner in our community demonstrated by the donations of time, talents and resources to a variety of community programs.

In conjunction with receiving this award, LTB also received commendations from the U.S. Congress (signed by Congressman Duncan Hunter), the California Senate (signed by Senator Joel Anderson), the California Assembly (signed by Assemblyman Brian Jones), and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors (signed by Supervisor Dianne Jacob).  See all five awards.

Meatball, the Bear, and LTB to Benefit from “Supporting Pals” Program

January 20, 2013. now offers friends of Lions Tigers & Bears a way to make donations to LTB without having to spend a dime! The way the program works is simple.  You register with and select “Lions Tigers & Bears” as the organization to receive the donations.  Next, you start shopping online at Amazon, Target, Macy’s, Walmart, and thousands of other online stores and merchants as listed on SupportingPals.comUp to 10% of the money you spend will then be donated to LTB without your paying an extra penny – funding for the donations comes solely from the merchants. You might ask, “What’s the catch?”, but there is no catch.  There are no membership fees, no hidden costs, no fine print, and you still pay the same low prices for the items you purchase!  The donated money comes directly from the merchants and vendors who have agreed to participate in this program to fulfill their social responsibility and to build a loyalty system with their customers.  You will not be spending one cent more than what you normally would. Just be sure to remember to log in to the website before you start shopping.  Adding an icon to your toolbar will make it a snap, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting all of our rescued bears and Big Cats who, with your help, are able to live out their lives in dignity in a caring and nurturing environment. To learn more about the program or to register, click on the button below.  And thank you! SupportingPals

Meatball Named  “2012’s Newsmaker of the Year”

Brittany Levine of the L.A. Times, writing for the Glendale News, has proclaimed Meatball to be “2012’s Newsmaker of the Year”!  She writes: “Perhaps it should have been a given that a black bear with a taste for Costco meatballs, that came back for seconds and thirds — despite being relocated twice — and that had no problem holding his own on live TV would become a media sensation. “But in March, when ‘Meatball’ first burst onto the scene, few could have imagined just how deep he’d end up ingratiating himself in the hearts and minds of thousands of fans, many of them in different time zones.”  Read more …

Update on Meatball’s Status

Breaking ground on Meatball’s safety bedroom

October 6, 2012.  We know everyone is interested in hearing about Meatball, and we want to give you an update about how he is doing and about the progress of the new habitat (we’ve already broken ground for Meatball’s temporary safety bedroom, which will later be moved to become his permanent bedroom). For additional information and periodic updates, please subscribe to our newsletter (at the top of this page) or follow us on Facebook.  Meanwhile, as of today, we have received approximately $80,000 in donations (towards a goal of $250,000) for a new bear habitat, not only to house Meatball, but for future rescues as well.  See Mike Lee’s story in the U-T San Diego.  To donate to the new habitat, visit our “Many Ways to Help” website page.

Meatball in temporary quarantine

Where is Meatball being kept right now? Meatball is currently in our quarantine area. This is standard procedure for any new animal. The outside enclosure is surrounded by trees and shrubs, but is also protected from the elements. It includes a large water tub, enrichment toys and places for Meatball to hide. Why is Meatball currently in quarantine? New animals are required to remain in the quarantine area for at least 30 days to ensure the animal has no diseases or parasites that would be harmful to humans or other animals.

 In addition to ensuring Meatball is free of diseases, it is important for him to acclimate to being in captivity. Quarantine is a customary and beneficial process, as it provides a “comfort zone” and reduces stress. Our vet, Dr. Jane Meier, will monitor Meatball’s progress and let us know when he is ready to be moved into the larger habitat.  Read more…

Fundraising for the New Bear Habitat Has Begun

With donations from the public, “Meatball” the black bear will have a new habitat in San Diego

Alpine, Calif. – (September 12, 2012) - Lions Tigers and Bears (LTB) has actively started fundraising to build a habitat for the rescued black bear, “Meatball,” after learning the proposed transfer to Colorado will not be allowed due to Colorado law stating it is unlawful for a wildlife sanctuary to possess a bear taken from the wild. Having just welcomed a new bear in June, LTB is at full capacity. The exotic animal sanctuary is asking for donations from the public to help build Meatball’s habitat. Meatball will need a safety bedroom, as well as an enclosed outdoor area to roam and play that will be full of rolling hills, caves, hammocks, boulders and natural grasses. Because he loves water (before being captured, he was filmed pool-hopping), the sanctuary would love to build him a pool. “We need to do what’s best for Meatball,” said Bobbi Brink, Founder and Director of Lions Tigers and Bears. “We are ready to begin building the habit as soon as possible but need financial support from the public in order to get started.”   Read more…      YOU CAN HELP, by visiting our “Many Ways to Help” website page.

LTB’s Founder and Director, Bobbi Brink, Makes Front-Page News

On August 15, 2012, the U-T San Diego featured Bobbi Brink and Lions, Tigers and Bears in a front-page story entitled “Rescuer of Exotic Animals.”  U-T reporter John Wilkens described how Bobbi has been working tirelessly to curb private ownership of exotic animals throughout the country, most recently in Ohio, where she has been spearheading the effort to relocate many animals orphaned when an unaccredited sanctuary went bankrupt.  You can read the story online here.  Don’t forget to leave a supportive comment!

No End For Exotic Animal Rescues

The demands for assistance in placing exotic animals in new homes is increasing, and Bobbi Brink, Founder and Director of Lions Tigers & Bears Big Cat Rescue (LTB) near San Diego, CA, is answering the call and providing aid to ailing facilities that can no longer keep up with the demands and resources needed to shelter these wild animals.  This week, Brink returns to Ohio to complete a rescue mission begun earlier this month and transfer the remaining tigers and lions from a defunct animal facility near Columbus, Ohio.  Financial difficulties prevented the owner from being able to properly care for the 32 exotic animals, forcing her to close her doors for good and find new homes for the animals. Brink, along with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), and several other sanctuaries and organizations, conducted a national rescue mission to place the animals in credible sanctuaries and zoos around the nation. Read more…

Exotic Animal Rescue Wildly Successful

An exotic-animal rescue mission, led by Bobbi Brink of Lions Tigers & Bears Big Cat and Exotic Animal Rescue (LTB) and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), with the assistance of seven sanctuaries, one zoo and organizations in five states, was nearly completed this week. Thirty-two wild and exotic animals were removed from a failing facility in Ohio that was forced to close its doors due to lower-than-expected donations and tougher regulations. As Ohio prepared to implement a new law regulating the private ownership of exotic animals, one animal facility near Columbus, Ohio, found the harsh realities of exotic animal care too much. Faced with having its license revoked by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) last year due to unsafe enclosures with “gaps in the fencing which would enable the cats to pass a paw through and injure themselves or possibly enlarge the open area that may allow escape,” the facility chose to find new homes for the animals. Read more…