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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!
You’re invited! Join us for a Holiday Extravaganza at the sanctuary! Come spend the afternoon watching your animal friends open their Christmas presents and get some holiday shopping done all in one day! There will be tons of local vendors, food, entertainment and a special appearance by Santa Claus! This is a family-fun filled day you don’t want to miss!
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!
Alpine, 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…
Follow the journey of four bears- Albert, Cherry Bomb, Teddy and Baloo, to their new home at Lions, Tigers & Bears!
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.
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…
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.
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…
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…
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.)
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.
January 20, 2013. “SupportingPals.com” 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 SupportingPals.com 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.com. Up 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 SupportingPals.com 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!
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 …
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.
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…
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.
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!
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…
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…