New York Bear Rescue Archives - Lions Tigers & Bears

Through the prairie, mountains, desert and finally home!

Through the prairie, mountains, desert and finally home!

Alpine, Calif. – (June 30, 2014) Twelve days, 15 states and 6,000+ miles later, Bobbi and the LTB Rescue team arrived to Lions, Tigers & Bears with the six Greenwich, NY bears in tow. It was an epic rescue that exemplifies how quick action and collaboration can pay off – and in this case save nine lives! A huge thank you goes out to our collaborative partners : The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Rock to the Rescue and the ASPCA for working together to make this rescue a reality.

Sasha the bear

Sasha is all smiles, after arriving to LTB!

Sasha, Sebastian, Diego, Darwin, Dasha and Dora were very happy when the rescue hauler came to a halt and the team opened the hauler doors to reveal the sights, sounds, and smells of their new home! Each bear was rolled out of the rescue hauler and into their new temporary medical quarantine habitat. It was an amazing site to see each bear take that first step out of their transfer cage and into their new home. To be able to watch them feel dirt beneath their paws for the very first time was absolutely extraordinary. Once settled in, all six bears were fed a wholesome diet of fresh fruits, veggies and special peanut butter and honey sandwiches. They especially enjoy the crunch of romaine lettuce!

This bear family of six will spend the summer at Lions, Tigers & Bears to undergo their medical quarantine and then will be loaded up in the rescue hauler one final time and driven the 1,200 miles to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado by Bobbi and the LTB Rescue team. A long journey for six captive bred black bears, but none the less a “beary” happy ending!



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Skittles, Shaka and Kira arrive home!

Skittles, Shaka and Kira arrive home!

Keenesburg, Colorado – (June 28, 2014) The LTB Rescue team arrived at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Keenesburg, Colorado after driving 1,800 miles from Fredonia, New York where they rescued three additional captive exotic animals – Skittles the black bear, Shaka the African serval and Kira the mountain lion – that were seized by New York DEC officials.  These three privately held exotics were extremely lucky to get a second chance.

WelcomeThe LTB Rescue team was greeted by Pat Craig and his sanctuary team, along with a pack of four legged helpers! Skittles, Shaka and Kira were unloaded from Lions, Tigers & Bears’ rescue hauler and then transferred to their temporary quarantine areas. The TWAS crew helped Bobbi and the rescue team clean out the rescue hauler for the rest of the journey home with the six Greenwich bears. In just a matter of a few hours, both sanctuary crews bid each other farewell and the LTB Rescue team hit the road again with just 1,200 miles left to go!

The LTB Rescue team will be returning to TWAS at the end of the summer when they load up the rescue hauler one more time with all six Greenwich bears and transport them back to the Colorado sanctuary, where they will spend the rest of their days. In the meantime all six bears will undergo a medical quarantine at Lions, Tigers & Bears’ sanctuary and enjoy their San Diego stay!

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Detour to save more lives.

Detour to save more lives.

Fredonia, NY – (June 25, 2014) While in New York, Bobbi Brink received a call from DEC officials about a case involving a privately held mountain lion, black bear and serval. The DEC had orders to seize the three animals being kept at the private residence near Buffalo, NY on Wednesday, June 25th. Rather than euthanize the animals, the DEC requested for Bobbi to rescue the animals. Being that she and the rescue team were already in the area, it only made sense. Three more captive exotic animals’ lives were able to be spared on this cross-country rescue!

The exotic trio includes: Kira- a six year old female mountain lion, Shaka- a six or seven year old male serval and Skittles- a thirteen year old female black bear(spayed).

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Bobbi and the LTB Rescue team arrived to the Fredonia, NY residence Wednesday morning, accompanied by DEC officials. All three animals were provided medical care and loaded into their transport cages that they would make the journey to their new home at The Wild Animal Sancutary in Keenesburg, Colorado in.  The owners of the three animals were very cooperative with authorities. The couple like the private owner in Greenwich, had explained that they too had tried to find a more suitable home for their three animals, only to be turned away. This is a recurring dilemma that private owners of exotics face across the U.S. The owners find themselves in deep water, with no means for escape and it is the animal that ends up suffering. Luckily for this upstate New York couple, their animal seizure was greeted with a happy alternative ending for their three exotics.

The LTB Rescue Team will be dropping the exotic trio off at The Wild Animal Sanctuary, on the way back to California with the Greenwich bears.

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Let the rescue begin!

Let the rescue begin!

IMG_4149 Greenwich, NY – (June 24, 2014) Five days, ten states and nearly 3,000 miles later,  the LTB Rescue team arrived to New York state on Monday in their state of the art animal rescue hauler. A few winding roads through the woods later, the team arrived bright and early to the rescue site, welcomed by DEC officials, USDA officials, the private owner of the zoo and Hannah Shaw, Director of the non-profit group, Rock to the Rescue. The six bears: Sasha, Sebastian, Dasha, Dora, Diego and Darwin were living together at the small private backyard zoo. Sasha(female, age 6) and Sebastian (male, age 7) are the parents of Dasha and Dora (females, age 3). Diego and Darwin are males both around 6 years of age.

Bobbi and the LTB Rescue Team spent the morning coaxing each of the six bears into their individual transfer cages. One by one each bear was loaded into their transfer cage and then sedated with the assistance of the New York veterinarian team. After sedation, each individual bear underwent a baseline medical examination which included: physical and dental exam, blood and stool sample analysis, immunizations and microchipping. Each bear appeared to be in good health. After the completion of each exam, each bear was loaded back into their transfer cages, where they were able to recover from the sedative and rest up for the following days journey. The team spent nearly twelve hours at the rescue site transferring and providing medical to all six bears. IMG_4163

Earlier in the month, DEC officials served the owner of the small backyard zoo a court order to relinquish the bears due to permitting reasons. With no contingency plan in place, and time quickly running out, the bears were scheduled to be euthanized on June 6th by state officials. Through the quick action and collaboration of Lions, Tigers & Bears, The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, the national non-profit group Rock to the Rescue and a generous grant from the ASPCA, these bears were spared their unfair death sentence.

The private owner was very cooperative with the rescue team and officials. The owner had previously reached out for help in the past several years to find reputable homes for the six bears, only to be turned away time and time again. Reputable and accredited sanctuaries across the U.S. are stretched thin due to multiple factors, from financial restraints, to space and staffing. It is extremely difficult for such sanctuaries to keep up with the demand placed upon them to provide lifetime care for these captive exotic animals.

Bears live up to thirty years in captivity, eat twenty pounds a day and can cost upward of $10,000 per year to provide just the “bear” necessities.


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

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

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).

The bears, part of a defunct captive wildlife operation in upstate New York, are the sole survivors  – from lions and tigers, to macaques and lemurs-  that were being kept at this backwoods zoo. The owner  is now stepping up to do the right thing, but this means the bears must go. With no contingency plan in place, New York state officials had the six bears scheduled to be euthanized on June 6th, 2014, but with the quick action and collaboration of all four organizations, we were able to convince the authorities to hold off on this unfair death sentence while acting quickly to put a rescue plan in place. Thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA this rescue is becoming a reality and now it is time to hit the road!

The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado has agreed to provide all six bears with a lifetime home. I have offered to provide the six bears with a temporary home at our sanctuary before they are relocated to the Colorado sanctuary in August. Our team will be transporting the bears in their state of the art animal rescue hauler from New York to California and then to Colorado in the fall. We will provide on the ground baseline medical exams to all six bears before they are driven the 3,000 miles back to our sanctuary.

This rescue is a prime example of the perils captive exotic animals face across the United States. It is the animal that ends up paying the price – from being sold as pets or trophy opportunities at canned hunt ranches, to being traded by breeders, to the more grim reality of euthanasia.  Luckily for these six bears, they are being given a second chance, but the outcome is not so promising for tens of thousands of other captive wild animals out there. As private owners are forced to relinquish their exotic animals, sanctuaries struggle to keep up with the demand for space and funds for lifetime care.

Did you know a bear can live upwards of thirty years in captivity? Factor in the $10,000 per year per bear to provide proper nutrition, medical and other basic essentials, the cost for lifetime care quickly adds up. To help with the rescue of these six bears and future rescues by Lions, Tigers & Bears, please visit ourwebsite and donate today. Thank you for your ongoing support. Every life counts!

P.S. Be sure to follow us on Facebook as this rescue unfolds!

Sincerely yours,

Bobbi's Signature

Bobbi Brink, Founder/Director

Lions, Tigers & Bears