This past June, the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary welcomed eleven very special bears to the IEAS family! After many years of hardship, two Asiatic bears, six black bears and three brown bears found their way out of the bear pits, located at the Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Sylva, NC, after the park was finally shut down. For so long, these eleven bears had been kept in deplorable conditions, living in concrete pits below the surface of the ground. They never had the chance to step foot on grass, climb a tree, or enjoy the shade of forest brush. Having only the ability to stare straight up at the sky and the faces of those throwing bits of food at them, these bears were denied their basic instincts and the life they deserved. The conditions in which they were kept were publicized widely on the internet, and they were known as the “Cherokee bears.” After what must have seemed like eternity to them, a second chance found them. Thanks to a generous donor from California and the efforts of so many, they will live out the remainder of their lives in a large, naturalistic habitat at IEAS where they can enjoy the shaded forest, lounge in the breeze in a high tree, dig in the dirt, or relax in the grass. They will now live virtually as wild bears with all the conditions ideally suited to wild bears without any fear or hunger.
Through the help of a natural environment, proper nutrition, and our Emotional Enrichment Program
, these bears have come leaps and bounds in their time at the Sanctuary. Aggie, Bertha and Spearmint were quick to take advantage of their newfound freedom. They visit their holding areas to eat, and the rest of the time, they are out being wild bears, running through meadows, digging big holes, playing in their brush pile, hanging out in the water, or napping in the cool shade of the forest. Puddin, Sarah, and Crow have each found cozy brush areas where they like to relax and enjoy the environment. Their neighbors, Rusty and Bettie, love to explore together and have chosen a particular corner of their habitat where Bettie has a favorite tree to relax in the evenings. Toby, who has a habitat to himself, was initially the least adventurous of the new bears, but as his confidence and security have grown, he has ventured further and further from his cave to explore his new home! Tank and Asia, the two Asiatic black bears, have each settled into their own spots. Asia loves lounging in her cave or her water tub while Tank has found the perfect nesting spot to spend his days! It is one of our favorite sights to see these bears fully embrace everything about their new home, and we couldn't be more proud of them!
Since arriving at IEAS, these incredible bears have come a long way. Through the help of a natural environment, proper nutrition, and our Emotional Enrichment Program, these bears have come leaps and bounds in their time at the Sanctuary. Aggie, Bertha and Spearmint were quick to take advantage of their newfound freedom. They visit their holding areas to eat, and the rest of the time, they are out being wild bears, running through meadows, digging big holes, playing in their brush pile, hanging out in the water, or napping in the cool shade of the forest. Puddin, Sarah, and Crow have each found cozy brush areas where they like to relax and enjoy the environment. Their neighbors, Rusty and Bettie, love to explore together and have chosen a particular corner of their habitat where Bettie has a favorite tree to relax in the evenings. Toby, who has a habitat to himself, was initially the least adventurous of new bears, but as his confidence and security have grown, he has ventured further and further from his cave! Tank and Asia, the two Asiatic black bears, have each settled into their own spots. Asia loves her cave while Tank has found the perfect nesting spot to spend his days! It is one of our favorite sights to see these bears fully embrace everything about their new home, and we couldn't be more proud of them!
We hope that you will all support Rusty
, and Bertha
in their journey on a natural life at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary! We, of course, need the support
of the public to be able to give them the lives they deserve for the approximately 30 year life span of a bear. They deserve all the help they can receive, and those of you that have a part in their great future will feel a satisfaction that can hardly be equaled when you see them or their photos and know you had a part to play.
A lot of new animals arrived at the Sanctuary in the last year or so, almost all from bad to horrible conditions. They were in need of every sort of health improvement we have to offer, including better nutrition, better physical surroundings, and especially emotional support and comfort. OurEmotional Enrichment Program
, which is designed to improve our resident animals’ emotional welfare through giving them emotional support and comfort that their human caregiver cares about them and is there for their benefit and welfare, has proven its value with all our newcomers.
The eleven bears we took in from terrible conditions living in pits in an Indian reservation in N. Carolina, initially ran from humans and were very nervous and agitated. None so much as the big male grizzly bear, Spearmint. Now, when I or other staff members come over to his habitat, he walks quickly over to the fence seeking a rub on his nose or a touch between both our noses. This action sends a message of affection and friendship beyond what the simple movement would appear to reflect. He also loves to lick my hand and face. The female Asian Moon bear, Asia, comes running when she sees me or others with whom she relates and also wants her nose rubbed and scratched and an occasional touch between noses; she also frequently runs her long tongue over my hands and face. Likewise, Sarah, one of the female black bears, now very assertively seeks affection, though she has a wary eye on her male companion, Puddin, who gets jealous of her affection towards another being. Puddin, however, occasionally seeks the same affectionate touching.
One of the tigers we took in recently, Sajani
, who lost her mate in the last year, has been very lonely and misses Danvir a great deal. She is a very affectionate tiger, though she hated humans when she first arrived. Now, when she sees me drive by, she jumps up from her perch in anticipation of my visit. She comes over to the fence, chuffing and moaning in anticipation of the rubbing and scratching she is to receive. Once she has had about 5-10 minutes of affectionate interaction including hearing my voice in gentle confirmation of the care I have for her, she contentedly goes and lies on her perch, satisfied that someone cares.
, the white tiger female that came to us having been abused and mistreated and hating humans upon arrival, as did the tiger couple Prince
, all now look forward very much to their human caregivers stopping and spending time with them, talking affectionately to them and giving them the support that shows they are loved and now have humans that are looked at as sources of support, respect, and consideration that has made their emotional well-being improve dramatically since their arrival. Prince and Princess perhaps disliked/hated humans more than any tigers we’ve rescued when they arrived; now they greet their caregivers with happy chuffs and lie down against the fence when we sit beside them. They all now enjoy the best quality of life possible in captivity.
We also received some young animals, and they needed the nurturing that would have been provided by their mothers. Our assistant behaviorists, Christi
, and my wife, Julia, and I have been spending every available moment with our young grizzly bear, Chewy, our young lion, Odin, and our young tiger, Saber. We are giving them the confidence and security that they would otherwise miss, and they are responding beautifully to the time and attention lavished upon them. The grizzly bear happily plays almost every moment she isn’t eating or sleeping, the lion loves to chew on any object or roll his balls, and the tiger finds endless objects to stalk, throw around, or roll into his pool. Watching them grow up with a great childhood is one of the most satisfying things one can do.
A cautionary note: when I speak of touching a bear or tiger through the fence, one must realize that I do it very, very cautiously with the experience of 60 years working with wild, potentially dangerous animals. I know when to do so and when to refrain, depending on the attitude and position of the animal that moment. This action is highly dangerous to those not so experienced; I would rather enter the habitat of an animal than carelessly put any part of my body in proximity to a potentially dangerous animal without the knowledge and experience of years of working with them and knowing when it is safe to do so.
This year has been a busy year for rescues! In addition to the eleven bears, IEAS has also welcomed Odin,Saber, Chewy, Kodi and Popeye to the family!
Odin, a lion cub, came to IEAS after spending the first few months of his life being used for profit in photo opportunities. Now, at almost eight months old, Odin spends his time doing whatever he pleases! This young lion has a gentle nature and finds true comfort in visits from his new human friends. His affectionate and loving demeanor has been enhanced considerably by the Emotional Enrichment Program that our Animal Behaviorist has designed and that all who work with Odin employ.
Saber, a white tiger cub, came from the same place as Odin. Saber is so full of energy and growing faster than we can blink. It has been amazing to watch his confidence and security grow here at IEAS. We love to see him bounding around, climbing on logs, and skillfully practicing stalking! Saber’s affectionate chuffs show us just how content and secure he is in his new home and with his new family. He too is starting with the Emotional Enrichment Program at a young age, and he is already showing us how quicklyand positively it affects him.
Next is Chewy. Chewy, a brown bear cub, was donated to IEAS by Bear Path Acres in Virginia in loving memory of Joshua Ryan Padelt. It didn’t take long for this spirited little bear to find a spot in our hearts. Chewy truly loves spending time with her human friends and the feeling is VERY mutual. We truly cherish the moments that we get to spend with this affectionate little bear providing her with Emotional Enrichment. She loves to check in with us as she splashes in her pool, plays with tree branches, or explores her habitat. She comes over as if she is checking to see if we were watching all of the stuff she’d been doing, and we always are! We love to watch this girl grow in both size and personality every day.
IEAS also became home to another coati (Kodi) and to a ring-tailed lemur (Popeye)! Kodi and Popeye came to IEAS because their owners did not have the proper permits to keep them. Kodi is a very affectionate little girl. To say she loves attention is an understatement…she craves it! Every time one of her caregivers stops by for a visit, she comes right over to sniff all over them and say hello! Popeye is a very confident lemur and has won the hearts of all at IEAS, even the guests! He is a major hit on tours as he loves coming out to show off his agility skills. His cute little sounds are enough to get the “Awe” factor from everyone.
During every tour, we are asked where we get our funds to keep the Sanctuary running. Our answer is always the same, “Being a non-profit organization, we rely solely on donations from private individuals and companies.” Staff, interns and volunteers of IEAS are always finding ways to help out either through writing grants, writing proposals or soliciting businesses. Every year, we are grateful to receive donations and/or in-kind gifts from generous animal lovers out there.
We would like to take the time to recognize some of the caring, generous companies who have helped the animals of IEAS this year:
||Saginaw United Methodist Church
|Little Rock Fire Dept. Station 11
|Rainbow Plant Sales
We would also like to thank all the caring individuals who also donated to IEAS this year! Without you, our work would not be possible.
Thank you all from the animals and Staff of IEAS!
We are always trying to find simple, free ways for people to help the wonderful animals of IEAS. Well, this year we have found a way for you to not only help the animals of IEAS but the world we live it at the same time! Some of us put a great deal of effort into conserving energy, gas, and other resources - and that's an amazing thing! What if all that effort had a reward that was more obvious and immediate than what you're used to while STILL helping the environment? Well, now it can!
By signing up with myactions.org, each of your daily resource saving actions can raise money for IEAS! Here's how...
- Click “Sign Up”
- Fill out the form to join
- Click “Team” in the upper right portion of your screen
- Click “Find Team” and search for “IEAS”
- Click our logo, when the team page pops up, click “Join This Team”
- Once you confirm, you’re a member of the IEAS team!
- Now it’s time to start taking action!
- Go back up to the top right corner of your screen and click “Actions”
- Next, start helping!
You can go to the sight daily, weekly or whenever you can and log all the action you’ve taken! Each one raises money for IEAS. It may not seem like much at first, but it will add up! We can’t wait to see how many of you join our team to help the Earth and IEAS! It’s definitely a win-win for everyone! Remember, all the money you raise by conserving resources will automatically go to the animals of IEAS!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday season from everyone at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary! At a time for giving and being thankful, we thank each of you that supported the Sanctuary over the years. We hope that all of you have had the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary, check out our website or follow us on Facebook
. There have been some big changes at IEAS this year. Not only have we added new species to the family, but we have helped some amazing animals in need. The most publicized being the 11 bears rescued from the “Bear Pits” in North Carolina. We spent a good portion of three months designing and constructing six natural one-acre habitats for these special bears. We hope you all make it out to see these bears and how much they are enjoying their new lives at IEAS.
On behalf of the animals at IEAS, I respectfully request that you consider adding the Sanctuary to your holiday list. Any donation will be greatly appreciated and will be used wisely for the animals. Our Sanctuary offers a unique opportunity for your Christmas gift to assist in this meaningful endeavor of helping these magnificent, innocent beings. We hope, with your gift, the animals here at the Sanctuary have a wonderful Christmas. We applaud your support that has provided the animals here a quality life. We hope to be able to count on your donation for the animals this year and for years to come! I thank you for your help in achieving our goal of providing the best possible quality of life in captivity for our animal residents and others to come and for sharing the enormous responsibility of ensuring the survival of these wonderful creatures for generations to come.
Remember there are numerous ways one can give a gift to the animals: donations, in-kind donations, stock donations, charitable bequests, Kroger, Tom Thumb, and Albertson cards to name a few. We also have some great gifts you can give your friends, family or co-workers. We have Friends of the Felines or Buddy of the Bears packets that allow that special person an unforgettable visit with their favorite animal at IEAS. You can also adopt an animal
in their name. Adoption is always a truly wonderful gift! Please check out the “How to Help”
section of our web site, www.bigcat.org
, to find out all the easy ways you can help these deserving animals. Remember all donations are tax deductable, and if you need a receipt for your 2013 donation, please contact me at 940-433-5091. Please think of the animals this holiday season and the coming year! I hope to see each of you in 2014 during your visit to the sanctuary.
IEAS understands the pressure put upon donors and caring supporters during this crucial time frame. We would like to provide you with several options to assist in itemizing tax write-offs to not only benefit you but also help support the quality of living for our resident animals. Here are some other ways you can help:
Rewards Cards: The bobcats, caracal and servals of IEAS are extremely grateful to the loyal shoppers of Tom Thumb, Kroger and Albertsons! The annual cost of feeding our seven bobcats, one caracal, one ocelot and three servals has been fully provided by Tom Thumb, Kroger and Albertsons shoppers!
By linking your Tom Thumb Reward Card to the IEAS Account 2074 through the Customer Service Desk, the animals are also rewarded a percentage from the total cost of your purchase. IEAS has also joined with Albertsons. By using your card while shopping at Albertsons, they will automatically send us a percent of your grocery purchase. It costs you nothing and the animals are the beneficiaries of your helping hand.
For those who shop at Kroger, we’ve got an updated way to help the animals while you shop. Kroger will donate a percentage of what you spend to IEAS! Here’s how to sign up for the Kroger Community Rewards Program:
- Go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com
- Sign in using an existing account or create a new account
- Find IEAS by searching “International Exotic Animal Sanctuary” or our ID “#80177”
- Choose our organization and then click “Save” to complete your enrollment
Please contact IEAS at (940) 433-5091 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information on your Share Card, Rewards Card and Albertsons Card. Remember, even when you spend money on groceries, you have the ability to help support the animals of IEAS at no extra cost!!
Are you a Capital One cardholder? Capital One has developed the No Hassle Giving Site to provide Capital One cardholders with a convenient way to donate to their favorite charities. Just go to our website, www.bigcat.org
, to find out more about it! Go to the “Donate Now” section and type in International Exotic Animal Sanctuary into the Find a Charity field. You can easily donate to the Sanctuary using your credit card, or you can even donate your rewards!
Now with just the click of your mouse, you can raise one cent for the animals of IEAS. GoodSearch is a search engine which helps to raise money for charities. Simply go to www.goodsearch.com
whenever you are searching the internet. Under the "Who do you GoodSearch for?" tab, type in International Exotic Animal Sanctuary and then click on the Verify button. Just think...if 1000 people made just 2 searches per day, that would raise $7,300 a year for the Sanctuary! That's amazing! So start clicking!
iGive is an awesome shopping resource for you and for IEAS. iGive partners with almost 1,400 popularstores to bring donations to nonprofits, and by shopping through iGive, you can bring those donations to the Sanctuary animals! iGive works by providing participating stores with an avenue to make a donation based on your purchases at no cost to you! Essentially, each store will donate a percentage of what you spend to a nonprofit of your choice! So, visit iGive.com
and sign up to shop for IEAS (listed on iGive as "International Exotic Feline Sanctuary").
An even better idea? Download the iGive "Button!" This is an app that will automatically let you know when you are shopping at an iGive partnered store! It'll happen way more than you think - there are really SO many stores to choose from, and it makes even less work for you! All you'll do is click to "shop through iGive" when the button prompts you, and you'll be directed right back to your online store. Then, when you make a purchase, the store will donate to IEAS! Visitwww.igive.com/button
to find out more about the Button!
It may be a cold winter, but don't let that keep you from an amazing experience! We may not enjoy the cold that
much, but these animals LOVE it! They are more active and more plaful during the cooler days. We have tours
everyday at 11am and on Saturday at 11am and 3pm. Sign up today or call our office to set one up.
Please remember that children must be 7 year or older to tour IEAS.
Also, be sure to keep in mind that we offer virtual tours to school and youth groups. These tours allow students who are either too young or too far away to enjoy this exciting, educational experience via Skype.
International Exotic Animal Sanctuary . P.O. Box 637, Boyd, TX 76023 , (940) 433-5091
© 2011 International Exotic Animal Sanctuary All rights reserved.