Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I just want to remind everyone to vote for IEAS daily to help the Sanctuary win a $2,500 gas care! Right now we believe we are in 3rd place, but we are so close to winning the grand prize! It's so easy. Just take five minutes a day and go to www.fuelinggood.com. Click on the "Cast Your Vote" box in the upper right corner of the home page. You will have to register the first time, but after that, all you have to do is type in your email and vote. We are listed under the title "You Too Can Save a Life." You can just type in "IEAS" and "go" and we will pop up. This is an easy way for your to help the animals of IEAS without costing you dime. So please remember us the next few weeks. The contest ends January 4. Oh, and did I mention that each time you vote, you get a chance to win a $25 gas card for yourself? All you do is play a game after you vote and you may be a winner! Thank you all for your support this past year. We hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Years!
Friday, December 24, 2010
The animals and Staff of IEAS would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Earlier this week it really didn't feel like winter at all. However, now it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! The animals will be snug as bugs in their warm cozy houses for the next few days. There will be those few cats that love the water too much to let some cold weather keep them from having fun. Kim and Karen are two very playful tigers who love the water! A side note, we would like to remind everyone that in the spirit of the Holidays, the staff will be taking time off to be with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so there will be no tours scheduled for those days. We do invite you all to bring your family out Sunday and anytime next week! Again...Happy Holidays!
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Holiday season is upon, and we would like for you to remember the animals of IEAS during this time. With Christmas just a week away, I am sure all of you have your decorations up and your Christmas trees decorated full of presents underneath. Well, we would like to give you a gift idea for the animals of IEAS. When you take your live tree down, instead of putting it out with the trash, bring it by the Sanctuary. Old live Christmas trees make for an entertaining enrichment item for the bears. The grizzly bears will enjoying playing with them and tearing them up, while the black bears may make a den or a brush pile to sleep in. Now don't forget about the felines enjoying the trees. Akbar, Arusha and Kumar enjoy playing with old pine trees as well and have taken branches into their pool to play with. Kim and Karen we know will love playing with the trees as well. So please, if you would like to donate your live tree, just call us for directions!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The new interns have survived their first week at IEAS. We have girls from all over the U.S. that were chosen to participate in the Winter Internship. The girls from up North have brought the colder weather to Texas as the last few mornings have been near freezing. No matter how cold it is though, the girls have learned quite a bit during their first week at IEAS. Each of these interns have one goal in mind, to help care for exotic animals either through conservation education or zookeeping. IEAS is a good place to start to accomplish their goals. During the next three months, these interns will learn just what it takes to properly care for exotic feline and bears.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
HOW TO VOTE: Just go to www.fuelinggood.com. Click on the "Cast Your Vote" box in the upper right corner of the home page. You will have to register the first time, but after that, all you have to do is type in your email and vote. We are listed under the title "You Too Can Save a Life." Yes, it's that easy!
PRIZES: We have a chance two win one of three prizes.
Grand Prize: $2,500 CITGO Gift Card and a case of CITGO Passenger Car Oil
First Prize: $1,500 CITGO Gift Card and a case of CITGO Passenger Car Oil
Second Prize: $1,000 CITGO Gift Card and a case of CITGO Passenger Car Oil
Monday, November 29, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Greta and Scooter were moved to their new home to join Scamp in their own natural five-acre habitat. It was an exciting day for all involved. We were so happy to see these two youngsters enjoy their new home. With this kind of set up, they will be able to act like wild bears. With Scooter, not only did he have a happy childhood being raised and cared for by IEAS Staff, but now he will have a great adolescence and adulthood. Scooter and Greta were released into the holding area for the first few days to get adjusted to their new surroundings. This is when Scooter climbed his first tree. He did it with such confidence. He almost made it to the top, but instead, decided to come down and join Greta on the jungle gym. The first day, Scamp came over to check things out. Scooter, being the confident bear he is, went right over to the fence to check out his new roomy. The two got along great. They just sat there sniffing each other. Greta, on the other-hand, didn’t want anything to do with it. She found her spot on the jungle gym and settled in for a nap.
Friday, November 12, 2010
This past week, Dakar, Meyote, Lucky and Lucy got three new roommates. Pixie, Rascal and Rowdy were moved over to join them in their natural five-acre habitat. The transition went very smoothly. The bears seem to be getting along. Pixie, Rowdy and Rascal are just trying to find their own spot to hang out. They have many different areas to choose from. However, they seem to be navigating towards where Dakar and Meyote hang out. They are not timid with these four year old bears. They will sit and watch each other for a while, but the younger bears eventually leave to give them their space. We are very happy with this successful transition. As for Scamp, he will be getting new roommates very soon as Greta and Scooter will eventually join him in the second five-acre habitat. We will keep you updated on their progress.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
The Staff and animals of IEAS would like to give a big Thank You to Rainbow Plant Sales in Saginaw, Texas. They were generous enough to donate their remaining pumpkin stash after Halloween. As mentioned before, all the animals enjoy the pumpkins. The bears enjoy eating them...it's a nice seasonal treat. While the felines enjoy playing with them...a good seasonal enrichment item. We have plenty of pumpkins for all to enjoy. It is with these generous donations that make it possible to give these animals the best quality of life possible in captivity....it's what they rightfully deserve. Thank you again for the donation.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Well it's getting time for hay. With the cooler mornings we felt it necessary to add hay to our smaller cats (bobcats, servals and caracals). Let me tell you, they are enjoying it. As soon as the hay was put into their house, the cats went straight over to check it out. This morning, every single bobcat, serval and caracal were snuggled in their warm, cozy house. Even during the afternoon, they will stay in their house. I think they like the feel of the hay and the cushion it adds. It won't be long until we are adding hay to all the animals of IEAS as Winter approaches.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Well, the animals are enjoying some much needed rain. You would think on days like today, you would find the animals in their houses staying warm and dry. Well, not the tigers. Majority of the tigers are out walking around as if it was a nice sunny day. Akbar, Arusha, and Kumar stayed on their perch relaxing. Makeen and Noel are up walking around just checking things out while Sabrina is in her cave watching the rain come down. Our group of young tigers, Kimberly and Karen and Allie and Rasul are taking time to play in the rain like little kids. I guess it takes more than just a little rain to keep these guys in. If you didn't mind getting soaked to the bone, it is actually really cute to watch these guys have fun.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Shauna got a pumpkin today for enrichment. She loved it! As soon as they raised her house gate, she ran inside and grabbed it. Even though the pumpkin was the size of two put together, Shauna grabbed it with ease and ran around with it. It was as though she was showing off her prize. She eventually settled with it near her perch and just bit into it and rolled around with it. She would hide behind her tree and then jump out and pounce on it. After playing with it a bit longer, she carried it up on her perch and laid next to it. I think she was ready for a nap by then.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Well, we have been doing some minor repairs the past few days. First, Ron's favorite perch needed to be replaced. He loves lying on the perch every morning, but over time it just got to the point it needed to be fixed. So, Roy and Christi worked hard all last week to build him a new perch. This morning, that project was finally complete. Anyone can guess where Ron has spent the rest of the day.
Another repair being made is to the Grizzly pool. With the cooler weather comes cracks in the pools. So the Grizzlies have been supervising our progress on their pool. The interns and staff have been working hard these past two days to re-cement and mortar their pool again. Tomorrow all we have to do is rinse the pool and fill it. Then we just watch them enjoy their pool. For anyone who has seen them, these four bears LOVE their pool. With this beautiful fall weather, those who haven't visited the animals that call IEAS home, you should come out and see them.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Today Dakar and Lucky were enjoying the beautiful weather. They were in their meadow area of Bear Orphanage playing together. Lucky would start out on top of Dakar almost like putting him in a head lock, but then Dakar would duck under and poor Lucky would end up on his back. They were like two little kids wrestling. Meyote soon came to break up the fun. When she arrived, they all just sat there looking at each other. I think they enjoyed it more when it was just the boys.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tis the season for pumpkins! That means loads of fun for the felines and more to eat for the bears! The bears love pumpkin season as they enjoy trying to break them open to see what's inside. They love the pumpkins seeds, and eat them one by one. The felines enjoy playing with the pumpkins; it's a new enrichment item for them to play with. Some cats will roll them around and bat at them while others will shred them to pieces. When they shred them, it's usually in their pool which makes it fun for us to clean up.....not really, but we do enjoy watching them have fun. That is the entertaining part. So, if you have any old pumpkins you would like to donate to the animals of IEAS, please let us know. We would be happy to take them. The animals really enjoy them every fall, and it is something for them to look forward to during this season.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The cooler weather has all the keepers and interns bundling up during their morning chores. However, the animals are loving it! They are more frisky in the morning during feeding, but they spend their afternoons basking in the sun taking long naps. The leopards and cougars are lounging on their high perches in the sun and the bears are hanging out in the trees a lot more these past few days. The tigers of course still enjoy splashing in their pools. It has to get much colder than this to stop them from enjoying the water. We have had tigers playing in their pool when there was snow out!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The new interns had their first experience with mortar this week. We had to repair Caesar's pool since it started leaking. The interns enjoyed mortaring Caesar's pool. This is just one of the many skills they learn while interning at IEAS. Caesar also was grateful that he has his pool back. His favorite place to lie is in the fall right next to the spout. He just relaxes there under the tree watching the world go by. He has a good vantage point from this particular spot.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Scooter and Greta are growing into young little bears. It's amazing how big they have gotten in just the past few weeks! They are spending more time napping lately. They will come out to visit with their caregivers and to eat, but after a good play session, they usually end up back inside to nap. The past few weeks, Scooter is spending more time with his human caregivers while they visit. I guess the newness of Greta has worn off and he misses his human social interaction. Don't get me wrong, he and Greta still play while we are with them, and Greta enjoys relaxing during the visits. With the cooler weather approaching, they are actually becoming more mellow and will end up laying with their human friends chewing on twigs or just sniffing the air. We are so happy to see that Greta and Scooter were able to find their happy ending.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Bill has come a long way in the past three years. He is spending more time outdoors. He now enjoys cooling off in his pool, interacting with his neighbors (the grizzly bears) and we have even seen him lounging on one of his perches. The past few nights he has been sleeping outside on his perch instead of in his cave like he has in the past.
For those who don't know about Bill, before coming to IEAS, Bill had lived in a 9x4 foot cage tucked away in a barn on a remote property in Gonzales County. He had no view of the outdoors as he had the covering over the top and sides of his cage and had not even stepped foot on grass before. Authorities confiscated Bill as soon as they were tipped off to his deplorable condition, and he was sent to the North Texas Humane Society until a home could be found for him. Once IEAS heard that a home had not been found for Bill, we knew we needed to rescue this distraught bear and give him a chance at a better life. When Bill arrived at his new home, he was in complete shock. It was the first time in his life that his paws with cracked and dried pads touched the sand and grass. He had never in his life been outside! He never walked on grass, sat or splashed in a pool, climbed a tree or even seen the sky! He spent his first month sitting by his water trough in a corner with a blank stare on his face. It was obvious he was in shock and couldn't comprehend the variety of new stimuli that was before him. He wasn't used to having all this room and wasn't sure what to do. After a month, he made his first step; he climbed a tree. We were not expecting this. He stayed in the tree for a day and then decided to climb down. Once Bill got used to his surroundings, he spent most of his time in his cave. He would come out every now and then to eat and cool off in his pool, but he just felt more comfortable in the privacy of his own cave.
After a rough beginning Bill has made great progress, not just physically but emotionally. He now enjoys visits from a few visitors and will allow them to watch him enjoy his pool. He is now comfortable with his surroundings and the staff who work so hard to give him the best quality of life possible. You can ask anyone who works here and they will just tell you how much they love and enjoy Bill. He isn't the youngest bear, but he has stolen the hearts of many in just the thee years he has been here.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
First, I would like to thank all of you who participated in Giving Day for the Sanctuary. I know it took patience, but I think it was a big success. Well the last few weeks, the bears have been enjoying some extra treats. We have been getting pastry treats donated for them, along with hot dogs, cakes, and even shrimp! The shrimp is a big hit with the grizzly bears. To say they love them is an understatement. Willie, a grizzly bear, and Greta, an American Black Bear, enjoy the pastry treats the most. Willie ended up rolling his head all over his cake that he got the other day. There was only about a fist full of cake left for him to actually eat. The rest was smeared all over his head and face. Greta loves the donuts and other pastries she gets with her meals. She will even eat those before the grapes. If you know our bears, you know that grapes are always the first to go, but with Greta, the pastries win out.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Get Up and Give! North Texas Giving Day
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
September 8th is a day for you to go to your computer and give to the animals of IEAS! Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8, 2010, nonprofits with an approved DonorBridge profile will receive matching funds when donations are made online through DonorBridge. This helps your gifts go farther than ever before!
Simply click here and you can help to make this a special day of all of these amazing animals. Then just click on the Donate Now button. You can donate as much as you want! The only requirement is a minimum donation of $25 for your gift to receive matching funds.
Please remember, the credit cards that will be accepted are American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. If you do not have a computer available to you at this particular time, please call our office at 940-433-5091 on September 8th, and we will be happy to take care of the transaction thru DonorBridge for you.
Gifts made on Giving Day will be processed through the Communities Foundation of Texas. Donations will appear on credit card statements as being payable to “CFTexas.” Donors will receive an acknowledgement email that includes an official gift substantiation/tax receipt. IEAS will be notified and given your contact information, unless you request to remain anonymous. If you do not receive an email receipt, please contact CFT directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will provide another copy.
Thank you in advance for caring for these magnificent cats and bears. We hope that this will be a very special day for the animals of IEAS. Your gift will help to ensure that they continue to live a very happy, healthy life here at the Sanctuary!
Thank all of you so much for all your help!
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Greta came to us from a gentleman in Houston. This Good Samaritan rescued her from an animal shelter in IL. Greta had been exploited for her cuteness and used in photo ops in order to make money. When she could no longer provide profits, she was left at an animal shelter that was not equipped to care for her. The Good Samaritan knew if he didn't rescue Greta, she probably end up being euthanized. Most captive born bears, outside of zoological institutions, will face an uncertain future, full of torment and sad unimaginable outcomes.
A few months after rescuing Greta from an uncertain future, the Good Samaritan began to realize how lonely Greta was and how badly she needed a friend. He finally called Richard, Director of IEAS, for help. That is when he learned that IEAS had a little bear cub who needed a friend as well. So, Greta came to join Scooter at IEAS. In just the first hour of being together, Scooter and Greta hit it off. They enjoy each others company and have been playing almost non stop. This is truly a happy ending for both bears. When they are moved down to Bear Orphanage, a five-acre habitat that consists of meadow and forest areas, ponds, and dens, they will embark on a journey that few captive bears will ever experience... Freedom. The natural environment will allow the bears to grow and experience the freedom of open skies and seemingly endless boundaries.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Grizzly bears got a treat today. They enjoyed fruit bocks during the hot afternoon. All we had to do was fill a bucket with water, add fruit to it and freeze it. We usually stick to their favorites: apples, pears, strawberries and of course don't forget the grapes. This is a big hit. We even gave Bill, the black bear who is a neighbor to the grizzlies, a fruit block. He came right out and started enjoying it. Of course, Bill always ends up pulling everything into his cave. You can check out more videos of the grizzlies and Bill enjoying their enrichment on our website, www.bigcat.org. Just go the the Animal page. You can also see videos and pictures of the cats enjoying blood buckets, which is a favorite treat for them during the hot summer days.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Well, now that the cooler weather has moved in, we are able to make some repairs to some of the pools. Today, interns got to perfect their mortaring skills while re-mortaring Khera's pool. Not only do interns learn how to properly care for these magnificent animals, but they learn about pool maintenance, vehicle maintenance, cementing pools and feed slabs, making troughs and working with PVC pipe. These are just a few of the many things they have the ability to learn during their internship.
Khera is a Bengal tiger who loves her pool. With this dry, hot weather, her pool began to leak as the ground shifted. Today, Khera laid by her drop gate and watched patiently as we fixed her pool. Eventually she did get bored and went into her house. Tomorrow she will be able to enjoy it again. Khera loves to play in her pool during the early evening hours. She will occasionally drag her firehose ball into the pool with her.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
On a happier note, Scooter did enjoy his purple boomer ball. He had a blast playing with it. He would pull it out of his water tub, throw it in the air and the roll around with it. You can see for yourself in the video clip.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Domino is a male Jaguar who came to IEAS as a cub in 1993. During the hot Texas summers, he will occasionally cool off in his pool. Since he arrived, we have only been able to get two pictures of Domino in his pool. This summer is no different. We have seen him in his pool on numerous occasions with it being so hot. As soon as we get there with a camera, he just walks out of his pool and lies on his perch. Well, he was nice enough Saturday to wait for us. We finally got another picture of him in his pool! This summer heat is getting all of our animals to cool off anyway they can. Most of them have pools while others have mister systems to help them cool off. You can come see Domino and the others cooling off this summer on a tour. We have tours Saturdays at 11 and 3, Sundays at 11, and during the week just call the office to set up a time.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
We put some hay in Scooter's outside house. We just wanted to provide him something in case he wanted to make a little bed. Well instead of making a bed, Scooter found that hay is very fun to play in. Every morning after eating his lunch, he would run into his house and roll around in the hay. He loves it! It is so entertaining to watch him roll and flip and even dig under the hay at times. Silly little bear.
Monday, August 16, 2010
We recently had some help raising money from a group of special individuals. Kids from Camp Fire USA’s Camptivity Day Camp helped raise money for the animals of IEAS. They raised money through a car wash last week. They braved the hot weather to help these wonderful animals. I know the animals and the staff at IEAS are very grateful for their contribution. During these hard economic times, it is charities such as IEAS that suffer the most, but with the help and support of caring individuals such as these guys…we are able to give these animals the best quality of life possible in captivity. We want to say a big THANKS to these kids and everyone else who has helped support IEAS over the years. Without you…this would not be possible.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
We hear that the entire U.S. is going to a heat wave this summer. Here in Boyd, it's no different. The past two weeks we have reached highs in the triple digits with a heat index of 105-110 degrees! We are lucky as most of our work is done in the morning hours which is the cooler part of the days. Then we try to stay out of the heat as much as possible. However, the animals of IEAS do not have the luxury of air conditioning to cool off in. Most of the animals seek shelter either in their house or lying in the shade cooling off during the hotter parts of the day. In the evenings, you can walk around and see just about every tiger or bear cooling off in their pool. The tigers and bears enjoy playing in their pools first thing in the mornings and also in the evenings. We have even seen Doming, a jaguar, cooling down in his pool. However, he has yet to allow us time to get a picture of him doing so. We hope you enjoy these pictures of the animals. You can come out for a tour at 11am and see them enjoy their pools in person. Just contact us at (940) 433-5091 to set up a tour! Don't let the heat keep you from enjoying these animals! It will be worth it trust me.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Scooter now has a new house to play in. We gave him access to the house located in the outdoor area of quarantine. He loved it! It didn't take him long to bring a few toys from his indoor area to put into the house. The newness of the house still has not worn off as he spends his mornings playing inside the house. He would roll around with the toys a bit and then come jumping outside and roll around on the ground. It is so fun to watch him enjoy it. I know it's something that is not that big a deal to most, but to Scooter, is a whole new world to explore. We can only imagine what he will be like when we move him down to Bear Orphanage this next winter! He will have plenty to explore then.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The heat wave finally hit Texas this month. All the animals at IEAS are taking advantage of their pools and mister systems to help keep cool. Scooter is no exception. He is taking every chance he can to cool off in his water tubs after a hard play outside. He does have one advantage over all the other animals...Air Conditioning. He still has access to the air conditioning in his holding area. Though you may think he would choose to stay inside all day with it being so hot, he actually loves coming out to play when his caregivers come to visit. After playing for a while, he will take breaks to cool off in his water tubs; then it's back to playing. Eventually he gets played out and will take a nap on one of the perches with the Animal Behaviorist.