Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Enjoying the Cooler weather

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

Caesar's Pool

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

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

Update on Bill the Black Bear

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

A Big Thank You to Walmart

A few weeks ago, Richard Gilbreth, Director of IEAS, received a call from Kim, the Manager in the Meat Department at the Walmart Store #5312. It was some good news for the animals of IEAS. We now get donations from this Walmart store once a week. We get a variety of things including produce, meat, chicken, pasties, bread and much more! Not only do the cats of IEAS enjoy the steak and ground beef as a very special treat, the bears love the shrimp they get at least once a week! Let's not forget about the pastries. The pastries are the biggest hit with the bears. The grizzly bears enjoy rubbing in their cakes getting frosting all over their head and face! By the time they finish, they only have about a handful of cake left to eat. At least they had fun with their food before eating it. We want to take the time thank Walmart for donating all these goodies to the animals of IEAS, and also a special thanks to Dunn Produce and IGA in Boyd and Bridgeport for donating produce for the bears of IEAS. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for your help.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Visit from Louis

Greta and Scooter enjoy their regular visits from Louis, the Animal behaviorist at the Sanctuary. They always seem to look forward to these visits. After eating, they will spend some social time with Louis either sitting on one of the perches or playing in their water tubs. What Louis is doing is providing these cubs with Emotional Enrichment. He gives them the source of security, comfort and affection they would be getting from their mothers...essentially becoming a parent figure to them. You can learn more about our unique Emotional Enrichment Program at our website.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Treats for the Bears

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

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 donorservices@cftexas.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!

Richard Gilbreth
Executive Director
International Exotic Animal Sanctuary
Cell: 940-393-9036
Office: 940-433-5091

Monday, September 6, 2010

Scooter and Greta Play Hide and Seek

Scooter and Greta are enjoying their time together. They spend most of the morning and parts of the afternoon just playing outside together. The other day we were able to get some video of the two playing hide and seek together. Scooter would get under the perch while Greta was looking for him through the boards and trying to get at him any way she could. It was very cute to watch. We are glad that these to little bears were lucky enough to find each other. They really have bonded quite nicely in the last few days.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Scooter's New Friend

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.