Monday, July 25, 2011


Many of you have probably met a few of our interns,
whether on tours or on visits with your adopted cat or bear.
However, you may not have met our keepers!
The IEAS cats and bears have three care takers.
Meet Christi, Trish, and Nissa...

Christi Gilbreth is the Curator and Assistant Animal Behaviorist
at IEAS. Before coming to IEAS, she graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Wildlife Ecology and Management. After graduating, she worked at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation center where she had previously completed a three month internship. Her education and experience at WRR helped her obtain her internship at IEAS, where, upon completion of her internship, she was asked to stay on as a keeper. Since then, she has earned her current titles.
During her time at IEAS, Christi has helped care for the resident felines and bears while instructing interns on how to care for these animals and about the daily operations. She also co-founded SWAVA, an organization designed to share information with other sanctuary workers and volunteers to help improve the lives of captive animals in sanctuaries everywhere. As Assistant Animal Behaviorist, Christi has worked alongside Louis Dorfman to help raise two cheetah cubs, five white tiger cubs, two baby bobcats, and six black bear cubs. She has learned a great deal in the past size years and continues to learn something new every day!

Trish Lang is the Lead Keeper at IEAS. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2004 with a BS in Animal Bioscience and a minor in Animal Science. While in school, she worked at the Pennsylvania State Deer Research Center, where she gained experience working with white-tailed deer. She also volunteered and interned at the Centre Wildlife Care. Here, she cared for orphaned and injured wildlife for the purpose of releasing them back into the wild. Trish came to IEAS as an intern in December 2004, and
shortly after completing her internship, was asked to work as a full time keeper. Working here has taught her so much about the care and management of exotic animals, as well as all of the aspects involved in running a Sanctuary. She now teaches interns about the proper care of these amazing animals. She also instructs our Grant and Proposal Writing Course in which she teaches interns about certain fundraising techniques used by nonprofit organizations. Each new day provides a new experience and opportunity to learn. Trish has discovered that surviving the animal world requires lots of hard work and dedication and with this, the rewards can be endless!

Nissa Marione is the newest Keeper at the Sanctuary and
also works as the IEAS Education Coordinator. She graduated from the University of Maine in 2010 with a BS in Biology and a minor in Psychology. While in school, Nissa completed an Animal Care Internship at the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina. The big cats at this facility helped her realize that these were the species she someday hoped to work with, and so after four long Maine winters, she headed to Texas for the IEAS Animal Care Internship. After her internship, Nissa worked as the Education Coordinator for three months, giving tours, doing community outreach, fundraising, and more. Eventually, she was asked to take on the role of keeper. Everyday, Christi, Trish, and the IEAS animals teach her more and more about what it takes to properly care for the exotic animals who have a home at the Sanctuary and she is excited to learn as much as she can from them!

Questions for our keepers?!
Feel free to post them as comments,
on our Facebook wall,
or e-mail them to!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


WOW! In a 24 hour time span, IEAS has be SO fortunate to have two AMAZING donations...

First, as keepers sat finishing morning chores, a surprise truck pulled into the IEAS driveway, hauling a Land Rover! Keon Robertson of Austin, TX, ready to get rid of her used car, decided that IEAS would be the perfect place for it! Now, the Sanctuary has a great, reliable, and very happily received vehicle that will be perfect for traveling to meetings, presentations, and public appearances as well as very useful for pick ups and transportation of some IEAS goodies! This is such an amazing show of support and WE CAN'T THANK MS. ROBERTSON ENOUGH!

THEN, yesterday afternoon, Christine Herrera, a supporter of IEAS, came driving into IEAS with a HUGE trailer full of a brand new toys for the cats and bears of the Sanctuary. 13 MASSIVE wooden spools (normally used for wrapping up big cable) are now sitting up on top of our hill, just waiting to be played with! Amazingly, Ms. Herrera loaded all of these HEAVY spools up onto her trailer - by herself! She then hauled them to IEAS where they will be more than welcome in many an animal's habitat! Soon enough, they will be clawed up, chewed on, and rolled around, providing perfect behavioral enrichment, allowing Sanctuary residents to use those instincts of hunting and pouncing, all while having some fun! THANKS MS. HERRERA!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Produce Galore!

Did you know that the bears of the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary are fed almost entirely off of donated produce? We do purchase peanuts, meat, and omnivore kibble for them but the majority of their meal is given to IEAS by a few local grocery stores!

Every day, an IEAS intern hops into our little, red produce truck and makes the trip to two different Marketplaces, a Brookshire's store, and Dunn's Produce. At these four stops, we pick up several boxes, barrels, and bags of any produce that may have a little bruise or scratch - something people wouldn't want to buy but is delicious for a bear! With a truck bed full of produce coming to IEAS everyday, our bears stay full and happy!

BUT, these four stores aren't the only ones who give to IEAS. Once a week, Sanctuary Director Richard and Maintenance Supervisor Roy head out to a Walmart in Fort Worth to pick up a trailer full of goodies for our bears and cats!

We couldn't be more thankful for
what these five stores do for IEAS
and the animals living here.
To have their support means
the world and it's so
great to have this trusted,
reliable system with them!

Friday, July 1, 2011


We've got a second chance! IEAS has gotten into the Pepsi Refresh Project challenge again! This time, we're in the running for $25,000 and we want to win it! Of course, we need YOUR help!

Voting is open NOW and will be open until July 31st!
You get five votes a day, but you can only vote for each cause ONCE A DAY!

There are a few WAYS TO VOTE:
You can log in to vote through your Facebook account, which makes the whole thing that much easier - no signing up, no e-mails, just voting!
You can vote from your phone by texting 107473 to Pepsi (73774)! Set a daily reminder on your phone so you remember every day!
Do you drink Pepsi products? If you do, you can help even more! Under the cap of specially labeled Pepsi products is a code that allows you to POWER VOTE! This gives you extra votes (up to 100!) so be sure to be checking for that Pepsi Refresh label and code! Click HERE for more info about Power Voting!

Remember, we need all the help
we can get so spread the word!
Share this link on your Facebook,
Twitter, with family and friends!

PLEASE think of the animals!
A few seconds a day can help them!
Imagine what $25,000 could do for IEAS!
Don't YOU want to be a part of making that happen?