Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Isn't Over Yet!

That's right! It's still Christmas here at IEAS as we collect as many leftover Christmas trees as we can! Many of you have seen what the residents here at IEAS love to do with the leftover pines, and we're eager and excited for this year's round of Christmas tree handouts!

In the next few weeks, IEAS staff will be providing these Christmas trees as enrichment for feline, bear and coati residents of the Sanctuary. If their reactions are anything like last year's, we are all in for some excellent entertainment. The biggest cats love to pounce, throw, and destroy these prickly toys, while the smaller cats tend to see these trees as a big, delicious smelling brush that they can rub all over! The bears, on the other hand, prefer to use these piney limbs as bedding in their caves. It's a great something extra to keep them super warm and cozy!

So, once your ornaments come down, your tree can make someone else's (someone furry) Christmas complete! Bring your tree to IEAS and let the holiday spirit keep on coming! 

Call 940-433-5091 or send us a message on our Facebook for 
information on tree pick up (we'll come get it if you live nearby). 

We look forward to seeing you (or your tree!) here at IEAS!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas with the Animals!

Here at IEAS, we are often asked about how we spend Christmas. Most people have the day off from work or school, and have few obligations other than visiting certain family members or cooking tons of food. Christmas is a little different for us here at IEAS. We don't get a day off, but rest assured, we have absolutely no problem with that.

The longer we work here at IEAS, the more these animals become a part of our family, and what better way is there to spend a holiday than surrounded by cherished loved ones, human or animal! With the understanding that these animals need, want, and deserve our attention and care 365 days a year, we more than happily get up before the sun on Christmas morning to prepare diets, provide fresh water, and wish our furry friends a "Merry Christmas," ensuring that they know how much we love them! Don't worry, we do still get to take part in all of the traditional holiday activities. Though they can't join us, we're sure to have our own holiday feast and gift exchange once we know that every member of our family is happy, healthy, full, and safe!

More than anything, the holidays are about appreciating the blessings we have, right? And in that case, spending the day surrounded by 61 furry blessings might just be the PERFECT way to spend Christmas. 

We wish you all a safe and happy time this holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 
from the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meet the New Interns!

They're two weeks in to their internship here at IEAS, and we want to introduce them to you - the Winter 2012 Intern Group! 

Chris, Scott, Jessie
Sam, Lexi, Laurel

These six new interns are starting to settle into the routines here at IEAS and are definitely immersed in lots and lots of new information every day! We've got a lot to teach them in the next few months, so we have them working hard! So far, the interns have been learning the habitat and house cleaning routines for each of the three sections of the Sanctuary. They've also been going on tours and familiarizing themselves with the information and routes. Soon enough, they'll be leading their own tours! 

Now that they've met the animals, Chris, Scott, Jessie, Sam, Lexi, and Laurel have begun to take part in the Sanctuary's Emotional Enrichment Program instituted by our Animal Behaviorist, Louis Dorfman. This is always a favorite internship feature for interns, as it allows them to form a strong, personal bond with an animal, while simultaneously making that animals life better, happier, and more comfortable. They've each selected two animals to begin the program with, and with dedication, patience, and trust, they'll end up with a lifelong furry friend! 

We'll keep you updated on the progress of these eager new interns as their time at IEAS progresses. They've got lots of learning to do and will soon be taking part in intern courses, such as Grant and Proposal Writing, Laws and Regulations, and Firearms Safety Training! Stay tuned! 

Remember, you can always sponsor an intern! Find out what that means here

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

First Big Freeze!

We've had our first big freeze of the season, with night time lows in the twenties and most of the past few days under 50 degrees. Brrr is an understatement! It's hard to believe that it can be 20 degrees AND 80 degrees in the same week.

The animals don't mind the cold nearly as much as we do. Well, most of them don't. While the tigers have been up and about, feeling even more frisky than usual, Mork and Mindy, whose species is native the more equatorial regions, have been spending lots of time in their heated cave, cuddling together in blankets and hay. The IEAS lions have been taking advantage of the sun, laying in the warmest spots, sunning themselves and absorbing lots of heat!

The cold does tend to make Sanctuary work more difficult, but we'd been keeping an eye on the cold front, and we were very prepared for what the drop in temperature meant. Frozen hoses and frozen waters were two of the biggest "bumps in the road" that we faced this morning, but after breaking waters and allowing the sun the do some thawing work for us, we were able to give every resident animal fresh water!

Needless to say, the freeze is a great learning experience for our new interns. When working in the animal care field, you have to realize that no matter the weather, the animals have needs every single day, and here at IEAS, their needs and their safety are always number one priorities! The new interns have seen that today, as we bundled up and ventured out to take care of these amazing animals! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New (Human) Faces at IEAS!

Well, it's that time again. Another three months have come and gone, and IEAS is all set to welcome six new interns to the Sanctuary family! Between today and tomorrow, Samantha, Chris, Jessica, Lexi, Laurel, and Scott will arrive at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary to begin their internships.

An internship at IEAS, as past interns have said, is "not for the faint of heart." We challenge our interns to perform at the absolute highest quality because we know just how much they are capable of! An internship here at the Sanctuary is not easy to obtain, as for each session we have approximately 100 applicants for just a few positions. The chosen interns are the best of the best, and we push them to learn as much as we can possibly teach them in the three short months they are here.

We always say that this internship will help interns decide very quickly whether or not they've chosen the right career path, as almost immediately upon arrival, they dive head first into the world of animal care. They get dirty, work long hours, and take in tons of information! We've found that sometimes, past interns say it best:

"They will work you hard, expect the best from you, and help you succeed in whatever your future endeavors may be."
"This internship was as rewarding as it was demanding. It was through this opportunity that I learned a great life lesson, which was the more you put into something, the more you get out of it."
"The staff at IEAS will push you to your limits, farther than you ever thought you could be pushed, but every one of them genuinely wants to see you succeed and become a better keeper and person by the end of it."

Check out more from our past interns here!

We're eager and excited for this next session, 
and happily welcome the new arrivals to IEAS!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Inside the Bear's Den - LITERALLY!

If you've been a fan of IEAS long, you've probably heard us talk about Bear Orphanage. Bear Orphanage is comprised of two 5 acre, naturalistic habitats for American black bears. Both habitats contain meadow areas, forest areas, a pond, and more. They allow the black bear residents of IEAS to truly live as wild bears do - but with room service!

One of the most rewarding things we see, in regards to Bear Orphanage, is how "wild" the bears truly area. Though many have been in captivity for the majority of their lives, their instincts are strong and very often, they exhibit the behaviors of a bear in the wild. Digging for grubs, foraging in the brush, climbing trees, and burrowing dens are things we see every day in Bear Orphanage.

Today, on a trek through one section of the habitat, we were able to spot the dens that several of the bears had dug for winter. They are currently unoccupied, as the bears are using the caves that we built and provided for them, so we were able to climb in and snap a few pictures. These pictures show just what a bear's den would look like in the wild. They are certainly smart, angling the dens to block the incoming northern wind, and digging in such a way as to effectively and efficiently block the elements!

We think that this unique look at a bear's den is really awesome, and we hope you do too! It's so amazing that the bears here at IEAS are able to live as wild bears do, AND that they do it so well!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Between Holidays at IEAS

Looks like Kumar has the right post-Thanksgiving idea!
Well, we're STUFFED, but we still managed to roll out the door today and clean the residents' houses! We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and plenty of time to relax and enjoy a break from work. Now that Thanksgiving is past, and Christmas is on the way, it's time for us to share the many ways YOU can help IEAS this season.

If you've been to the Sanctuary, you know our Gift Shop is stocked with plenty of adorable and unique gifts for the animal lover in your life. Stuffed tigers, IEAS t-shirts, and beautiful photos of the Sanctuary residents are sure to make your friends and family smile, and the money used to purchase the gift DIRECTLY benefits the animals! You'll be doing something positive in more ways than one!

Looking for something really special? How about Adopting an Animal for your chosen gift recipient? It's guaranteed to be appreciated, both by your loved one and the animal that your gift will benefit! Maybe you want something on a smaller scale? An Animal Packet might be perfect! Whoever receives that packet will have the opportunity to visit with the animal of their choice at IEAS! You're present will be a hit!

For more ways to help this Holiday Season, check out our How to Help page. There you'll find info about our Wish List, our Sponsorship Program, and more!

Remember, shopping through Yellow Brick Mall ensures donations for the IEAS animals, and shopping at Albertson's, Tom Thumb, and Kroger for your holiday treat will mean a percentage of what you spend for the Sanctuary residents! More info about these programs can also be found on the How to Help page!

Thanks for thinking of IEAS this holiday season! Tis the season, right!? Spread your Christmas spirit to better the lives the animals living at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary! Remember, a donation in your name or someone else's is a great holiday treat!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And the nominees are....

...the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary! Well, we hope so! IEAS is hoping to take part in Wal-mart's "12 Days of Giving" campaign, but in order to be considered for a portion of 1.5 million dollars in grants, we need YOU to nominate us!

There's no voting and no signing up, just a short nomination form that you can fill out on Facebook! Could it be any easier?!

Here's how YOU can be the reason IEAS wins one of the prizes:

     Short Cut:
         1. Click the link right.... here.
         2. Click the green "Nominate Now" button.
         3.  Fill out the form and SUBMIT.
         4. Sit back and think about the wonderful thing you just did for the animals of IEAS!

     Long Way Around:
         1. Go on Facebook.
         2. Search for Wal-mart and go to their page. (Link to it here)
         3. Click on the little arrow next to their "apps."

          4. Click the "12 Days of Giving" App!

          5. See steps 2-4 of the "Short Cut" Method above! 

You only have until November 18th to make your nomination! 
Remember, the five minutes it will take you to nominate IEAS could have an impact that will last forever! 

Thanks to everyone who continues to do their part to help the animals at IEAS!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bird's Eye View!

Our Curator and Lead Keeper were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get a bird's eye view of the Sanctuary a few days ago. From about 1,000 feet up, they were able to catch several photos of habitats and finally see the Sanctuary in its entirety!


Tiger Habitats
With this look at the approximately 50 acres of IEAS, they quickly realized just how much space the animals have. They got a great look at the 16,500 square foot habitat of Mau, a cheetah, and several tiger habitats, ranging from almost 6,000 square feet to 13,500 square feet.

Many of the IEAS habitats were difficult to see from above, as they were hidden by thick, developed trees, which they were actually quite pleased about! The trees the provide shaded areas in each habitat and give the animals a home that feels safer and more like their natural habitats. Within the habitat, the trees also provide environmental enrichment. They are a place where the animals can scent mark, making the area feel like their own!

Cheetah Habitat
It was such a great opportunity to see the Sanctuary from above! While we can't give aerial tours, we'd love to have you come out and see the Sanctuary from the ground! Remember, tours are every day at 11 AM and Saturdays at 11 AM & 3 PM.

Monday, October 29, 2012

In the Path of a Hurricane

The thoughts and prayers of everyone here at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary go out to all of those in the path of Hurricane Sandy. We hope that all those affected by the storm - whether they are two legged, four legged, scaly, or furry - stay safe and out of harm's way.

It is times like these that we are reminded of one of our own. Six years ago, one of the IEAS tigers, Zippy, was abandoned during Hurricane Ike and forced to attempt to ride out the storm. Incredibly, she made it through, no worse for the wear, and we pray you all make it through with the same health and perseverance as Zippy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkins from New Tech High School!

IEAS would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to Siena Billups and the students from New Tech High School who took initiative and organized a Pumpkin Drive for the animals of IEAS! These students were able to collect almost 50 pumpkins for the bears and cats here at the Sanctuary. 

These pumpkins will be used as enrichment items for the IEAS residents, who are always more than eager to chew up or tear apart their new orange toys. Stay tuned for pictures and videos of the animals enjoying their seasonal treats!

Thanks again to Siena and New Tech High School!
Your efforts will make the animals at IEAS very happy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Order Your One of a Kind IEAS Drawing Now!

With the holidays right around the corner, NOW is the time to order your one of a kind drawing of an IEAS resident for your family member or friend (or for YOU, of course)!

Nissa Marione, Lead Keeper and Education Coordinator at IEAS, would love to donate her time and talents to provide you with an amazing 8 x 10 drawing of your favorite animal. It's such a wonderful chance to honor your favorite animal in a unique way, and too our many adoptive parents, this is a wonderful opportunity to receive a unique drawing of your adopted animal. All proceeds will go directly to the IEAS animals!

 Nissa would like to ask for a donation of $200 for each portrait and $250 for each full body drawing that she does. Remember, all proceed collected will directly benefit the IEAS animals, so you won't just be purchasing a drawing, you'll be bettering the lives of the rescued animals living at the Sanctuary!

If you are interested in this special opportunity, please contact our office at 940-433-5091 or e-mail us at Remember, order NOW to ensure that you get your drawing by the holiday season!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall at IEAS

Here at IEAS, we have more indicators that fall is on the way than just the weather, and the appearance of some of these clues has let us know that the seasons are definitely changing!

One of the first things we see is a change in appetite for the bears. When they know fall is on the way (which is usually before we can tell), the bears will start storing up for winter. Even the black bears here at IEAS will tuck away in the winter time to sleep, only popping out on occasion, so having lots of energy stored up helps them get comfortably through the chilly season when there food intake decreases dramatically.

Something else we've noticed is that as we clean the animals' pools, we are skimming more and more leaves out all the time! We've also been doing lots of raking to keep up with the leaves that are already starting to fall.

We've added hay to a number of the animals' houses already, and soon, we'll be adding hay to the rest! This means it is almost time to switch to our "winter schedule," during which we have slight changes to our pick-up and house cleaning routines.

Regardless of our routine changes, tours are always an option! Many of our previous tour guests can tell you that fall is a wonderful time to come out and take that tour you've been considering. With the cooler weather, more of the animals are out and about, no longer needing to find a shady spot to hide from the sun and heat. Often times, they'll be up and active, or lounging on their favorite perch in the sun!

We hope to see you at IEAS this fall!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Means...

PUMPKINS! It's that time again. Every year, we have several types of seasonal enrichment that are handed out the animals of IEAS who are always anxiously awaiting the new toys. October means it is time for pumpkins! We have already begun to receive pumpkins in our daily produce run from local grocers, and there are several stores in the area that are always happy to donate their leftover pumpkins to the cats (who play with them) and the bears (who eat them). Still, we are always looking for more. For this reason, we are calling on YOU!

Last fall, a number of people generously bought an extra pumpkin or two and brought it to IEAS for the animals. Others waited until just after the holiday season and brought us that pumpkin that made their holiday special! Either way, we were more than happy to accept them and the animals were even happier to receive them as enrichment! 

To find out more about these pumpkins and why they make such good enrichment items, check out our most recent NEWS story, here

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shop and Support!

So, our Curator has already started her Christmas shopping. She's crazy, right? But, just in case any of you like to get a jump start on the holiday season, we figured we'd give you all a heads up about a way your shopping can help IEAS!

The Sanctuary is partnered with Yellow Brick Mall, an online source for simultaneous shopping and fundraising! By shopping through Yellow Brick Mall, the purchases you make at your favorite stores will directly benefit the animals at IEAS, as they will donate a portion of what you spend to us!

Think your stores won't be on there? Think again! There is a HUGE number of stores that you can shop at through Yellow Brick Mall, including Amazon, iTunes, Best Buy, Petsmart, Old Navy, Walmart, Bass Pro, Disney Store, Coldwater Creek, GUESS, Eddie Bauer, Lands End, and SO MANY MORE!

Going away for the holidays? Yellow Brick Mall even partners with travel sites, such as Expedia, Priceline,, and Travelocity, so if you're planning any trips this holiday season, purchase through Yellow Brick Mall! Your travels will bring in important funds for IEAS animals at no cost to you!

If you're like the rest of us and haven't even thought about Christmas yet, then focus on the holidays that are right around the corner! Buy your Halloween candy at Alberton's, Tom Thumb, or Kroger and they will also donate a portion of your purchase to us! Find out more HERE.

Click HERE to start shopping! 
Just click the yellow brick in the middle
 of the page to see the mall 
open up before your eyes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Growing Support!

Recently we've been asking you to take part in lots of fundraising for the cats, bears, and coatis. The DonorBridge "Get Up and Give" Day, the Chase Community Giving contest, and the Razoo Giving program have all showed us how much you care. The results of the Chase Community Giving contest aren't in yet, but the other programs and generous donations to our Director's "Help Us Help Them" letter have yielded a little over $15,000 for the animals here - THANKS TO YOU! Everyone who helped out in those programs was an integral part of bringing in the funding for IEAS.

Here at the IEAS, we know we may not be the largest sanctuary or have the most residents, but we take such pride in caring for the residents here with us. Every day, we give them the highest quality, happiest, and most comfortable life we can because they are a part of our family - and so are YOU. We love when you get involved, and we love knowing that these amazing animals have reached out and touched your heart like they do ours every single day.

Every day, we can see the support for the animals of IEAS continually growing, whether it is through watching the number of Facebook "fans" on our page growing or experiencing an increase in tour visitors (tours are up 17% in the past year!). It means the world to us to have such a strong support system behind us. As much as the staff at IEAS loves the animals here, we can't provide for them alone. 

And so, after such a busy few weeks of fundraising, we just want to say THANK YOU for being a part of the lives of the animals living here at IEAS. You are all amazing supporters!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Giving Day Is Here!

Get Up and Give! North Texas Giving DayThursday, September 13, 2012 from 7 a.m. – Midnight 

Tomorrow, September 13th is a day for you to go to your computer and give to the cats bears, and, of course, the coatis of IEAS! Between 7 a.m. and midnight on Thursday, September 13, 2012, 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 for 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.
Prizes will also be available in several categories for all nonprofits, as a means to raise even MORE money!  Check out these categories of prizes!  We will be more likely to win one of these amazing gifts with the more people who donate!  So get up and give!

·       Top 2 nonprofits with most donations from unique donors:  1st:  $10,000 and 2nd: $5,000
·       1,929th donation:  $10,000
·       2,012th donation:  $10,000
·       Nonprofit that has the largest increase in number of unique donors from 2011:  $10,000
·       Golden Tickets every hour:  $1,000/hour drawn randomly from the nonprofits who received donations during that hour!

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 13th, 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, and they will provide another copy.

Thank you in advance for caring for these magnificent animals.  This is an amazing chance for you to make your special gift go even further!  We hope that this will be a very special day for the animals of IEAS.  All donations will go directly to all of the incredible animals who call IEAS home!

Thank all of you so much for all your help!

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Interns Arrive at IEAS!

IEAS has officially welcomed six new interns, and as usual, they jumped headfirst into the routines here at the Sanctuary. Samantha, Kira, Brittany, Kate, Erin, and Adam are now two days into their internship.  They've already met the animals, done some landscaping, learned some morning and afternoon routines, and started preparing animal diets, among other things!

They are eager and ready for the next few months, and we are just as eager to teach them everything we can during their time here! Stay tuned to the Blog and Facebook for updates about how these six new members of the IEAS group are doing!

Friday, August 31, 2012


Akbar, white Bengal tiger, after his arrival at IEAS!
Supporters like you made his life here possible,
and you can continue to help animals just like him! 
If you receive our monthly newsletter, you may have already read about the Chase Community Program and the opportunity it has given to IEAS this month. If not, then you should know that through this program, the Sanctuary has a chance to win $250,000! This prize is unbelievable and we are so excited to be a part of it! $250,000 covers almost HALF of our annual expenses - how amazing would it be if we won!?

So, what do we want from you? A vote! That's right. Just a vote! You don't have to vote every day, you don't have spend any money... you just need to CLICK. It couldn't be any easier, and you'll be a part of doing something amazing for the animals that call IEAS home. Remember, every vote counts, so please don't overlook this opportunity to help!

Each of you has the potential to vote for IEAS 3 times. Here’s how:

Voting Method Chase customers can vote 2 times from here (for 2 different charities – one of them IEAS!)

Voting Method Go to the Chase Community Giving App to get 2 votes (for 2 different charities – one for IEAS!) Once you get to the page, click the "Chase Community Giving" box (with the hand logo) to go to the VOTING page! 

Bonus Votes: By voting on Facebook, you can get a BONUS vote for any charity (even one you’ve already voted for). You can get this bonus vote by allowing “access” and sharing any content from the Chase Community Giving App on your own Facebook page. You can also get a bonus vote if one of your friends links back to the Chase Community Giving App from your shared link!

Voting begins September 6 and ends September 19! We will send out reminders on our Facebook, but get ready to VOTE! Tell your family, tell your friends! One click can make a HUGE difference!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Internship Highlights!

The summer intern session is winding down. With about a week left, the summer interns are getting ready to head out and continue on their way to a career working with animals. Jessica, Cassie, Cassandra, Emily, Heidi, and Johnny will all be leaving IEAS at the end of the month, and we're sorry to see them go. Their internship has been packed with resume boosting skills and new experiences that will make them even better candidates for future positions.

One of the highlights of their internship was learning to work with mortar and cement to repair and remodel pools! They took part in the reconstruction of six different pools, giving them tons of experience working with the materials used in the projects. They've even been able to see the implementation of a pump system to create a running waterfall in the pools, and they have had the opportunity to learn how the pumps run and how to fix potential problems in them.

Another exciting portion of their internship was taking part in the three classes that IEAS has for them. These classes include Laws & Regulations, Grant & Proposal Writing, and Firearms Safety Training. In the Laws & Regulations class, the interns were able to learn and discuss the varying state and federal laws regarding the owning, housing, and caring for exotic animals. They researched their own home states to find out what the regulations are where they come from. It is a great start to their complete knowledge and understanding of the field.

The Grant & Proposal Writing class taught the interns about a big part of being a non-profit organization - asking for donations. They were able to take part in helping the Sanctuary obtain donated products from companies nationwide, and they were very successful! This particular group of interns helped IEAS get donations of fire ant killer, grinding wheels, bleach sprayers, insect spray, hot wire materials, gift cards, and a hose. This is a wonderful set of goods for the Sanctuary to receive and we are grateful for both the interns' hard work AND the companies who were generous enough to donate to the Sanctuary!

The Firearms Safety Training class was a lesson in the important of gun safety and knowledge when working with potentially deadly animals. After first learning the ins and outs of the gun, the necessary safety protocols, and the proper use of them, the interns were able to practice their shot. The knowledge and practical skills they picked up in this class are necessary additions to any facility where dangerous animals are present.

The interns were also able to take part in the Sanctuary's revolutionary Emotional Enrichment Program, instituted by Animal Behaviorist Louis Dorfman. In taking part in this program, the interns were able to contribute to the emotional well-being of the animals living at IEAS. This has proven to be one of the most rewarding facets of their time at the Sanctuary for both the interns and the animals. 

We were happy to have had these eight interns here at IEAS this session. They did a great job, and we can't wait to see where they end up! Alex and Jay will be staying on in the fall for another three month session, so soon enough, we will welcome six new face to IEAS!