Sunday, January 31, 2016

Unlikely Friendships are the Best Ones

Here at IEAS, we have a lot of feline friends, but none quite as special as these two.  Billy, our resident caracal, and Barbara, one of our resident servals, reside in our only multi-species habitat.  Billy was abandoned, with his companion Barbara, on the doorstep of a wildlife rehabilitation center in New Mexico.  Staff at the rehabilitation center contacted IEAS and we were able to take in the pair.  Both Billy and Barbara are eleven years old and have been living at the Sanctuary for about seven years.  Although these two are completely different species, they have formed a very unique bond.  They are often seen grooming one another or snuggling up in their igloo together.  

Barbara is one of three servals that call IEAS home.  Servals are native to African savannas where there is plenty of access to water.  Their name is Portuguese for "wolf deer" but they are also nicknamed "giraffe cat" or "savanna stalker."  Throughout history, servals were worshiped by the ancient Egyptians.  Servals are the fastest running cat other than the cheetah and can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.  They are also very effective hunters in the wild, with 50% of their hunts being successful.  Servals are not considered an endangered species, but they still face the threat of habitat loss and the black market fur trade.

Billy is the our only resident caracal at the Sanctuary.  Caracals can range throughout Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and small parts of Southwest Asia.  Their name originated from a Turkish word meaning "black ear" and they are also known as an "African lynx" or a "desert lynx."  Caracals are known for their great sense of hearing and the black tufts of hair at the tip of the ears are iconic for the species.  Their ears are actually controlled by about 20 muscles each.  Due to their good sense of hearing, caracals were once trained for bird hunting in Iran and India.  Caracals are not endangered but can still be threatened by habitat loss.

Please come out and see this precious pair enjoy each other's company on one of our tours!  

Friday, January 22, 2016

IEAS Bears and their Dens!

As you may be aware, the majority of our American black bears live in large, naturalistic habitats in Dorfman Bear Orphanage and our PETA area here at the Sanctuary. Because they have acres to roam, they are able to live out their lives almost as if they were in the wild. Despite the fact that many of them came here as very young cubs, they have still displayed several natural instincts, such as digging dens to sleep in during the winter.

One such bear, Greta, came to us after being rescued from a photo for profit facility as a cub. Even though she never has been a wild bear, she used her instincts to dig a long-lasting den that lasted her through several winters. Sadly, just as the bears started to become less active for the winter, her den collapsed due to all the rain and recent snow! Fortunately, neither she nor her companions, Scamp and Scooter, were inside when it happened.  Greta once again proved to be self-sufficient as ever, beginning to dig a new den soon after the original one collapsed! She is already enjoying her new winter den. We hope Greta’s new den will last for many more winters to come!

Greta's new den

If you’d like to see Greta and our other bears, feel free to stop by for one of our guided tours, which we provide everyday at 11 and on Saturdays at 3.  If you’re interested in helping support our animals, please visit our How to Help page!

In Loving Memory of Big John

With heavy hearts, we must say goodbye to our oldest feline resident, Big John. He passed away today after just celebrating his 23rd birthday last Christmas. He was a patient, social tiger who took on a paternal role towards the neighboring cubs, ShereKhan and KiKi, as well as a playful, teasing role towards his Siberian tiger neighbor, Caesar.

IEAS had been Big John’s home for the past 18 years after being rescued from a circus from Spain who had kept him in a small, cramped trailer with other tigers, ponies, and camels. During his time here, he proved himself to be an amazing being, consistently showing great patience with his tiger companions and developing trust with his human caretakers. Though we at IEAS are sad to say our farewell, we are so grateful to have been able to provide this magnificent tiger with the life he deserved for the last part of his life.

IEAS will not be the same without Big John. He will forever live on in our hearts and memories.

Friday, January 8, 2016

IEAS Intern Holiday Bake Sale

IEAS had its first-ever annual Intern Holiday Bake Sale earlier this month, which was organized almost entirely by the IEAS intern team! We are excited to say that we were able to raise $515 to go towards feeding the animals at the Sanctuary! Despite feeding our bears less during the winter because of their reduced activity, we are still going through about 250 pounds of meat every day. Being a nonprofit organization, we are able to pay for the care of these animals strictly through grants and donations. We are so grateful towards Bianca Lewis from Target in Fort Worth, TX for providing the donations that made this bake sale possible! We also want to thank Derek Pranther for allowing us to have our bake sale at Love's Travel Stop off of Highway 114!  We greatly appreciate everyone who came out to support the Sanctuary at our new yearly tradition!
If you missed our bake sale and would like to support the sanctuary in other ways, please visit our How To Help page to learn more ways you could help us provide for our animals!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Surprised Birthday Party!

Surprise Birthday Party!!!

As promised we gave some of our residents more pumpkins, but this time in recognition of a very important celebration, Duke's Birthday!!! We gave him his own pumpkin with a Happy Birthday message and some of his human caretakers help him celebrate his 12th Birthday. Check out the pictures below and follow us on Facebook for more. 

This is Duke posing with his pumpkin before eating his birthday cake.
He was very possessive of his present.

Duke is one of our four resident cougars at IEAS and they can live to be seventeen years old or older. Duke arrived at IEAS in 2011 from a Coryell County property deemed a too dangerous habitat for animals due to poor environmental conditions. He didn't come here alone though, he was joined by Prince, Princess and Duchess. 

This is him after a few bites, treasuring the moment. 

Cougars are native to Texas and much of the continental U.S, but are also known to reach into Canada and  South America. They are the largest of the lesser cats meaning they can purr to help communicate in groups. They are carnivores who feed mainly on deer, but also small rodents, opossums, beavers, and porcupines. They drag their prey into a secluded area and are known to bury their prey to munch on at a later time.

For more information on his story as well as any of the other residents please visit our website. Duke along with many of our residents are available for adoption. To learn more about this process and other ways to help please do not hesitate to contact us or follow the links. Some of the options cost you nothing and all of the proceeds go to the animals. For Example, amazon smile and Kroger as well as Tom Thumb  grocery stores donate one percent of each grocery bill to the Sanctuary.