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Maverick (Photo: Kathleen Reeder)

Lions Tigers and Bears Animal Sanctuary Re-Opens for Tours, Experiences

East County exotic animal rescue invites public for safe, socially-distanced visits, exclusive tours

Alpine CA—San Diego’s only accredited big cat and bear sanctuary, Lions Tigers & Bears, has reopened for public and member visits. The 93-acre sanctuary and educational facility – home to 65+ animals – in Alpine, CA is welcoming visitors back for visits, exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and “Feed with a Keeper” experiences.

“Our sanctuary is different than most zoos and animal facilities – especially those featured in Netflix’s chaotic Tiger King docuseries – as we are a strict no contact facility,” said Bobbi Brink, Lions Tigers & Bears Founder and Director. “This allows us to provide a safe and peaceful existence for our rescued animals, just like they’d have in the wild, and our vast encounters and limited numbers of guests allow for appropriate distancing for visitors for health and safety with a more up close and personal view of the animals.”

Teddy, Himalayan Black Bear (Photo: Sharyn Umana Angers)

During visits, guests will explore the facility and its spacious, species-specific animal habitats, while watching animals swim, snack and socialize with their siblings and friends. They’ll also learn about the animals’ rescue stories and history, including:

  • Maverick, a tiger formerly owned by rapper Tyga, who was relocated to the sanctuary after illegal ownership and insufficient care.
  • Moka, a tiger that was rescued from the Otay Mesa border crossing in a duffel bag three years ago.
  • Cherry Bomb, a grizzly bear who lived in a small concrete cage at a roadside North Carolina zoo. She was declawed and used as a cub petting prop.

The expansive sanctuary, open for all ages, requires families to  book visits in advance, which can be reserved online or by calling 619-659-8078. “Member for a Day” passes are $26 for children 12 and under, $43 for adults from Wednesday to Friday and $46 on Saturdays. For member and exclusive tour pricing, visit Lions Tigers & Bears’ website.

The exotic animal rescue nonprofit, led by Brink, has coordinated rescues for more than 600 big cats, bears, wolves and other exotic animals across the U.S. in need of permanent refuge and lifetime homes at reputable sanctuaries, including Lions Tigers & Bears.

Lions Tigers & Bears is enforcing guidelines ensuring a safe sanctuary visit, including limiting tour sizes and requiring face coverings and a 6-foot physical distance between visitors, volunteers and staff.

About Lions Tigers & Bears

Lions Tigers & Bears is a federally and state licensed 501(c)3 nonprofit rescue facility dedicated to providing a safe haven to abused and abandoned exotic animals while inspiring an educational forum to end the exotic animal trade. Lions Tigers & Bears is a NO CONTACT, NO KILL, NO BREED and NO SELL facility that allows the animals in its care the opportunity to live out their lives with dignity in a caring and safe environment. Lions Tigers & Bears is one of the few sanctuaries in the United States with the highest level of accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuary Association. For more information, visit lionstigersandbears.com.