Feed with a Keeper”, On-site Stay, and more
Coronavirus pandemic, wildfire season big losses to donation-funded sanctuary
Alpine CA— Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego’s only accredited big cat and bear sanctuary, will launch its Wild Fall Fundraiser online auction, running September 28 through October 4. A global virus, local wildfire and visitor limitations have made for a constantly challenging year from the sanctuary that relies on donations to provide lifetime care to its 65-plus animals, said founder Bobbi Brink.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sanctuary temporarily closed to visitors for five months, a source of income that provides 40% of the organization’s revenue. Additionally, the organization’s largest fundraiser, along with all other special events held on-site, were cancelled for the year.
Instead, animal lovers, supporters and advocates can support Lions Tigers & Bears during its Wild Fall Fundraiser by bidding on unique items and experiences from the comfort of their homes all week. The online auction features hotel stays, restaurant certificates, art, jewelry and other exciting opportunities and experiences such as:
- A six-night safari at Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge in South Africa
- A virtual meet-and-greet with comedian Whitney Cummings
- An exclusive Lions Tigers & Bears package, including a one-night stay at White Oak Wild Nights, Lions Tigers & Bears private, two-bedroom retreat, complete with luxurious on-site accommodations, including a pool and outdoor firepit and a Behind the Scenes visit for two guests, with an opportunity to feed big cats and bears and learn their unique rescue stories
- The chance to observe a veterinary procedure, which could include a surgery, physical or teeth cleaning for one of Lions Tigers & Bears’ rescued big cats or bears
- Wild & Virtual Meet ‘n Greets, allowing members of the public and business community to invite a lion, tiger, bear, leopard, mountain lion, serval or bobcat to their next virtual meeting and learn about their journey to Lions Tigers & Bears
Just as visitors were welcomed back and booking reservations to the sanctuary, the Valley Fire, which burned more than 17,000 acres in eastern San Diego, placed Lions Tigers & Bears under an evacuation warning. The fire’s proximity to Lions Tigers & Bears caused the sanctuary to activate its emergency response protocol – some animals were moved off-site, while the more inherently dangerous lions, tigers and bears were loaded into transfer cage and were on standby in the event a mandated evacuation was necessary. Days ago, after removing ash and debris from the animals’ habitats, the sanctuary was given the “all clear” to return the animals back to their enclosures.
Lions Tigers & Bears Founder and Director Bobbi Brink says, “Even with a leaner staff and seemingly one challenge after another, we’re caring for our animals, maintaining habitats daily and feeding them more than 1,000 pounds of food per week. We’re thankful for the support we’ve received, as we rely on visitors and donations to give our rescued animals comfortable, safe lives.
The Wild Fall Fundraiser online auction is live from Monday, September 28 at 9 a.m. until Sunday, October 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
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 pricing, visit Lions Tigers & Bears’ website.
Lions Tigers & Bears is enforcing guidelines ensuring a safe sanctuary visit, including limiting group 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.
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. Guests can book tours, hold events or stay the night at White Oak Wild Nights, the onsite, private two-bedroom luxurious retreat. For more information, visit lionstigersandbears.com.