Welcome home, Sugar Bear

For those of you who were around this fall, you’ll remember I did my blogathon Blogpocalypse from the Alpine sanctuary Lions, Tigers, and Bears, in the company of lions, tigers, and bears. At the time they were just about to finish construction on a new bear habitat, but there was still just a few weeks left before the bears went in, which meant I got to hang out in it.
Future bear habitat

It’s since been completed, much to the delight of Blossom, Delilah, and Liberty. Founder Bobbi Brink has continued her tireless advocacy work on behalf of animals across the country, in the understated way that most true heroes do.

As we’ve discussed previously on several occasions, it’s easy to want to do good. To help an animal in need. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to research it properly and get truly prepared before taking on a rescue role, you can end up doing as much harm as good- this happens with “rescues” that turn into hoarding situations, sanctuaries that go defunct and sell their wards off to canned hunting facilities, and chimp sanctuaries that are perhaps less prepared to handle the situation than the research facility they were taken from.

Bobbi and I spoke of this a bit when I was out there this fall, and it’s one of the reasons she is a member and advocate of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, which is an accreditation organization that provides guidelines for proper care. It was through GFAS that Bobbi was made aware of a failing sanctuary in Ohio, where she was to testify about legislation about wild animal ownership in the face of the Zanesville tragedy.

“Can you help?” they asked, and she said, “yes.” And she did. This is what certain people do, they say yes despite having no clue how they are going to do it, and then they go and make it happen. From the press release:

Bobbi Brink, Founder and Director of LTB, has been working with the defunct facility to place the seven lions, 11 tigers, five cougars, eight wolves and one Black Bear named Sugar Bear in other accredited sanctuaries around the country but time is running out…

Brink, in cooperation with the GFAS, has been successful in working with the facility to find homes in South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and at her own facility in California. However, the cost of transporting the animals is high and Brink is looking to find funds to help facilitate the travel needs. Private donors have come forward but much more is needed. If the animals cannot be moved in time there is the likelihood of them being put down.

I’m just in awe of her determination. She just saved THIRTY EIGHT ANIMALS. Bobbi is my hero.


Sugar Bear in quarantine at Lions, Tigers and Bear: via Facebook.com/lionstigersandbears

Must plan a stat trip out there to say hello.
For more about Sugar Bear and Lions, Tigers, and Bears, check out the website.
Or to donate to the relocation cost of Sugar Bear and the other animals from the defunct sanctuary: Click here.

Filed: Be The Change, Blog, Blogathon 2011, Heroes Tagged: , ,
  • “you can end up doing as much harm as good”
    One of my favorite quotes (from Ursula K. leGuin) goes along the lines of “It is easy to confuse the intent of doing well with the action of doing well”. Fortunately LTB is doing both. Go Bobbi and Lions, Tigers, and Bears!

  • Sue W.

    Donated! I love when you suggest to me where to donate. I know you do the research, I know you know what’s up, you talk to the people, and I feel confident that my money will do some good. Thank you. Please keep it up.

  • I met Sugar Bear in Ohio. This warms my heart. The Ohio facility did the best they could.

  • Tamara

    Glad to hear this! I’ve been getting regular updates from Lions, Tigers, and Bears after making a donation last fall during the blogathon. I love what they’re doing 🙂