Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego’s accredited big cat, and bear sanctuary, completed a lifesaving animal rescue mission recently, transporting a dozen animals to new and safe homes and taking in five new animals.
The animals were rescued from Tri-State Zoological Park (Tri-State Zoo) in Maryland, a defunct roadside zoo that compromised animals’ health, safety, and basic needs and was cited for numerous animal welfare and endangered species act violations over two decades.
Several animals, including a lion and tiger, died under the facilities’ care. PETA began filing lawsuits in 2019, which ultimately led to Tri-State Zoo’s permanent closure, including a requirement to re-home its remaining animals.
Due to the legal process, it took another two years to get the rescue in motion, and Lions Tigers & Bears helped facilitate the rescue of these animals, as a part of the largest roadside zoo rescue in PETA’s history in which 65 animals were surrendered.
“It was worse than we could have imagined,” said Lions Tigers & Bears Founder and Director Bobbi Brink. “When we arrived, we saw that the two Himalayan black bears were so overweight, it hindered their mobility and comfort. Their enclosure was shockingly filthy, and the water in their pool area had turned to black sludge. In contrast, it’s been a joy to watch them splashing around in clean water as they get acclimated to their new home at our sanctuary.”
A dozen animals loaded into the rescue hauler for transport to their forever homes included:
- Two female Himalayan black bears
- Two miniature horses
- One llama
- Two emus
- Two coatis
- Two geese
- One pot-bellied pig
The two female Himalayan black bears, Susie and Sallie, mini horses Cappuccino and Dream, and Cody the llama will permanently reside at Lions Tigers & Bears.
Lions Tigers & Bears Rescue Team delivered the rest of the animals to an accredited sanctuary in Texas.
“The Lions Tigers & Bears Rescue Team was happy to make the cross-country trip, as we are one of very few teams in the country equipped with a self-contained, state-of-the-art exotic animal transport hauler, which allows us to safely transport animals to safe forever homes at accredited sanctuaries throughout the nation,” Brink said.
The five animals will be under mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 30 days and will be treated by Lions Tigers & Bears veterinary team before being moved to their permanent habitats.
About Lions Tigers & Bears
Lions Tigers & Bears is a federally and state licensed 501(c)3 nonprofit rescue facility dedicated to providing a haven to abused and abandoned exotic animals while inspiring an educational forum to end the exotic animal trade. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, 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 1,100 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. For more information, visit lionstigersandbears.org.