Blossom and Delilah, Our Rescued Bears
Blossom and Delilah were the lone residents of the Little River Zoo in Norman, Oklahoma, following the closure of the zoo in 2011 due to continuing financial woes. Faced with money problems, zoo officials tried to maintain their standards of care while finding homes for their 240 animals. But sadly for Blossom and Delilah, their diet was neglected, as were the grounds where they were kept. After several months of fruitless searching, officials still had not found a home for the two ill-nourished black bears. The situation was so desperate that negotiations had begun with a "big game" ranch where the bears could be hunted and killed by animal gamers.
Eager to place the two bears in a safe environment, Lions Tigers & Bears founder and director, Bobbi Brink, began working with the zoo to transport the bears to the sanctuary in San Diego, where Lions Tigers & Bears had begun building a new bear habitat for its resident black bear, Liberty. With some modifications, the bear habitat was easily re-designed to accommodate two more bears.
While construction continued on the bear habitat, work was also being done for a new trailer that could handle the trip to Oklahoma and bring the bears safely back to California. New equipment was needed, such as air conditioners and cages that would make the long ride safe and comfortable. Bobbi's dad worked tirelessly installing the air conditioning on the trailer, installing a new generator and new circuit breakers, helping to build the cage and make it work, and installing new vents for air on top of the trailer.
Prior to the trailer's completion, Bobbi learned that a heat wave had hit the mid-section of the country, so she immediately flew to Oklahoma to check on the bears' situation and their health. She found the bears to be in moderate health, a little overweight from the unusual diet they had been fed, but otherwise faring well. Lions Tigers & Bears then hired an Oklahoma veterinarian to examine the bears and verify that they were healthy enough to make the long journey to San Diego.
Final efforts were made to complete the new trailer and, only a week after returning from Oklahoma, Bobbi was off again, this time with trailer in tow, ready to bring the bears home.
Since then, both bears have adapted well to their new life at Lions Tigers & Bears.