Bobcats in the United States: Understanding Their Role in Nature

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Bobcats are medium-sized wild cats native to North America. They are quite adaptable and resilient, with distinctive features like tufted ears and a short bobbed tail, from which they get their name. Bobcats are quite similar to the house cat in that they use whiskers like fingertips to feel their surroundings and judge whether an opening is large enough to fit through. They also have great night vision that allows them to see in the dark.

However, bobcats are wild animals, are twice as large as house cats, and have a more rugged and wild appearance. They also run faster, with speeds of up to 25 to 30 miles an hour.

Quick Facts About Bobcats

Physical Features

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) look like pet cats – but they are much bigger, with shorter tails and tufts of black fur coming off the top of their years. Some people often confuse it with the Canadian lynx, which is understandable. They both are lynxes – and all have bobbed tails and ear tufts. But the Canadian lynx has massive, hairy feet that act as snowshoes.

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Other lynx species are the Iberian or Spanish lynx and Eurasian lynx. These cats have spotted coats that provide excellent camouflage, allowing them to hide from prey until they are ready to pounce. 

Hunting Strategies

Bobcats are very sneaky when they hunt. They hide and wait quietly until they're very close to their prey before they jump out to catch it. This surprise attack works well for them, and they mainly eat small animals like rabbits, snowshoe hare, rodents, and sometimes even bigger animals like the snowshoe hare. Their strong back legs help them jump long distances to grab their prey. They can also climb trees and maneuver rocky terrain while pursuing prey.

Territorial Behaviors

Bobcats like to have their own space. They live alone and have a specific area they call home, which they mark with urine and feces to tell other bobcats to keep out. This way, they ensure enough food is available in their area just for them. Male bobcats have larger areas than females; sometimes, their home ranges will overlap with a few females.

Vocalizations

Even though bobcats are usually quiet, they can make different sounds. During mating season, they might emit an eerie scream to attract a mate or growl and hiss if they're upset or scared. They also purr and meow softly when happy or when they talk to their kittens, just like our domesticated pet cats do.

Are Bobcats Dangerous?

Yes, they can be! Bobcats usually avoid people and are not considered a big threat to human safety. However, they are wild animals and can defend themselves if they feel threatened. While bobcats generally do not attack domestic animals, there can be exceptions, especially if a bobcat is hungry or in danger. It's always best to keep a respectful distance from wild animals, including bobcats, to avoid any potential risk.

Habitat Destruction 

These wild cats inhabit places with dense vegetation and plenty of prey. However, their native habitats are consistently shrinking because of human activities like building, farming, and the expansion of urban areas. Habitat fragmentation reduces the size of areas where bobcats can live and hunt, which is a big problem for them.

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Why Protect Bobcats?

Bobcats are important because they help control the number of other animals, like rabbits, mice, and rats. This keeps everything in their ecosystem balanced, so no one animal group damages the environment. Occasionally, they may take on larger mammals like deer, especially the young or weak ones. This reduces over-grazing and prevents unmanageable spikes in their population. 

Furthermore, bobcats also act like a health check for their habitat. If they are doing well, it usually means their home is healthy. But if they’re struggling, it might mean there are bigger problems in the environment that could affect other animals and eventually even people.

Ways to Help Bobcats

Here are some steps we can take to protect bobcats:

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Protecting bobcats and the places they live helps keep our natural environment healthy. When we care for their homes, we also help many other plants and animals living in the same area. That's why it's important to ensure we don't fragment their habitat and try to keep big, connected areas of nature for them to live and thrive in.

Lions Tigers & Bears is at the forefront of wildlife conservation efforts. We advocate for the welfare and protection of big cats and other exotic animals through rescue, education, and advocacy. We also advocate for preserving the natural resources (including land and water) that support these animals.

Visitors to Lions Tigers & Bears have the unique opportunity to visit our bobcat habitat, where they can learn even more about these elusive and fascinating animals in a safe and educational environment.

Join us in our efforts to safeguard the well-being of both exotic and domestic animals. You can do so by donating in cash or kind, spreading awareness, or volunteering at our sanctuary just outside of San Diego, in Alpine, California.

Feathered Friends: The Colorful World of Exotic Bird Rescue

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The exotic pet trade endangers exotic bird species like macaws, parrots, and cockatoos. While many people mistake these birds for domesticated pets, they are wild animals with sophisticated intelligence and social behavior that warrant rehabilitation and dedicated care.

In this post, we'll delve into the exotic bird rescue world, emphasizing their social behavior, intelligence, special care, issues with natural habitat conservation, the effects of the illicit bird trade, disease transmission, and the correlation between wildlife and human health.

Exotic Bird Intelligence and Social Behavior

Exotic birds showcase a variety of cognitive abilities, such as communication, problem-solving, and tool use.

Soho from Lions Tigers & Bears is a prime example of a highly intelligent exotic bird. The blue and gold macaw was rescued in 2008 and he loves greeting the staff and volunteers with a big "HELLO." He also says "GOODBYE" as people leave the sanctuary in the evenings.

Parrots are known for their flexible and complex problem-solving abilities, such as using tools to open food containers and tackling string-pulling tasks to obtain rewards. Similarly, parrots have unique vocal abilities and use a special organ known as the syrinx to generate various sounds that enhance communication.

Besides, parrots live in habitats that demand behavioral flexibility, and most species have successfully invaded their non-native spaces, signaling the need for complex cognition.

However, training parrots and other wild animals often involves significant abuse and harmful methods that can cause a great deal of distress and harm. It is important to recognize the ethical implications of such training and prioritize the well-being of wild animals in all circumstances.

The Special Care Offered by Rescue Organizations

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Rescuing wild birds from the dreaded pet trade and trafficking requires specialized care and rehabilitation. The birds have exceptional instincts and needs that should be nurtured for better health.

The blue and gold macaws have a lifespan of at least 70 years, meaning their owners should care for them for a lifetime. However, the amazing birds' long lifespan is one reason their owners eventually relinquish or abandon them.

At Lions Tigers & Bears, our macaw Soho receives a proper diet of fresh fruits and raw nuts to address his daily nutritional needs. In the spacious enclosures at the facility, he can cackle loudly, bob to some tunes, exercise his powerful wings, and climb around numerous structures.

Enrichment tasks, such as strategically placed puzzle feeders and toys, help stimulate his intelligent mind and prevent boredom. The specialized care boosts Soho's physical health, allowing him to reveal his instincts and simply enjoy being a bird.

The Impact of Illegal Trade on Local Ecosystems

Before reaching sanctuaries, these birds go through a dangerous journey. Wild bird trafficking is a multi-million industry, stemming from a high demand for exotic pets.

Confiscated birds from the pet trade likely underwent a harrowing ordeal. Inadequate food, constant transport, and crowded cages can negatively impact these birds.

Poachers use indiscriminate and cruel methods to capture these birds, often bruising or even killing them in the process. The lucky birds who survive the ordeal experience cramped transport and a water and food shortage, which can result in dehydration, sickness, or even death.

In addition to reducing wild species populations, this brutal trade disrupts various local ecosystems. 

How does this happen? Wild birds are instrumental in seed dispersal; they carry seeds in their crops and disperse them across large forest surfaces, regenerating and maintaining the crucial balance of plant life. Besides, these birds transfer pollen across flowers to ensure the reproduction of numerous plant species.

Thus, removing the birds from the wild disrupts the delicate ecosystem, pushing the already threatened and endangered species even closer to extinction. Examples of endangered wild birds include the black eagle from South Africa and Australia's rainbow lorikeet.

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Diseases Transmission and Wildlife-to-Human Health

The illicit wild bird trade poses another danger: zoonotic diseases. The ailments can jump from wild animals to humans, increasing the risk of pandemics.For example, parrots can carry a bacteria known as Chlamydia psittaci, which triggers flu-like symptoms among humans.

Although healthy people often experience mild symptoms, young children, older people, and individuals with weak immune systems can develop serious, life-threatening complications.

Embracing the One Health approach is the first step toward controlling zoonotic diseases. This approach entails collaborating between medical and veterinary scientists, public health officials, and policymakers to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Why Wild Birds Should Be Left Alone in the Wild

It's difficult to truly "domesticate" an exotic bird. Cats and dogs are examples of the most popular pets because they have been bred alongside human beings for ages. However, exotic birds have evolved purely to survive in the wild.

Their beaks are adapted to extract flower nectar or crack nuts open, their strong wings let them navigate long distances searching for nesting spots and food, and their feathers offer camouflage from impending predators.

While permanently injured rescue birds or those accustomed to human space may not return to the wild, most rescue facilities will attempt to create an environment that closely resembles the natural world as possible. For example, they may build enclosed aviaries containing shrubs, trees, and climbing structures to offer adequate space for exploration and flight.

How to Become a Champion for Exotic Bird Species

The battle against the illegal wild bird trade requires concerted efforts. You can participate in several ways, including:

Support Accredited & Reputable 501(c)(3) Nonprofits 

Bird rescue sanctuaries rely on financial support to offer essential care to rescued birds. Donating to these non-profit organizations will help them provide specialized diets and all of the necessary medical care to nurture these precious animals.

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The support also helps these organizations operate responsibly, keeping the birds' welfare in mind. Lions Tigers & Bears is an example of such organizations. LTB engages in bird rescue in San Diego, and across the country. But you can also research similar sanctuaries that help rescue animals in your community. 

Not all nonprofit organizations uphold the same standards, so it's important to research and choose those that have been accredited by reputable governing bodies such as the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and The American Sanctuary Association. This ensures that the organization follows best practices in the care and protection of animals.

Engage in Constant Education

Educate yourself and others regarding the negative impact of the exotic illegal trade of wild animals. Share useful resources related to these birds' plight and the risks of pet trade and corrupt breeding facilities with your friends and families on the various social networks. One example of such a great, shareable resource is The Red List of Threatened Species.

Enlightening your family and friends about ethical pet ownership and the significance of leaving wild birds in the wild can help change public perception, one person at a time.

Don't Purchase a Wild Bird as a Pet

Never source or adopt a wild pet. Owning a wild animal is never a good idea. Instead, consider sponsoring one from an accredited rescue organization. This way, you're providing support to a bird in need and contributing to the fight against the exotic pet trade.

Lions Tigers & Bears has a sponsorship program that allows you to sponsor our animals and make a meaningful difference in their lives.

How Livestock Rescue Saves Our Farm Animal Friends

Farm animals are an important part of our lives. They serve as sources of companionship, and even therapy. But what most people do not know is that farm animals have feelings, needs, and desires. They form bonds with their caretakers and fellow herd members and experience fear, sadness, joy, etc. Yet, many farm animals suffer tremendously due to the conditions in which they are kept. From overcrowded and unsanitary living environments to the deprivation of necessities like shelter, or food and water, the realities of modern farming practices can be stark and distressing for these animals.

The livestock ranching industry is growing faster than any other agricultural sector in the world. However, this expansion often comes at a significant cost to animal welfare. In particular, animals raised for food, such as dairy cows and beef cattle, can be subjected to inhumane conditions and treatment. Dairy cows, for instance, endure rigorous milking schedules aimed at maximizing milk production.

The issue extends beyond traditional farm animals to include wild pigs. Despite their instincts and behaviors, they are often confined in cramped conditions or subjected to harsh handling methods, all in the pursuit of profit. There’s also concern about domesticating horses. While horses have a long history of partnership with humans, practices like overbreeding, intensive training methods, and inadequate care, can compromise their welfare.

This is why sanctuaries like Lions Tigers & Bears are at the forefront of raising awareness about the importance of ethical treatment and compassionate care for all animals. LTB also has an animal rescue site were rescued animals can get the care they deserve and enjoy a cruelty- free life.

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Behind the Scenes of an Animal Rescue

LTB frequently participates in farm animal rescue operations all over the US. Here is how the process generally works.

Animal rescues typically begin with reports or alerts about animals in distress. These reports can come from various sources, including concerned citizens, law enforcement agencies, or animal welfare organizations. When we receive reports of animals in need, our team springs into action. First, we’ll provide a thorough medical evaluation before transport. Then we coordinate with authorities and other rescue organizations to safely transport the animals to our sanctuary.

Upon arrival at our sanctuary, the rescued animals receive immediate medical attention and are provided with a safe and comfortable environment. Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to rehabilitate the animals, addressing any physical or emotional trauma they may have endured.

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Where the Animals Come From

The unfortunate reality is that many farm animals face neglect, abuse, and abandonment due to various reasons, including:

Some are victims of animal cruelty and exploitation. Through our efforts, we strive to give these animals a second chance at life and advocate for their welfare on a broader scale.

Domestic Animals at Lions Tigers & Bears

LTB is home to more than 19 different rescued species – including big cats and bears. But we also have horses, peacocks, goats, chickens, emus, sheep, mini horses, mini donkeys,  llamas, cattle, a tortoise and a macaw. We rescued most of these animals from local shelters, homes, zoos and other sources. 

Some, like Sadie the Bengal cat, were rescued in 2016 from Spirit of the Hills Sanctuary in South Dakota. The sanctuary was struggling to care of its 360+ animals and was shut down after failing a USDA inspection. We rescued Sadie together with Denali, the serval, and the two are now best friends. We moved all 360 animals which included a lot of birds.

Then there's Soho, the intelligent blue and gold macaw we rescued in 2008. He loves to greet our staff and volunteers with a big "Hello" and a "Goodbye" when they leave. He cackles loudly and even bobs to some tunes. Blue and gold macaws in captivity can live up to 70 years. This means they're a lifetime commitment and often outlive their owners (and sometimes, most family members).  

We also have Donashello, the tortoise, whose journey to our sanctuary began when his elderly owners could no longer care for him. When they reached out to us for help, we opened our doors to offer him the lifetime care he deserves. Now, Donashello enjoys the serenity of our sanctuary, where he can explore at his own pace and live out his days in peace.

Our farm animals include Jack, the miniature donkey, and his friend Spirit, the miniature horse, Margarito and Martine, the cows, along with Dusty, the mare, and Khaos, the gelding.

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What does LTB Do for Farm Animals?

LTB is an accredited reputable farm animal rescue in California, committed to making a positive impact on animals' lives. We fulfill an essential role by rescuing farm animals who would otherwise most likely suffer from inhumane conditions.

Upon arrival at our sanctuary, farm animals undergo rehabilitation to heal from physical and emotional traumas. Our dedicated team of caretakers provides medical treatment, nutritional support, and behavioral enrichment to help these animals recover and thrive. From providing spacious, species-specific habitats and nutritious diets to offering veterinary care and emotional support, we ensure that every animal receives the highest standard of care for the rest of their lives.

In addition to providing direct care for farm animals, LTB advocates for their welfare on a broader scale. Through educational programs, outreach initiatives, and advocacy efforts, we raise awareness about the plight of farm animals and promote compassionate and ethical treatment for all animals.

How You Can Help

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You can make a meaningful difference in the lives of farm animals by supporting Lions Tigers & Bears in various ways. One option is to make a tax-deductible donation to LTB, which directly contributes to the care and well-being of farm animals in need. Your financial support helps cover costs associated with rescue operations, veterinary care, habitat maintenance, and ongoing enrichment programs. This is why it’s important to make sure you only support accredited sanctuaries. 

We also have volunteer opportunities for those who are passionate about animal welfare to get involved firsthand. There's a lot you can do as a volunteer at LTB. You can help with daily care tasks, participate in habitat maintenance projects, or engage in educational outreach efforts. Your support makes a positive impact on the lives of animals and promotes a more compassionate world for all beings.

The Enigmatic Emu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Flightless Giant

Emus are the second-largest living bird by height, behind the ostrich. They stand up to 6.2 feet (1.9 meters) tall, with distinctive long necks and legs. They are native to Australia and inhabit various habitats across the country, including savannahs, forests, and grasslands. Emus are flightless, but they run fast and can reach up to 31 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour) over short distances, thanks to their powerful legs. 

Quick Facts about Emus

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What’s the Difference Between Emus & Ostriches?

Emus and ostriches are large flightless birds known for their impressive size and speed, but they have some key differences. 

  1. For one, emus have a more extended, lower profile and three toes on each foot, while ostriches have a taller, more upright profile and only two toes on each foot. 
  2. And two, emus have predominantly brown feathers with a lighter-colored neck and are native to Australia, while ostriches have black and white feathers and are native to Africa.
  3. Then, three, the emu egg size is 5.1 inches by 3.5 inches and weighs between 1lb and 1.4lb, while the ostrich egg measures 6 inches by 5 inches and weighs more than 3.1lb.

Emus are the World's Second Tallest Bird

Emus are the world's second tallest bird, surpassed only by the ostrich. They are so tall that they have a running stride of about 9 feet (2.7 meters) in length. This remarkable stride allows emus to cover ground quickly while running, making them one of the fastest land animals in their habitat. Despite their large size and heavy weights, emus are surprisingly agile and can easily maneuver through various types of terrain.

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Emu Habitats

Emus are found in Australia. They once lived in Tasmania but were exterminated after the arrival of Europeans. Two dwarf species of emus that lived on King Island and Kangaroo Island also became extinct. Both species were hunted to extinction by European settlers. 

Today, the mainland emu population remains Australia's only surviving species. But they are mostly absent in heavily populated areas, especially along the east coast.

Fast Runners, Strong Swimmers, and High Jumpers

Emus are known for their speed and agility on land, thanks to their long legs and powerful calf muscles. In fact, emus are the only birds with calf muscle. Their speed is crucial for evading predators, chasing prey, and traversing their vast native habitats. 

Additionally, emus can cross rivers and swim across bodies of water when necessary. They also have impressive vertical leaps, which can help them navigate obstacles or escape from predators.

Big Bodies and Tiny Wings with Small Claws

Emus have relatively small and stubby wings compared to their body proportions, rendering them flightless. However, these wings serve other functions, such as balance and communication. Emus also have tiny claws on their feet, which they use for various purposes, including foraging for food and defending themselves against predators.

Males Incubate the Eggs and Raise the Chicks

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One of the most fascinating aspects of emu behavior is their unique breeding and parental care strategy. In emu mating dynamics, the males are responsible for incubating the eggs and raising the chicks. After the breeding season, female emu typically moves on, leaving the eggs in the care of the male who fertilized them. 

The male emu tends to the nest and protects the eggs until they hatch. He then continues caring for the chicks, teaching them how to forage for food and protecting them from threats. It's also worth noting that the female emu is larger than the male.

There Was a Great Emu War in Australia in 1932

The Great Emu War of 1932 was a unique and humorous event in Australian history. The conflict arose when large numbers of emus migrated into agricultural areas in Western Australia in search of food. The emus quickly became a nuisance to farmers because they were damaging crops. In response, the Australian government dispatched a small military force armed with machine guns to cull the emu population. 

However, the operation proved largely unsuccessful, as the agile and elusive emus outmaneuvered the soldiers and avoided significant casualties. The so-called "war" ended inconclusively, with the emus ultimately prevailing and highlighting the challenges of human-wildlife conflict in agricultural landscapes.

The Emu is in Australia's Coat of Arms

Emu is one of the two iconic animals featured on Australia's Coat of Arms. The other animal is the kangaroo. Both animals cannot move backward easily, which has been interpreted as a representation of Australia's progress and forward-looking nature as a nation. This symbolism is reflected in the Australian national motto, "Advance Australia."

The Rapid Growth of Emu Farming 

People farm emus for the same reasons they are killed for in the wild – their valuable resources. The high demand for emu products, including eggs, meat, and feathers, has led to the rapid growth of emu farming in recent years. 

Emu's dark green eggs are prized for their large size and nutritional value, while emu meat is sought after for its lean quality and health benefits. Their feathers are highly sought after, too, for their ability to attract and capture dust particles without scratching or damaging surfaces. Even automobile manufacturers like Audi and BMW have reportedly used emu feathers in their car manufacturing processes to ensure a pristine finish. 

While emu farming is growing fast due to demand, it's important to remember that emus are wild animals and deserve to live in their natural habitats. Keeping emus in captivity for farming can have negative consequences, including encouraging illegal poaching and contributing to biodiversity loss in the wild. Additionally, farming practices may not always prioritize the welfare of the animals, potentially leading to poor living conditions and mistreatment.

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Organizations like Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) help provide a safe and nurturing home for emus and other rescued animals. As a true accredited sanctuary dedicated to rescuing and caring for exotic and wild animals, LTB ensures that emus can live in a naturalistic environment where they can express their natural behaviors and receive the proper care and attention they deserve.

Back in October of 2023 we added three new emu family members: Carla (Aka Dr. Emu), Sarah, and Ryan! Their journey to us began with a heartwarming rescue mission after the unfortunate passing of their previous owner. When the call for help reached us through the San Diego Humane Society, we couldn't say no to these precious birds

Upon their arrival, we discovered many health challenges, but our dedicated team of caregivers are here to ensure their well-being. We're committed to helping Carla, Sarah, and Ryan thrive in their new home and have plans for a cozy habitat tailored to their needs. They would love for you to come visit!

Why Choose an Accredited Sanctuary? 

It's crucial to choose accredited organizations that adhere to the highest standards of animal care, ethical practices, and transparency. Accredited sanctuaries and animal shelters prioritize the well-being of their residents and provide a safe and enriching environment for animals in need. By supporting accredited sanctuaries like Lions Tigers & Bears, you can ensure your contributions make a positive impact on animal welfare, education, and conservation efforts.

Love in the Wild: Valentine’s Day Special – Animal Edition

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As we approach the season of love, our hearts are drawn to the untamed beauty of the animal kingdom, where affectionate bonds and unique connections unfold in the most unexpected places. This Valentine's Day, join us for a heartwarming journey into the wild as we celebrate the extraordinary love stories of the residents at Lions Tigers & Bears Sanctuary.

This special edition brings tales of companionship, resilience, and camaraderie among our beloved animal friends. From Teddy and Baloo, who overcame hardships and found solace in each other's company, to Moka and Nola, whose true friendship blossomed after being rescued from different corners of the country, each tale carries a unique and touching narrative.

Discover how you can support the well-being and care of our remarkable residents by making donations in the name of love. Your contributions help ensure that the wild animals in our care continue to thrive in a safe and loving environment.

Fantastic Duos at LTB

Celebrating love and companionship among our animal friends at Lions Tigers & Bears is heartwarming, especially on Valentine's Day. Here are a few fantastic duos that exemplify the bonds of friendship and playfulness:

Teddy and Baloo

Teddy and Baloo were born into captivity at the Cherokee Bear Zoo, known as “The Pits,” where they were kept in horrible, pitted cinder block cells and could only see upwards. Right after birth, before they could even open their eyes, they were used for public petting and photo ops. As they grew too large for petting, they were sent to an auction house in Ohio, purchased by a couple, and then donated to another zoo. These unfortunate bears were displaced multiple times, bouncing around from one zoo to the next, ultimately ending back in private ownership with the couple.

When the couple realized they couldn't provide a proper home for the bears, they reached out to Bobbi for help. This situation is a common result of private ownership; 99.9% of the time, it does not work out. Wildlife born into captivity require an environment, care, and attention that only a true accredited sanctuary can provide. LTB took in all four bears in late May 2014, and now, Teddy and Baloo roam freely in spaces designed to mimic their natural habitats. Like typical brothers, they spend most of their time climbing on big rocks, playing, roaming, and sleeping.

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Moka and Nola

Moka, a Bengal tiger, was confiscated at the Mexican border in August 2017. Smugglers were trying to transport him across the border to the US. He was then taken to San Diego Zoo Park, but the zoo could not provide a lifetime home for him.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Service asked LTB to take in Moka, and in June 2018, Moka found his permanent home at our wildlife sanctuary San Diego. Shortly afterward, he was introduced to Nola, a white tiger cub of similar age.

Nola was also illegally trafficked and rescued from an unpermitted location near New Orleans, Louisiana. She was only five months old at the time and needed immediate medical attention for conditions arising from neglect. She had parasites and malnutrition.

Moka and Nola are now best friends! They love swimming, wrestling, playing and romping together in their spacious habitats.

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Jillian and Suri

Jillian and Suri are siblings and were rescued alongside their brother Bakari in 2005 from a failing unaccredited big cat roadside facility in Louisiana. The facility was overcrowded and unable to keep the cubs, so LTB stepped in to take all three African lions. Suri, Jillian and Bakari were only 4 weeks old at the time of rescue. Suri was the smallest and sweetest. She was playful, too.

On the other hand, Jillian had a youthful and vibrant personality as a cub. Today, the siblings spend time wading in the ponds, lounging in the cool grass and enjoying the peace and tranquility of the sanctuary.

This Valentine’s Day, we invite you to come and witness the joyous connections and remarkable friendships that thrive among these and other residents of Lions Tigers & Bears Sanctuary. Most visitors can’t help falling in love with these creatures, and we’re sure you will, too!

Our sanctuary is open to the public Tuesday through Friday, and all ages are welcome. You can also stay the night and have your own private safari experience, or plan your dream wedding or any other special or corporate event on our grounds.

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A Perfect Place for Outdoor Events and Weddings in San Diego

If you’re looking for a birthday, corporate event, team-building retreat, or wedding event space, Lions Tigers and Bears has got you covered! Our exotic animal sanctuary boasts expansive grassy lawns, and picturesque meadows, providing a breathtaking backdrop for your event. This natural beauty collectively provides a stunning and serene backdrop, setting the stage for unforgettable moments during your event.

But that’s not all – what sets LTB’s grounds apart is the captivating presence of our incredible animal residents. Imagine saying your vows with the majestic roar of a white lion in the background or toasting a successful business venture with the playful antics of bears in view. The opportunity to share your special moments with these incredible creatures makes your event truly unique.

The best part is you can feel good knowing that by choosing LTB for your event, you are positively impacting the lives of our rescued animals. The proceeds from your celebration go directly towards supporting the well-being and care of these magnificent creatures, contributing to their continued happiness and health.

You can even stay the night and experience the ultimate romantic getaway just outside San Diego with our White Oak Wild Nights. Here, you can spend the night along side majestic animals like leopards and lions under the stars. Stay in luxurious accommodations featuring two bedrooms and a lavish bath, while enjoying access to amenities like pools, a jacuzzi, and grilling stations.

Witness the magic of nature unfold before your eyes as our professional keepers interact with exotic animals like Moka & Nola. Your stay not only offers unparalleled luxury but also directly supports the care and well-being of the animals here at Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary.

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Express Your Love: Support Our Animal Sanctuary

Love knows no bounds, and at Lions Tigers & Bears, we invite you to express your affection meaningfully—by supporting our beloved animal residents. As a sanctuary committed to the well-being and care of these extraordinary creatures, we rely on the generosity of individuals like you to make a lasting impact.

Make a Donation

Consider making a financial contribution to support the ongoing care, feeding, and medical needs of our animals. Every donation, regardless of size, contributes to their happiness and health.

Sponsor an Animal

Establish a memorable connection by sponsoring one of our incredible animal residents. Your sponsorship helps cover the costs of their specific care, ensuring they lead fulfilling lives.

In-Kind Donations

Support us by donating items that enhance the lives of our animals, such as blankets, toys, or enrichment items. Check the wishlist on our website, or contact us for a list of current needs.

Volunteer Your Time

If you're local or planning to visit, consider volunteering your time. Assist with daily tasks, engage in enrichment activities with the animals, and contribute to the overall well-being of our sanctuary.

Corporate Sponsorships

Explore opportunities for corporate partnerships or sponsorships. Your business can impact positively, gaining visibility and alignment with a meaningful cause.

Join us in spreading love and compassion for these extraordinary animals. Your support enables us to rescue animals and provide a safe and loving home for their well-being and happiness. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about how you can contribute to the Lions Tigers & Bears mission.

San Diego’s Secret Garden: Exploring Our Sanctuary’s Natural Habitat

Lions Tigers & Bears is an exotic animal sanctuary and educational facility in beautiful San Diego. It sits on 142 acres of land situated on the edge of Cleveland National Forest and features majestic oak trees, rolling hills, and meadows. This provides a perfect and natural habitat for over 60 domestic and exotic animals rescued from neglectful or abusive situations across the county. At LTB, these animals finally have a chance to live out their lives with dignity and peace, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of their natural home.

Lions Tigers & Bears: Making a Difference

Animals in captivity generally lack the skills to survive in the wild. They’re also often too used to human contact, which makes them vulnerable to poachers. In most cases, releasing them in the wild is not in their best interest.

Like any reputable and accredited animal rescue organization, we understand how important it is for the animals to live in their natural habitats. But we also know that once an animal is taken from the wild, it would be dangerous to assume it could be released without adding to the misery.

That’s why we consistently raise awareness of animal welfare and preserving wild environments. However, factors like habitat loss, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade continue to threaten the well-being of numerous species.

Today, there are millions of wild animals in captivity. Roadside zoos and other unaccredited facilities exploit animals for profit, whether it’s entertainment, breeding, or illegal trade. And the worst part is they fail to provide the necessary care and environment for their well-being.

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Tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, snakes, and elephants are not meant to live in captivity. It’s unnatural and against the captive animal welfare standards. When animals are locked in small, inadequate enclosures and without opportunities for physical and mental stimulation, they become stressed and bored, causing them to exhibit abnormal behaviors.

Yet, circus animals spend about 96% of their lives in chains or cages. World Animal Protection also reports there are more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild. Asia, for example, has 200 tiger breeding facilities housing up to 8000 tigers. These tigers are usually exploited for their body parts.

But sanctuaries provide a stark contrast to such distressing realities. Lions Tigers & Bears for instance:

Our Commitment to Creating Natural Habitats for the Residents

LTB is a model sanctuary, providing the highest standard of care for rescued animals. Our San Diego animal sanctuary is home to over 60 animals and 19 species, including lions, tigers, grizzly bears, Himalayan and American black bears, African servals, leopards, mountain lions, bobcats, horses, llamas, chickens, goats, peacocks, a miniature horse, miniature donkey, macaw and more. And each one of these species has a home that replicates their natural habitat.

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Here’s a brief overview of our species-specific habitats:

Bears

Our bear habitats are designed to mirror the diverse environments that different bear species inhabit. We have created spacious enclosures with various natural elements, including trees, rocks, and pools, allowing our bears to engage in activities such as climbing, foraging, and swimming. These environments promote physical exercise and mental stimulation, contributing to the overall well-being of our bear residents.

Lions and Tigers

Lions and tigers require ample space for roaming and opportunities to express their natural behaviors. At LTB, our lion and tiger habitats are carefully crafted to provide expansive areas with lush vegetation, elevated platforms for climbing, and hiding spots for shade and privacy. These habitats allow these big cats to exhibit their natural hunting and territorial behaviors, promoting a sense of security and comfort.

Servals and Leopards

Servals and leopards have distinct needs, and our habitats for these species are tailored to accommodate their preferences. We incorporate features like tall grasses, trees, and elevated platforms to mimic their natural environments. These habitats provide opportunities for stalking, climbing, and resting, allowing servals and leopards to express their natural instincts.

Horses, Llamas, Chickens, and Goats

Domestic animals like horses, llamas, chickens, and goats also find a safe haven at LTB. We ensure that their enclosures provide ample space for grazing, shelter for protection from the elements, and opportunities for social interactions. Our commitment extends beyond exotic species to include the well-being of domestic animals, recognizing their unique needs and behaviors.

Beyond the Basics

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Our dedication to natural habitats goes beyond physical structures. We strive to create an environment that nourishes the animals' physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Witnessing them rediscover their natural behaviors – foraging, playing, socializing – is the ultimate reward for our efforts.

Habitat Variety

We understand the importance of providing diverse environments that cater to the specific needs and preferences of each species. Our habitats encompass a range of features such as varying topography, vegetation, and water elements, ensuring a dynamic and stimulating living space for our animals.

Controlled Introductions

We implement controlled introduction protocols when integrating animals into shared spaces. This careful approach allows for gradual acclimatization, reducing stress and promoting positive social interactions. Our goal is to foster a sense of community and companionship among compatible residents.

Minimizing Human Interference

Our approach to ethical wildlife observation emphasizes respect for the animal's natural behaviors and environments. That’s why we encourage visitors to observe from designated areas, allowing the residents to express their instincts without unnecessary disruptions. LTB adheres to a strict NO TOUCH rule. 

Food Puzzles

Enrichment programs play a significant role in keeping our residents mentally stimulated. Food puzzles are one aspect of our enrichment strategy, where we incorporate challenges and puzzles into mealtime. This not only provides physical activity as animals work to access their food but also engages their problem-solving skills, mirroring the challenges they might face in the wild.

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Sensory Stimuli

Sensory stimulation is an integral part of our enrichment programs. We create environments that engage multiple senses, including sight, sound, and smell. This can involve introducing scents, sounds of nature, or novel objects into the habitats, encouraging our residents to explore and interact with their surroundings.

Harnessing the Positive Impact of Your Purchase Power

When you choose to support a compassionate sanctuary like Lions Tigers & Bears with your visit, social media mention, or financial contribution, you’re making a meaningful impact that extends far beyond our gates.

Your support reflects the values you hold dear – values that prioritize the welfare of these animals and contribute to the broader goal of wildlife preservation. It directly fuels our care, rehabilitation, and advocacy efforts. Your purchase power is a catalyst for positive change. Choose to support our Alpine animal sanctuary, and let your purchase power be a force for positive change.

Serving the Servals: Unravel the Mysteries of a Wild Cat Species

Servals are medium-sized wild cats native to Sub-Saharan Africa. They are known for their distinctive appearance, which features a slender body, long legs, and a relatively small head with large, rounded ears. These wild cat species have golden-yellow coats with black spots and stripes that often get them mistaken for young cheetahs, tigers or even leopards. Servals also have white spots behind their ears to help cubs keep track of their mothers.

Quick Facts about Servals

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Spotted Camouflage

The serval's tawny coat, adorned with black spots and stripes, provides effective camouflage within the dappled light of their savanna and wetland habitats. Cats like tigers have stripes, while cheetahs have spots. But servals have both, sort of. 

Although they don’t actually have stripes, some of the spots are close enough to look like stripes. This makes it hard to notice them in high grass. Interestingly, servals that live near woodlands have smaller spots that allow them to hide better in the tree shade. 

Long Limps and Powerful Leaps

Servals have the longest legs relative to body size among all felines. These propel them effortlessly through tall grass for a view of their surroundings. The combination of long legs and powerful leg muscles allows them to launch into impressive vertical leaps, reaching heights of 9 feet (almost 3 meters) to snatch airborne prey like birds.

Huge Ears

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Servals can easily pass as the weirdest cats ever. Along with the extra-long legs, they have huge ears and a long neck. Surprisingly, these bizarre body parts make them one of the most successful hunters in the wild cat kingdom. They boast a 50% success rate, which is about 20% better than lions hunting with their pride.

These wild cats are not picky eaters – but they do not scavenge like most wild cats. That’s probably because they are great hunters – they can catch up to 10 frogs an hour when hinting in water. A single serval can kill and eat up to 4000 rodents and 250 snakes in one year. A typical serval diet consists of small mammals weighing 200g (7 ounces) or less. So, in addition to the above prey, they feed on rabbits, birds, lizards, crabs, and insects. 

Social Behavior

Servals are generally solitary creatures, leading independent lives outside of breeding season. However, these loners occasionally form temporary partnerships for cooperative hunting or defense against larger predators. During mating season, males and females come together briefly. The only long-lasting bond is between the mother and her cubs – and this often lasts for around a year before the grown cubs move out. 

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Native Serval Habitat

Servals are native to various regions in Southern Africa. Their natural habitats predominantly include savannas, which are characterized by a mix of grasslands and open spaces. The tall grasses provide cover for stalking prey, and the open areas allow them to use their exceptional leaping abilities for hunting. 

These wild cats also inhabit areas with reed beds, where the dense vegetation provides additional cover and opportunities for ambushing prey. Some servals can be found in wetland areas, which offer a combination of water sources and abundant prey.

Can a Serval Kill a Human?

Servals are not known to be aggressive towards people. But they are wild animals with specific needs and behaviors that make them unsuitable as household pets. They have strong hunting instincts, are highly territorial, and engage in behaviors like scent marking. The cats also have specialized dietary and exercise needs that are difficult to fulfill in a typical household. So when you confine them within a home, they might end up experiencing stress, behavioral issues, and poor overall welfare.

Even with good intentions and resources, keeping a serval as a pet is not in the best interest of the animal, or the owner. Besides, legal restrictions pose significant barriers to owning servals in many U.S. states. Numerous states outright prohibit the ownership of servals and other exotic animals, while others necessitate special licenses or permits.

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Are Servals Endangered?

Serval populations have declined over the years. However, they aren’t considered endangered save for the Leptailurus serval constantinus subspecies. But if natural history is anything to go by, the status of any wildlife species can change over time due to various factors such as habitat loss, poaching, and other human-induced threats.

The illegal activities of the exotic pet trade and poaching present severe and immediate threats to the well-being and survival of servals and various other wild animals. These practices are primarily driven by the demand for exotic pets, as well as the commercial value of animal fur, skin, and bones.

Sadly, the consequences of poaching extend beyond individual animals. It can result in population declines, reduced genetic diversity, and disruptions to ecological balance. Loss of key species like servals can have cascading effects on ecosystems, affecting prey-predator relationships and the overall health of an ecosystem as a whole.

Beyond poaching, habitat loss due to human activity also significantly contributes to the challenges wild animals encounter in the wild. Climate change is an additional factor that can impact serval habitats. Altered weather patterns, changes in vegetation, and shifts in prey distribution influence the availability of resources for the animals in the wild.

Denali’s Story

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Denali is a 13-year-old serval at LTB. He was rescued from the Spirit of the Hills Sanctuary in South Dakota in 2016 following the closure of the sanctuary. But Denali’s journey didn’t start here. A military service member purchased him from a man who claimed to have acquired it from a zoo. However, by the time he was one, Denali had doubled in size compared to a domestic cat and outgrew the confines of the owner’s family's home.

So, Denali was taken to the Spirits of the Hills Sanctuary. But following a tiger mauling incident, the sanctuary was shut down, leaving Denali and others in need of a new home. Lions Tigers & Bears stepped in and took Denali.

This story underscores the issue of keeping exotic animals as pets. In all cases, it never works out for the animals, or owners. When the private owner is no longer able to care for the animal, they leave it up to the sanctuaries to care for it for the rest of its life. Sadly, the trade is booming, and the truth is more animals need homes than there are sanctuaries that can care for them.

Some of these animals end up in zoos, with breeders, or, in the worst cases, in canned hunting ranches or euthanasia. And even those who are lucky enough to find homes in sanctuaries still struggle with adjusting to new environments.Through their rescue and care efforts, Lions Tigers and Bears contributes not only to the individual lives of animals like Denali but also to a broader mission – shedding light on the struggles faced by wild animals kept in private ownership and the indispensable role that sanctuaries play in offering them a place to call home. Please consider donating, or becoming a member to help us provide a safe, caring and humane sanctuary for these beautiful creatures.

Behind the Roar: Understanding the Behavior of Tigers

Tigers have a very powerful roar. Their roar is so loud that it can be heard from miles away. Interestingly, these big cats can also produce low-pitched infrasonic sounds that are below the human hearing range. So, humans can't hear the sound, but can feel it. It’s the killer blend of ear-splitting roar and infrasound that can cause temporary paralysis to other animals, including humans.

Infrasound travels long distances, and tigers use it to hunt and communicate. It can also penetrate solid objects like bones, which is why people report feeling the tiger roar. Low-frequency sound has been shown to cause drowsiness, vibration of internal organs, chills, and even depression. Some report the feeling of a tiger's roar as a "ghostly" experience. Either way, this penetrating sound is just one weapon in the tiger's sonic arsenal.

In this article, we'll take a look at the different sounds tigers make and the reason behind them. But first, let's have a look at the state of tigers today.

The Plight of Tigers

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Tigers have been around for millions of years. However, they're now considered an endangered species. The relentless specter of poaching for body parts, coupled with habitat loss, has pushed these magnificent creatures towards extinction. And the changing climate throws another wrench into the mix of the multitude of challenges and threats facing tigers today.

According to recent estimates, the population of wild tigers stands at just around 5,500, a mere shadow of the estimated 100,000 that roamed freely a century ago. These are mostly continental tigers that include Malayan, Bengal, Indochinese, and Siberian tigers. But the Javan, Bali, and Caspian tiger species are now extinct, while the South China tiger is believed to be functionally extinct.

In the face of ever-present challenges that threaten the very existence of tigers, Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) stands as a safe haven for these endangered species. Our sanctuary offers a safe, enriching, and supportive environment for tigers, contributing significantly to the conservation efforts aimed at preserving this majestic species.

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An Overview of the Distinct Sounds That Tigers Make:

Tigers communicate through a diverse range of vocalizations. At LTB, we understand these sounds and use them to gain valuable insights into the emotional and physical well-being of the tigers under our care. Here's a look at the roars and sounds that tigers use to communicate:

Moaning

Tigers moan to express contentment and relaxation. Similar to how humans might sigh when feeling at ease, tigers emit moaning sounds during moments of comfort and satisfaction. These gentle and soothing vocalizations are often heard when a tiger is at rest, enjoying a comfortable environment, or interacting with its cubs.

Moaning also serves as a means of creating a calm and secure atmosphere between the mother and cubs. The soft moans communicate a sense of reassurance and connection, promoting a positive and nurturing environment within the tiger family.

Chuffing

Tigers chuff as a friendly and non-threatening form of communication. Chuffing is a soft, puffing sound that tigers use to express friendliness and camaraderie, particularly in social interactions. It's commonly observed in various contexts, such as between tiger cubs and the mother or among adult tigers in close proximity to one another.

Chuffing is a great way for tigers to establish and maintain positive social bonds. This vocalization helps strengthen connections within the tiger community and fosters a sense of companionship.

Growling

Tigers growl to express discomfort or irritation or establish boundaries. Growling is a more assertive vocalization compared to moaning or chuffing and serves as a warning signal to other tigers or animals in the vicinity.

When a tiger growls, it's essentially communicating a message of caution or asserting a need for personal space. This vocalization is often heard during confrontations or situations where a tiger feels threatened. It acts as a form of communication to deter potential threats and avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Roaring

Roaring is a distinctive and loud vocalization that carries over long distances, making it an effective means for tigers to convey specific messages. Tigers roar for various reasons, including:

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Territorial Marking

Tigers are territorial, and roaring is a way for them to assert their presence and mark their territory. The loud and distinctive roar acts as an auditory boundary, signaling to other tigers that the home range is already claimed. This helps prevent unnecessary conflicts and establishes a clear delineation of space.

Mating Rituals

Tigers are solitary, and their social structure is connected through scent marks, visual signs, and vocalization. During the mating season, a male tiger roars to attract potential mates. The deep and powerful roar is a display of strength and dominance, signaling to potential mates about their presence and fitness for reproduction. Female tigers, in turn, may respond with calls to indicate their receptivity. Tigers only interact briefly for mating reasons or to share their kill.

Communication with Other Tigers

Tigers are generally solitary creatures, but they use sounds to communicate with other tigers in the area. Roaring is a social behavior that conveys information about the tiger's presence, intentions, and emotional state. It plays a vital part in the complex social dynamics of these big cats.

Other Tiger Behaviors

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Apart from vocalizations, tigers exhibit various behaviors that define their role as apex predator. Let's explore some more interesting facts about tigers:

Join us in our efforts to rescue and conserve these majestic creatures. Whether through donations, advocacy, or spreading awareness, your involvement makes a tangible impact to improve the lives of these amazingly complex creatures.

New Year, New Beginnings: A Call for 2024 Donors & Supporters

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Animals play an important part in the stability of the ecosystem and our lives. They are excellent companions and contribute to the overall balance and functioning of the ecosystem. Even those in sanctuaries help preserve this delicate balance. They act as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, providing insights into their natural behaviors, habitats and conservation needs.

But sadly, animals don’t have a safety net in society or a voice of their own. Unless we step up as donors and supporters, many animals remain vulnerable to cruelty, exploitation, and habitat destruction. Others, like tigers and bears, even face the looming threat of extinction. As we usher in the New Year, it's a good time to extend our support to Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) and other nonprofit organizations committed to the welfare and conservation of wild animals.

Why is Your Support Important?

As HuffPost puts it, we live in tough economic times. So many people are nervous about parting with any portion of their hard-earned money for public good. This means that charitable organizations, especially animal-oriented ones – are facing a hard time. It also means that it’s harder for these facilities to accomplish and maintain their goals, which include:

Animal shelters and sanctuaries must also cover overhead costs like employee salaries, facility maintenance, and food and medicine for the animals. But sanctuaries like LTB do not breed or sell animals. They also don’t get government funding for animal rescue. And since they exist to rescue and care for animals that have faced neglect, abuse or exploitation, it means they’re constantly committing to long-term financial burdens.

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Caring for abused animals often demands more extensive medical care, dietary adjustments, and customized facilities, which stretches already limited resources. Without generous contributions from well-wishers like you, it becomes increasingly challenging.

How you can Help Animal Sanctuary

There are many ways you can help support accredited animal sanctuaries like Lions Tigers & Bears. From direct donations and volunteering to adoption and sponsoring, here’s how to make a difference:

Make a Direct Donation

One of the best ways to support our California animal sanctuary is through financial contributions. Every dollar adds up and makes a tangible difference in the lives of rescued animals. Donations may help cover the costs of supplies, daily operations, animal housing upgrades, staff training and payments, animal enrichment, community outreach programs and much more.

LTB has a secure online donation portal where you can easily contribute using a credit card, debit card or PayPal. Consider setting up a regular donation, even if it's a small amount. Recurring monthly or annual donations offer ongoing stability and allow us to plan for the future.

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Host a Fundraiser

Hosting a fundraiser is a fantastic way to engage your community, raise awareness about animal welfare, and generate much-needed funds for the rescued animals at our sanctuary. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Volunteer for Animals

Direct donations and fundraisers are crucial – but it’s not always about money. Our sanctuary thrives on the dedication and passion of volunteers. Volunteering your time and skills is a great way to provide hands-on care and support to the remarkable animals who call LTB home. And you can do this through:

Direct Animal Care

Supporting Operations

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Most volunteer positions require no prior experience, just a willingness to learn and a love for animals. LTB provides training and guidance to ensure you feel comfortable and prepared. And the best part is that you get to choose volunteer opportunities that fit your schedule, whether it's a few hours a week or a one-time event.

Sponsor an Animal at LTB

LTB offers symbolic adoption programs where you can sponsor an animal by contributing $25 or more each month. This money goes towards the lifetime care of the adopted animal. In appreciation, you’ll get a photo of your new furry family member, an official Sponsorship certificate and a personalized thank you note from Bobbi Brink, the Founder at LTB.

Donate Today!

Sanctuaries are perhaps the best place to regain the connection we have lost with animals. But they need ongoing support to sustain their vital work. That’s why we call upon you to support the Lions Tigers and Bears wildlife rescue in San Diego.

As we extend this call to action, we would like to thank our donors and everyone else who has supported our mission thus far. Your generosity has made a tangible difference in the lives of animals, providing them with a safe haven and an opportunity to thrive.

Join us in this journey to preserve the well-being of animals and to foster a world where the bond between humans and animals is cherished. Your generosity is the key to sustaining our work. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the animals in our sanctuary.

A Day in the Life of a Majestic Tiger

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The majestic tiger is among the world's most beautiful apex predators, with their thick, orange-black coats, imperial mien, and huge, neck-snapping paws. They are also intelligent and boast a remarkable memory. In fact, according to research, tigers' short-term memory is significantly better than that of humans, and other animals. These majestic creatures are truly awe-inspiring.

In this article, we'll look at the typical tiger's daily life, including their lifestyle, daily routines, and adaptation skills that enable them to thrive in various environments. We'll also cover some tiger facts that are worth noting.

Tigers during the Day

Contrary to common belief, tigers are not diurnal creatures. They are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during the dawn and dusk. The daytime, however, is not devoid of activity for the magnificent keystone species.

In the early morning, a tiger often finds a secluded spot, well-hidden in the underbrush or tall grass, to rest. Their strong body comes to rest as the tiger assumes a state of repose. During the day, tigers primarily engage in a favorite pastime — sleep.

Tigers sleep anywhere between 18 to 20 hours every single day. This may seem surprising for such powerful creatures, but there are valid reasons behind their daytime slumber:

Tigers at Night

Tigers become active at night. This is when they set out to hunt, patrol their territories, and even mate.

Hunting under the Cover of Darkness:

Tigers hunt at night. Their environmental adaptations, including exceptional night vision, acute hearing, and an acute sense of smell, make them formidable hunters under darkness. Tigers' eyesight is six times better than humans in the dark. Tigers also have distinctive orange coats and dark stripes that blend seamlessly into their environment.

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With stealth and precision, tigers embark on their prowling behavior. Using the element of surprise to their advantage, they stalk their prey, relying on their muscular bodies and powerful limbs for a sudden burst of speed and a lethal pounce. Tigers hunt about once a week and eat as much as 34 kilograms (75 pounds) of food in one night. Their prey consists of wild boar and deer, but they also eat buffalo, sloth bears, reptiles, fish, birds, and insects.

Territory Marking and Patrol

In addition to hunting, the night is a time for tigers to assert their dominance and defend their territories. Tigers lead a solitary lifestyle, and each individual has a defined home range they patrol regularly. At night, a tiger may embark on territorial patrols, marking its boundaries with scent markings (urine and feces) and scratches on trees.

The urine scent can last up to 40 days and serves as a warning to potential rivals and a signal to potential mates. And their deep, resonant roars can carry over long distances, acting as an audible declaration of their presence in the darkness.

Socializing and Mating

For those tigers seeking companionship, the night can also be a time for socializing and mating. Tigers are generally solitary animals, except when raising young or mating. During the breeding season, males may actively seek out females. Their deep, rumbling vocalizations become a means of communication, allowing them to locate and attract potential mates in the vast darkness of the jungle.

Mating can happen anytime, though it mainly occurs between November and April when the weather is cool. Female tigers only release eggs after mating, and their gestation lasts about 100 days, after which they birth between 1 and 7 cubs.

When cubs are born, they stay with their mothers until they can hunt successfully. That's usually around 18 to 24 months. The young ones reach complete independence at around year 2 or 3, at which point they move out to find their territory. Females tend to find territories nearby, while males move further from home. And their mothers can mate again.

Tigers in the wild live for 10 to 15 years. But in some cases, they can get to 20 years. Sadly, about 50% of all wild tiger cubs don't survive beyond 2 years, and only 40% of those that reach adulthood live to establish a territory and sire offspring. The mortality rates are high for adults because of their territorial nature, which leads to direct competition. Other factors like poaching, human-tiger conflicts, diminishing resources, etc., also play a part.

Observation and Facts from LTB

Our dedicated team at Lion Tigers & Bears engages in routine observation of tigers under our care to gain valuable insights into the natural behaviors of these big cats. Through meticulous study and documentation, we uncover essential facts that contribute to our understanding of tigers and aid in their rescue and recovery.

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Our observations confirm the significance of territoriality in their behavior. We have documented tigers' meticulous marking and patrolling activities, providing valuable data that enhances our understanding of their territorial needs. This knowledge is crucial for designing habitats for the big cats.

We've also found that providing mentally stimulating environments, such as puzzle feeders and varied landscapes, helps mimic the challenges of their natural habitats, fostering a more enriched and satisfying life for these captive tigers.

Our observations highlight the importance of replicating diverse environments, including water features and vegetation, to cater to the tigers' preferences. This attention to detail enhances the overall welfare of the animals and contributes to a more authentic representation of their natural habitats.

Only six of the nine tiger subspecies have survived, and those that did are all critically endangered. The critical state of these majestic creatures underscores the need for collective efforts to understand, preserve, and protect them.

Let us stand united in our resolve to protect tigers and their habitats, working hand in hand to secure a future where these majestic creatures thrive in the wild. Together, we can be the catalysts for positive change and impact the rescue and conservation of endangered species.