BENEFITING: Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
EVENT DATE: Nov 20, 2014
Before his recent rescue from a closed down private zoo, King Arthur the black bear lived in a small, barren cage with a concrete floor for nearly 30 years. He was only fed raw chicken and apples and weighed just 300 pounds upon arrival to the sanctuary- roughly 100 pounds underweight. His thin body was draped with an unimpressive fur coat, patchy and matted. Poor nutrition and lack of scratching surfaces such as tree trunks meant he had many years of winter coat built up left to shed. On other parts of his old body, fur was very sparse due to lying on concrete for decades and constant itching because he was never treated for fleas or ticks. Black bears have razor sharp claws enabling them to quickly climb trees even as large adults, but Arthur’s are dull, short and broken from pacing on concrete. Nearly three decades of this behavior resulted in severe arthritis affecting multiple parts of his body. In addition to pacing, boredom and frustration led him to chew and pull on his cage wire, causing extreme damage to his teeth. Some teeth are broken off; others are worn down to the gum line. He NEVER experienced digging in the dirt, lying on a soft bed of hay, or veterinary care before coming to Noah’s Ark.
A 29 year old brown bear named Gideon (shown in pics) was recently rescued as well. His owner was going to shoot him the next day if we did not remove the geriatric giant from his property. Gideon was in the same horrendous condition as King Arthur, but his lameness is even more severe. When we receive calls on exotic animals needing a home it’s usually the end of the line for them; we are their only hope. Other sanctuaries are too far away, too full, or unable to transport or fund them (this was the case with both King Arthur and Gideon). We are forced to turn away exotic animals in the most desperate need of refuge simply because we do not have the facilities to house and care for their special needs. It’s easy for private or zoo owners to find homes for young, healthy animals, leaving the imperfect, unwanted older animals to die in their existing conditions or be euthanized. King Arthur and Gideon were one of the lucky animals we were able to rescue only because we were able to divide existing animal enclosures for them to temporarily live in.
In this year alone, Noah’s Ark has turned away 7 bears, 5 tigers, 1 lion and 8 wolves. More often than not, these animals cannot be integrated into existing habitats with members of their own species because they are advanced in age, in poor health, and have never known what it is like to live in a large, natural environment with members of their own species. For their safety, the safety of their keepers, and the welfare of our current animal residents, it is best if these new, special needs rescues have their own enclosures specially designed to meet their unique needs. This means having temperature controlled indoor areas for their comfort as well as where medical procedures can be carried out, level terrain and shallow pools for their medical needs. In addition to their habitats, we also desperately need to finish the nutrition center in order to properly store and prepare their specialized diets, as well as the diets of the 1500 other animal residents from over 100 species that call Noah’s Ark home.
The animals in most dire need of our loving care are also the highest maintenance. This holiday season please show your support for the animals by donating toward their specialized habitats and nutrition center. Your gifts make it possible to properly care for the special needs that years of abuse and neglect have caused incredible creatures. We cannot do this without you, so please, help us help them!