This weekend my friends J'Amy and Steve took me to a big cat preserve called Lions Tigers and Bears in Alpine, CA. They helped the fledgling nonprofit by building the first cages as well as volunteering their time on several fundraisers. Now in its 6th year the preserve has grown to an impressive size. Located on several acres of what had been a 4,000 acre ranch, its lush rolling hills are still peppered with rusty farm equipment relics artfully placed among the huge animal enclosures.
Some of the animals they've rescued are a pair lions, a breeding pair of tigers, a leopard and a recently acquired bear who might be pregnant. Bobbie Brinks, the founder, is hoping it's not so. The newest enclosure under construction is meant to house five bears. Miss bear may have that many in one litter.
Bobbie took us inside the double fenced area of the tiger cage so I could get a better picture. Once the tigers saw her, they bounded down from their hammocks and were purring like huge house kitties looking for a pet. They are wonderfully sleek and healthy now, but according to Bobbie they were very neglected when she first rescued them. Some states like Texas where they were rescued have no laws prohibiting breeding of exotic animals and as a result, many are abandoned by thoughtless buyers. J'Amy and Steve can feel very proud to be a part in providing homes for these now very loved and cared for animals.