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On T he Move
It has taken some time and planning, but we have finally done it! Back in September, our beautiful Madison was moved into a retirement habitat. Madison has never been the social butterfly that her mother Nikki was, and it became more clear this summer that she was not going to go out of her way to visit with guests. We made the decision to retire Madison off of our tour route, however there was one big thing missing from her new home, Willie.

This handsome white tiger had been Madison's neighbor since his arrival in 2012. The two had instantly fallen for each other. You could often find the two walking the fence line together and in the evenings, they would talk back and forth.

Willie's retirement had already been in the works following his diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease in the summer of 2016. Following his diagnosis Willie would always look for an excuse to not visit with tours. He would either be sleeping in his room and ignore the tour guide or be across the habitat minding his own business. Following Madison's move, our staff struggled to convince Willie to load into a roll cage so we could move him next door to her once more. We worked with him for over two months, trying to catch him in the cage at the right moment. Finally, our hard work paid off. 

Since being reunited, the two have been inseparable at the fence-line, constantly chuffing and talking to each other. They now get to enjoy retirement together as neighbors. 

Willie's move marked the continuation of the most recent chapter in NTS history, as many of our long time resident move to a well deserved retirement from tours, it enables us to bring some new faces to the tour route. Willie's habitat opening allowed us to move one more of our circus rescues onto the tour route! Bashir moved into his habitat without incident, where he was reunited with his brother Dakar who has been living in Madison's old habitat and has waited for his brother to join him. When being moved into a new space, it might take a few days for the cat to get settled and adjusted. Bashir has already taken great strides in becoming accustomed to his new habitat.These two energetic 5 year olds are both incredibly excited to meet all the tour guests, and show off just how cool they are (or at least think they are). 

Enrichment is a great way to get an animal to relax. Bashir got to enjoy leaves and a pumpkin in his new home the day after the big move. He played and had a blast, all with his brother watching from the neighboring habitat. Within a couple days, he was ready for tours. He has been energetic to meet new people as well as do a little showing off. With a pool full of ice chunks, he gladly went fishing to demonstrate the fortitude these cats have when it's cold outside.
Newest Residents!

It is exciting news! We have five new residents to welcome to the NTS Family! Jinx is a 3 year old Arctic Fox who joined the NTS family on October 10 2017! Jinx came to the sanctuary after spending the first three years of his life in the private ownership of a very loving family. However as Jinx grew older his family began to realize that he was not a domesticated animal, and felt it would be in his best interest to find him a new home. NTS was incredibly excited to welcome Jinx to our sanctuary. We have provided him with a spacious habitat where we know he will be safe and secure and where he will be able to be as wild as he wants. 

Jinx is currently not apart of our normal tours, as the NTS staff is still building our relationship with him and learning his likes and dislikes. We will be slowly introducing Jinx to our Behind the Scenes and Day with the Director tour routes, as these tours consist of smaller groups of guests and will allow our senior staff members the ability to monitor Jinx's behavior around new people. 

Our future plans for Jinx will be dependent on his behavior, as not all animals enjoy public attention. For the mean time be sure to follow NTS on social media as we will be posting updates and photos of this beautiful young fox!

Hidalgo was retired after sustaining a back injury that left him unable to be ridden. He is estimated to be around 30 years old, but is over-all in great condition. He will get to spend the rest of his days grazing and enjoying the company of the NTS staff and our guests, in his new habitat at the entrance of the sanctuary. Just like Arnold the pig, Hidalgo will never have to worry about being fed to the big cats, he will be provided a safe and secure home for the rest of his life.  Hidalgo arrived just in time to celebrate the National Day of the Horse on December 13th. This is a day to commemorate the impact ho rses have had on the economy, history, and character of the United States.

The same week we received Hidalgo we were contacted about another animal in need of a new home, this time it was an animal that fell a little more in our wheel house. Lauri is a 16 year old black leopard who had been living in private ownership. As her main caretaker passed away early December and the other owner came across health issues it became harder and harder to take care of Lauri, so she made the decision to find Lauri a new home with NTS. Like many of our new arrivals Lauri is not fully comfortable in her new home and is still very unsure of the staff at NTS. Lauri is not currently on tour as she is still adapting to the sanctuary, but the staff at NTS will continue to work with Lauri and over time we hope that she will become more at ease in her new home. Just like all of our animals, we will let Lauri decide if she wants to be on tour based on her like or dislike of attention from people. Regardless of her future at NTS, we are extremely excited to welcome another beautiful leopard into our sanctuary.

The new arrivals didn't stop at Lauri, while in conversion with Lauri's owners we also discovered that she had two other animals that she would like for us to re-home. The first was a 3 ft long, approximately 3 year old alligator. We are unsure of its gender, and unfortunately it did not come with a name. However we were extremely excited to welcome it into our sanctuary, and we excited to learn more about this awesome aquatic reptile and design and build it a permanent home here at NTS.
The final addition to our sanctuary in 2017 is the most docile of all of our members of the sanctuary. Along with Lauri and the alligator we also received an 11 inch long goldfish. Like the alligator, the goldfish unfortunately did not come with a name that we know of. Despite its recent arrival, the goldfish has taken the least amount of time to adapt to our sanctuary and has now found a permanent home in our gift shop. 
Due to the alligator and goldfish not having names we will be holding a naming contest for both of them. To enter a submission for the naming competition be sure to like and follow our Facebook page, we will be announcing the competition in upcoming weeks on social media. 
Saying Goodbye

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of Ravi on November 29, 2017. Ravi was the sanctuary's oldest resident at 20 years old, she was rescued in May of this year from the entertainment industry.  
Ravi's senior status meant her performance days had already come to an end prior to her arrival  to NTS,   where she had been retired permanently along with 15 other white tigers this year.  Due to severe cataracts, Ravi's vision was heavily impaired when she arrived at the sanctuary, so while at NTS she resided in a simple yet luxurious retirement suite.  This is where she could always be seen sleeping in her outdoor yard enjoying the rays of sunshine.  

As the summer left us behind and we moved towards winter, Ravi began showing signs of slowing down. A few weeks before Ravi's passing, our animal care team noticed irregular breathing patterns as well as a gradual loss of her once ravenous appetite. She was under close veterinary watch and treatment for the last few weeks of her life, however it became apparent that her health complications were proving to be an unwinnable battle for a cat of her age. After weeks of treatments with no signs of improvement to her health, our staff was faced with the toughest decision we have to make with our beloved animals. After consultations with our veterinarian, the decision was made to move forward with peaceful euthanasia. A postmortem examination showed obvious signs of lymphoma, as well fluid buildup in her lungs and abdomen from other complications that had arisen from declining health in her last few weeks.

It fills our hearts with sorrow to say goodbye to any NTS resident, but it brings us happiness to know that we were able to provide Ravi with a very happy and relaxing final 6 months of her life at NTS. Peaceful retirement is one of the best gifts we can provide to any elderly rescue animal, and we were overjoyed to provide it for Ravi.
DOB: 5/13/1997
Say Goodbye to 2017 and Hello to 2018!

Looking back, a lot has happened in 2017. Many changes have graced the sanctuary and the animals that have called it home. Spay surgeries, a root canal, heart felt losses, and of course, new arrivals. As we look back on the past year, we can appreciate all the support you have given us, the resources you have helped supply.

In 2017, we gave homes to 17 big cats, a boa constrictor, a horse, and a goldfish. We have found homes for domestic cats, rescued and rehomed multiple dogs. Our team has constructed 5 permanent habitats and shifted 11 big cats around the facility. One lion had a root canal and 10 big cats received their spay surgeries. We had to say goodbye to Nikki and Ravi, who were both 20 years old.

We are looking forward to 2018 as being a better year. As we develop and fine tune our educational programs for the public through guided tours, we hope you continue to be there, cheering us on. And when we have an animal in need, we know you'll be there to support them and help us give them the care they deserve.  In the new year, we are going to be posting more fundraising opportunities on social media! So keep an eye out for ways you can assist our animals or create your own fundraiser to help us too!

2018 Goals
-Construct more permanent habitats
-Complete the on-site veterinary clinic
-Have on-site intern housing
-Build the intern programs
-Work on local nature exhibits

Staff Spotlight
Teddy the Office Dog is this month's spotlight!  That's right, not only human staff members are appreciated here at NTS! Shelby Scott, an operational manager at our facility brings her pup to work with her every day. He has even earned himself a dog bed under her desk in the office where he can work hard all day, and by that we actually mean sleep and scoring lunch leftovers from coworkers. Teddy has a very unique personality and he can be very weary of meeting new people, therefore he typically avoids the gift shop full of visiting tour guests. On occasion he works up the bravery to go say hello to people from behind the work counter, but because of his "tough-guy" tendencies he doesn't always greet people with a warm welcome until he becomes very familiar with them. Teddy's idea of being social is barking loudly in symphony with the sanctuary's other rescue dogs to all the incoming tour guests to remind them that he's the "dog in charge". And of course, as a representative of the sanctuary, Teddy even has his very own light-up tiger costume he dressed up in this past Halloween. 

Cat of the Month
Sierra is January's cat of the month! In 2008 she was rescued from a pseudo -sanctuary in Missouri that kept her and her sister living together in an 8 foot by 8 foot kennel. After a staff member was injured, the government  investigated and closed them down. Sierra took her time settling in to her new home, but now loves to run and play, taking in the joys of a stress free life. In the fall of 2017, Sierra was retired from our public tours, giving her the chance to simply relax and enjoy life. Symbolic adoptions come with a    t-shirt, photo, window decal, and an adoption certificate!

Keep Your Pets Safe

As the winter starts to make an appearance, please keep all your furry loved ones in mind! Cats, domestic and feral, can climb into the warm hood space of a parked car. If they have not exited the vehicle before it is started, the animal can get caught in fans and belts and their life put at risk. So before starting your car this winter, please bang on your hood to scare out any potential victims.

If any of your animals spend any time outdoors during the winter, make sure they have a draft proof shelter so they have the chance to get out of the cold. Also keep their water fresh and unfrozen!

Rock salt can also pose as a potential hazard to your pets. It can cause irritation on their pads, and if ingested, it can actually poison them. Take precautions and wipe you pets feet after any walk to insure they are not carrying any on their pads. Be sure to store your own rock salt and antifreeze out of reach of pets and children. Keep your whole family safe this winter.

Need more information? The Humane Society came out with an article to help pet owners in the winter. 
Check it out  HERE.