Lions Tigers & Bears
August 10, 2013 

Relocation of Nine Bears from Ohio 


It took three weeks and more than 9,000 driving miles for LTB Founder Bobbi Brink and her team of volunteers to relocate nine bears from Ohio to their new homes in Texas, Colorado, South Dakota and California. All had spent their lives in small cramped cages as privately owned "pets". Now, all nine bears have lifetime homes with plenty of room to roam. 
To see a video about our cross country adventure, click here


We met many people while we were traveling across the country and were able to educate them about the plight of privately owned exotic animals. Some of the questions they had were:


What were the bears' living conditions when you arrived?
As you can see from the pictures below, these bears were living in small cages, lined with dirt and little else to keep them occupied.  Several of the bears were unhealthy due to their inappropriate environment and neglect.
Dewey Cage Previous Enclosure  

Pictured left is a cage one of the bears was in and escaped from multiple times. Pictured right is one of the rescued bears' previous homes - a small cage with wet ground, little room to walk around and no room to roam or play. In spite of this, Bobbi says "people need to understand that the owners love these animals and believe in their hearts that they're doing the right thing."



What did you do before you transported them to their new homes?

Our veterinarian examined each bear thoroughly, including basic blood work, stool sampling, dental check up, and vaccinations, and each bear was micro-chipped. Two bears were neutered and one had his skin tested to help determine the reason for his hair loss.


Is it legal to own exotic animals? 
Laws addressing private pet ownership of exotic animals vary from state to state. Ohio recently enacted new regulations requiring owners to pass background checks, pay fees, obtain liability insurance, and pass inspections. Some current exotic owners feel they are unable to meet the new standards and are making a difficult decision to give their "pets" up.


Why do people own exotic animals?
That is a difficult question to answer. In the case of the Ohio bears, each owner had their own unique story.  One had saved their bear from being sold to an exotic hunting ranch but found their needs and care too overwhelming. Others had offered to take their bear from its previous owners, because it was being kept in truly terrible conditions and would have died. Some had purchased their bear as a "pet" not thinking about what they would do once the cub became a full grown bear and unmanageable. All expressed that they loved their bear, and Bobbi knows it was very difficult for them to say goodbye.  

Bobbi meeting Maddie's previous owner, who was in tears at Bobbi's arrival.


Meet the Bears

Six of the bears (below) lived in cages five feet tall, 15 feet wide and 30 feet long for several years. They had never had room to run or play.

  Group 1


The cinnamon black bear (below left) was rescued from Oberland, OH. A private owner purchased her from Mt. Hope Exotic Animal Auction. He had this bear for many years and due to the newly enacted laws in Ohio he decided to contact Outreach for Animals who together with Lions Tigers & Bears were able to find her a lifetime home.




An Asiatic Black Bear (above right) was surrendered by a private owner from Mingo Junction, OH. He had escaped from his cage many times. During his escapade, he would often try to "bear hug" those he came upon, which would not be welcome from a 625 lb. bear! The owner lovingly raised and cared for him and it took great courage on his part to contact Outreach for Animals who together with Lions Tigers & Bears were able to find him a lifetime home.


Maddie was bought as a family pet, but when she grew too big to care for, the family was forced to get rid of her. She was going to be sold for $125 to a hunting ranch before a friend stepped in to take her. She lived in a double corncrib for at least 7 years, while her owner tried to find a better home. LTB was able to accept her as our newest family member. She is currently in quarantine where she is being treated for giardia and parasites. When she was released into her quarantine enclosure, she hopped right into the water trough and enjoyed a bath. In her previous home she only had a water bucket, so she must have thought the trough was a pool! Once she receives a clean bill of health, Maddie will join her new roommates in their four-acre enclosure where she will be able to roam, play, and swim - as a bear should -- for the rest of her life.  


Maddie  maddie cage  

maddie shower bears playing  

Pictured top left and clockwise: Maddie in her old home; the double corncrib Maddie lived in for 7 years; current LTB residents and Maddie's future roommates; Maddie enjoying a bath at LTB.



How can I help Maddie and other bears?
Planning of LTB's new five-acre bear habitat is complete, but we must raise additional funding before we can begin construction. Please help us build this incredible new space for our bears by contributing via the link below.

It is estimated that thousands of bears, tigers and other exotic animals are living in Ohio. Many will need to be relocated to reputable sanctuaries, including LTB, but first we will need to expand our facility to prepare for more residents. Your donation today helps these magnificent animals to a brighter future. 


Make a Donation 


To learn more about Lions Tigers and Bears, please visit: or call 619-659-8078 option 2.


This rescue was made possible by generous donations and a matching grant. 

Upcoming Events for August and September

August 23rd 5:30AM to 2PM (Lunch included)
Includes webinar on August 14th
$299 w/ membership included
$229 for members
September 7th 2PM to 7PM
$50 Members $65 Non-members
$95 Members VIP  $110 Non-members VIP
Prices increase $15 September 1st
September 18th 5PM to 8PM
$40 starting September 10th
$50 for a 10x10  "showcase" booth (must be reserved by September 10th)
For more information or to make a reservation, please give us a call at 619-659-8078 and select option 2 or purchase tickets here.
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24402 Martin Way
Alpine, CA 91901