If you wish to access all of the audio files along the Walkway (to use your phone instead of the kiosks), please go to our main Audio Tour page.
Audio Kiosk #4
Swimming with Tiger Cubs?
In the habitat directly before you with the large den in the back, are two Tigers. One is a white male and the other a normal colored orange female Tiger. These Tigers have one of the most appalling backgrounds of any of our rescued animals. They came from a place in Dade City, Florida where people could pay to swim with young Tiger cubs. Fortunately, the place was forced to close down and the Sanctuary was able to rescue their last six Tigers. Online video footage shows terrified cubs flailing in the water with clueless patrons seemingly enjoying the experience. The cubs were subject to exhaustion and hypothermia, and like with all small cub encounters, the cubs were separated from their mother at birth or shortly thereafter. The large white male Tiger has a permanent limp as a result of injuries incurred prior to arriving at the Sanctuary. We hope you enjoy seeing these Tigers living freely, and not being exploited for financial gain.
The Four Ring Habitats
On your right are four ring habitats for some smaller animals. The first ring underneath the walkway has some multicolored Foxes that were part of 18 animals rescued from a shopping mall in Des Moines, Iowa. In the second ring live Bobcats with a couple of them coming from a private-owner situation and another also rescued from that shopping mall in Iowa. The two farthest enclosures currently house Coyotes, with the third ring housing Coyotes from a horrible roadside zoo in Iowa that was finally closed due to the abuse and neglect of its animals. Finally, the fourth ring has an older Coyote from the shopping mall, another older Coyote rescued from a terrible zoo situation in Mexico, and a female Coyote rescued from a private owner situation in California.
A Kodiak Grizzly in Florida?
Directly to the east or behind the last ring lives the Sanctuary’s largest animal—a 1,600 pound Kodiak Grizzly Bear named Jake! This incredible animal, in his mid-20s, was rescued from an amusement park and animal menagerie in Silver Springs, Florida. As one can imagine, living in the hot Florida climate was very difficult on an animal that evolved to live in Alaska. Photographs and video footage show this Bear with little or no fur much of the time before being rescued. To the right of the large den is a concrete-lined swimming hole which Jake enjoys immensely in the warm summer months. If you look closely, often times you will see his large head just above the surface of the water. Of course, if it’s wintertime, he is more than likely tucked away in his den hibernating like all of the Sanctuary’s Bears do in the colder months.
Behind you, in the triangular habitat along the service road are a pair of Lions who are siblings. The male, named Sol, and the female, named Luna, were rescued from a zoo in Uruguay that was closed to the public and then began experiencing deteriorating conditions. Concern for the welfare of the animals prompted zoo and city officials to approach the Sanctuary who gladly agreed to give these incredible animals a new home. In the warmer summer months, these Lions love to lay in the shade underneath the ramp structure in the middle of their habitat. As with all of the Lions, you may have to look closely in the taller grass where they often lay, but are difficult to see. Please, take your time and find these Lions so as to get more used to looking for animals in habitats. Believe it or not, they are in there!