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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 #6

Syrian Brown Bears

In the habitat you are approaching, #13 in the Tour Guide, there are five Syrian Brown Bears. The habitat is on both sides of the walkway. These five Bears were rescued from a roadside zoo in Wisconsin that lost its license to possess and exhibit such animals. These Bears were only about 2 ½ years old when they arrived, but they have been enjoying life here at the Sanctuary ever since. The two males, Diesel and Chumlee, are particularly close and are rarely very far apart from one another. In the summer months, all of the Bears greatly enjoy their habitat’s water features. Chumlee and Diesel can often be found wrestling with each other in the water and dunking one another. About halfway between here and the entrance to the Lion House on the right side of the walkway you will notice the opening to an underground den that was dug by one of the Bears.  It is quite large, and probably goes down about 6 or 7 feet and is about 15 feet in length. The large wooden framed structure is left over from when this area was part of a Lion habitat, where it was used as a shade structure.


Grizzly Habitat

There is a very large habitat behind you and to the right, that is, to the northwest, in which live Grizzly Bears. You will see a number of dens, both above and below ground, that is typical of the Sanctuary’s Bear habitats. There is also a large pond in that habitat the Bears can use for swimming and cooling off in the summer months. Two of the Grizzly Bears came from a notorious roadside zoo in Indiana called “Wildlife in Need”. Due to numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act and Endangered Species Act, all of the animals there were confiscated in the Fall of 2020. The Sanctuary took in 17 big cats as well as these two Grizzlies from that situation.  In early 2021 another five Grizzly Bears were rescued, coming from yet another notorious Bear breeder, also in Indiana.  You may still see some of their introduction lockouts, though the Bears are no longer confined to them.  Then in late April 2021 three Grizzly cubs were brought into the habitat.  Visitors who have been here in the past year will remember seeing these three siblings in a transitional habitat near the Grizzly Bear deck—midway along the walkway.  These yearling cubs will remain in their introduction lockout for a period of time as they adjust to their new surroundings and new neighbors, but before long will be as much a part of that habitat as all the other Grizzlies!


Now looking way to the east you will see many different habitats, den structures, and other features. In this area live the majority of the 39 Tigers rescued from Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park that was featured in the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King”.  In late 2017 the Sanctuary was able to get 39 Tigers out of that terrible situation as well as three young Black Bears. As one can imagine, when they arrived, the 39 Tigers suffered from many different maladies as well as malnourishment. Now living in large acreage habitats with other Tigers, they have fortunately left that dark part of their life behind.


Ostriches and Emus

Just ahead and to the right you will see a ramp that goes down to some small buildings. The last building is where restrooms are located. Off in the distance behind the restrooms is a habitat that runs along County Road 53. In that habitat are a number of Emu and Ostriches. Even though such animals are not large carnivores, because the Sanctuary has a fair amount of pastureland, we occasionally take in animals that are simply in dire need of a home or part of a larger rescue. Two female Ostriches were rescued from their life in a parking lot in Santa Fe, New Mexico and four of the Emu came from a dilapidated, rundown place in Wyoming.  If you are interested in a very unique item, the eggs laid by the two female Ostriches are sold in the Sanctuary’s Gift Shop.

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