|Bakari, Jillian, and Suri|
|They were hungry little kitties!|
We got to play with them...
...And then they fell asleep on us.
It was So. Much. Fun! It was a special birthday present for the hubs at a big cat rescue outside San Diego - Lions, Tigers & Bears. They can tell you what they do better than I can (emphasis is theirs):
LTB is a "rescue facility dedicated to providing a safe haven for unwanted and abused Big Cats and other exotic animals. We are a NO KILL, NO BREED, NO SELL rescue and educational facility that allows the animals in our care the opportunity to live out their lives with dignity in a caring and safe environment. There are countless unwanted, abused, and abandoned Big Cats in captivity that must endure horrific neglect and abuse due to the immense responsibility in their upkeep. In many states, Big Cats are acquired and exploited by the entertainment industry, purchased as pets or sold and bred for profit, eventually getting dumped and forgotten. Lions, Tigers & Bears, however, is one of very few accredited Big Cat Sanctuaries in the US with the goal of providing a safe, secure and happy home for these rescued animals.A Bear with Way More Twitter Followers Than I Will Ever Have
"Our goal is not only to provide a safe haven for these rescued animals but to also educate the public about the growing population of abandoned and unwanted exotic animals and where they come from. Lions, Tigers & Bears is a place where children and adults alike can get a hands-on educational experience while better understanding why wild animals do not make good pets. Visitors to Lions, Tigers & Bears should not miss the opportunity to visit our animal encounters, learn about humane farming and participate in a hands-on animal internship."
When I went to the LTB site to copy the above info, I remembered that they have Meatball living there. Do you know about Meatball? He was the bear that made the news because he kept cruising into an L.A. 'burb, and stealing frozen meatballs out of someone's garage freezer.
You can learn more about him - and how he was saved by a social media campaign - in this short, cute video. Worth watching for this line alone: "This bear has been put in custody nearly as much as Lindsay Lohan." (Poor Lindsay...)
I learned while visiting the LTB site that Meatball is going to have his own float in the Rose Parade! What a riot. Now on NY's day, when you're watching the parade and you see that Meatball float go by, I want you to remember you heard it here first!
Obviously, it would be best if Meatball could be out in the wild, but an unhealthy obsession with meatballs is bound to get you into trouble. It's nice that there are special places like LTB that can help these animals when they get into a bad situation, like the cubs we got to meet, who came from an overcrowded facility that couldn't manage them.
Thanks to LTB we have a memory we'll never forget!