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Sanctuary prepares special holiday for new resident

Animal sanctuary Lions Tigers and Bears will be introducing a new rescue at their Christmas With the Animals fundraiser from 1 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 10.

“We just finished restoring a habitat for Eddie the Jaguar, and we can’t wait for visitors to see him enjoying his first holiday season at the sanctuary,” Lions Tigers and Bears Founder Bobbi Brink said.

The 93-acre facility is home to lions, tigers, American and Himalayan black bears, grizzly bears, bobcats, mountain lions, servals, leopards and many other animals. Guests can watch Eddie and other exotic rescues tear into holiday presents filled with treats as they discover Christmas trees placed in their habitats,

“Eddie was born in captivity to be a pet as part of the exotic animal trade, but was abandoned once he wasn’t a cuddly cub and his instincts as a wild animal set in. He’s been in a quarantine habitat where he received veterinary care and got acclimated to the sanctuary while he awaited a permanent home,” Brink said, which was recently completed.

Besides Eddie, the nonprofit also took in eight other large animals from defunct zoos, illegal ownership and abusive situations over the course of 2022, Brink said, and she hopes the event will bring in extra support to finish out the year.

Visitors 18 and older can book a Feed with a Keeper experience, which allows them to feed one of the animals a part of their Christmas dinner from a safe distance. Guests can finish some holiday shopping at the sanctuary’s store, or grab some lunch at Up in Smoke BBQ and Cali Craft Tacos food trucks, enjoy the hot chocolate beverage bar, or visit with Santa Claus.

Member and non-member priced tickets are available online at www.lionstigersandbears. 659-8078. All proceeds go toward food, habitat maintenance and veterinary care of the rescued animals.

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Source: East County Californian

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