By Miriam Raftery
August 1, 2013 (Alpine)--Sitarra, a Bengal tiger raised from a cub at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine, has died of a ruptured disk. The big cat rescue center is a no breeding facility, however Sitarra was one of two cubs born to Natasha, a pregnant tiger rescued over a decade ago.
Bobbi Brink, founder of the facility, called the tragedy “very sad news” and has said that the tiger was like a child to her.
Brink was near the tiger’s enclosure when Sitarra collapsed while running, unable to move her back legs. An MRI showed a ruptured disc and the animal underwent immediate surgery at an emergency animal hospital. But Brink disclosed, “. It was discovered that her spinal cord had been severed by pieces of the ruptured disc and there was no choice but to let her go.”
Story and photos by Joel Ryerson
July 31, 2009 (Alpine)--"Look how close you are!" exclaimed Lynn Hopewell, a guest of the overnight event at Lions, Tigers, and Bears in Alpine. "When I was up in Las Vegas I saw the cats at the MGM Grand, but this is a totally different experience," added Hopewell, who was amazed at how close you could get to the big cats.
The occasion was a campout last weekend to help raise funds for exotic animals at East County’s big-cat rescue facility. About thirty five guests attended the event, which included a rustic barbecue dinner prepared by the crew. Guests brought their own tents and set them up in a grassy area right next to the Big Cat enclosures. Guests were free to roam around the area and check out the variety of wild cats in the enclosures, which included tigers, lions, bobcats, mountain lions, leopards, and more.