Jun 11, 2021

Arrived! New Animal Rescues!

Rico, experiencing freedom for the first time.
Rico, experiencing freedom for the first time.

To our generous friends and supporters,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am especially excited to share with you all the incredible work that has been done at Keepers of the Wild since we last checked in. Over the past six weeks, Keepers of the Wild has taken in 20 new rescued animals, seven of which are big cats! And you know what? We have YOU to thank. Without your continuous support, we would never have the ability to give a loving forever home with top-notch care to animals who desperately need our help. Thank you!

Whether you binged watched it or chose to skip it all together, by now you’ve heard about the Netflix series “The Tiger King”. We watched it and were deeply troubled by what we saw; it is the epitome of animal exploitation and abuse. Big cats living in a private household, pay-to-play schemes, small cages for the animals to stay in, medical neglect, and physical and emotional abuse are just some of the disturbing issues we saw within the “Tiger King” series. Fortunately, we weren’t the only ones distressed by what we saw at Tiger King Park, and something was finally done to save the poor animals residing there.

Two weeks ago, Keepers of the Wild worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice and several other accredited sanctuaries to execute a large-scale rescue of 69 endangered big cats at Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The cats included lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrid species, and a single jaguar, all of which were removed from Jeff and Lauren Lowe’s Oklahoma facility due to “ongoing Endangered Species Act violations.”

Keepers of the Wild is caring for seven of the 69 cats while the U.S. Department of Justice seeks permanent forfeiture of the animals. The cats will receive the utmost veterinary care, diets, daily enrichment opportunities, and large natural habitats to roam in while at our Arizona facility.

Keepers’ Founder and Director, Jonathan Kraft, had this to say of the rescue: “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to care for these wonderful animals and to work with federal agencies and other accredited sanctuaries to help rescue and protect endangered animals. Thank you to all the sanctuaries involved in this operation, for your professionalism, kindness, and cooperation. It took a skilled team of many people to make this happen.”

We are incredibly proud (and thrilled!) to have been selected as one of the sanctuaries to be involved with this case. Without such a strong support base, Keepers of the Wild would not have been able to handle a rescue of this magnitude. Taking in the seven big cats alone has added over $110,000 annually to our operational costs-and that is just to feed them!

With 16 new animal rescues and more to come, Keepers of the Wild needs your help to continue saving lives and providing lifetime care for animals who fall victim to the captive wildlife crisis. There are three easy ways you can help right now:

  1. Donate to Keepers of the Wild (every little bit helps!)
  2. Support the Big Cat Public Safety Act {H.R. 263} by signing this petition (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/hr263/comment)
  3. Spread the word about Keepers of the Wild and our work on social media by following us and sharing our posts.


Thank you again for your love of animals and for your desire to directly make a positive impact in the lives of abused, neglected, abandoned, and retired captive wildlife. Because of your generosity and support, these animals have a second chance at life. A second chance to really live…Free of trauma and pain, and free to do what feels natural and happy each day. For Rico the lion who came from Oklahoma, that meant touching dirt with his paws and scratching his face against a tree for the very first time in his life. Every animal should be so fortunate.

I look forward to sharing about the new animals with you and hope that in the meantime you’ll follow Keepers of the Wild on social media for daily photos, updates, news alerts, and more.

We Love. We Care. We Protect. We are Keepers of the Wild.

Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and stay kind.

Lara Kraft

Links:

Jun 1, 2021

Arrived! New Animal Rescues!

Rico, experiencing freedom for the first time.
Rico, experiencing freedom for the first time.

To our generous friends and supporters,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am especially excited to share with you all the incredible work that has been done at Keepers of the Wild since we last checked in. Over the past six weeks, Keepers of the Wild has taken in 16 new rescued animals, seven of which are big cats! And you know what? We have YOU to thank. Without your continuous support, we would never have the ability to give a loving forever home with top-notch care to animals who desperately need our help. Thank you!

Whether you binged watched it or chose to skip it all together, by now you’ve heard about the Netflix series “The Tiger King”. We watched it and were deeply troubled by what we saw; it is the epitome of animal exploitation and abuse. Big cats living in a private household, pay-to-play schemes, small cages for the animals to stay in, medical neglect, and physical and emotional abuse are just some of the disturbing issues we saw within the “Tiger King” series. Fortunately, we weren’t the only ones distressed by what we saw at Tiger King Park, and something was finally done to save the poor animals residing there.

Two weeks ago, Keepers of the Wild worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice and several other accredited sanctuaries to execute a large-scale rescue of 69 endangered big cats at Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The cats included lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrid species, and a single jaguar, all of which were removed from Jeff and Lauren Lowe’s Oklahoma facility due to “ongoing Endangered Species Act violations.”

Keepers of the Wild is caring for seven of the 69 cats while the U.S. Department of Justice seeks permanent forfeiture of the animals. The cats will receive the utmost veterinary care, diets, daily enrichment opportunities, and large natural habitats to roam in while at our Arizona facility.

Keepers’ Founder and Director, Jonathan Kraft, had this to say of the rescue: “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to care for these wonderful animals and to work with federal agencies and other accredited sanctuaries to help rescue and protect endangered animals. Thank you to all the sanctuaries involved in this operation, for your professionalism, kindness, and cooperation. It took a skilled team of many people to make this happen.”

We are incredibly proud (and thrilled!) to have been selected as one of the sanctuaries to be involved with this case. Without such a strong support base, Keepers of the Wild would not have been able to handle a rescue of this magnitude. Taking in the seven big cats alone has added over $110,000 annually to our operational costs-and that is just to feed them!

With 16 new animal rescues and more to come, Keepers of the Wild needs your help to continue saving lives and providing lifetime care for animals who fall victim to the captive wildlife crisis. There are three easy ways you can help right now:

  1. Donate to Keepers of the Wild (every little bit helps!)
  2. Support the Big Cat Public Safety Act {H.R. 263} by signing this petition (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/hr263/comment)
  3. Spread the word about Keepers of the Wild and our work on social media by following us and sharing our posts.

Thank you again for your love of animals and for your desire to directly make a positive impact in the lives of abused, neglected, abandoned, and retired captive wildlife. Because of your generosity and support, these animals have a second chance at life. A second chance to really live…Free of trauma and pain, and free to do what feels natural and happy each day. For Rico the lion who came from Oklahoma, that meant touching dirt with his paws and scratching his face against a tree for the very first time in his life. Every animal should be so fortunate.

I look forward to sharing about the new animals with you and hope that in the meantime you’ll follow Keepers of the Wild on social media for daily photos, updates, news alerts, and more.

We Love. We Care. We Protect. We are Keepers of the Wild.

Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and stay kind.

Links:

Feb 1, 2021

New Animals Coming Soon!

Tigers Malachi & Marilyn enjoying a KOTW snow day!
Tigers Malachi & Marilyn enjoying a KOTW snow day!

To our generous friends and supporters,

The last time we caught up with you, autumn was beginning to take hold and the holidays were upon us. I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a safe and happy season!

Over the past few months, Keepers of the Wild has had a lot of good going on! Our brand-new, on-site Santiago Animal Clinic was officially opened, and we have already begun utilizing it to care for the animals.

Our first big cat patient was Mercury, a 17-year-old Bengal tiger, presenting signs of an injured front paw. Our team immediately notified the park veterinarian, Dr. Angone, who, with the help of her assistant and five additional Keepers crew members, was able to successfully x-ray the paw, as well as to conduct a thorough physical including blood samples- all right there at the sanctuary. What an experience! Watch the video here: Mercury's X-ray and Wellness Check

We are so proud and delighted to be able to administer this type of immediate, high-quality medical care to our animal residents, both big and small. We would never be able to accomplish such a monumental achievement without the support of our work by kind and generous people like you. Your love and concern for the welfare of wild animals are directly impacting not just the animals currently in our care, but the ones who have not yet arrived. You should feel as proud as we do!

Other big news includes the purchase and placement of park signs throughout the grounds. For years, our onsite gift shop has been issuing park maps to guests that typically ended up becoming park litter or trash. Not cool! The maps also had the tendency to become confusing, as new animals arrived or others were moved to another habitat; it was too costly to continue updating and printing new maps, so we went to work on brainstorming ideas to negate these pesky park map issues.

Keepers’ Founder and Executive Director, Jonathan Kraft, decided that with the placement of park signs, not only would guests no longer need paper maps, but it would also be a nice beautification project for the park grounds as well; a bold, green move. Visitors and Animal Caretakers alike have been loving the new signs which have proven to be a great investment (as well as Instagram-worthy!).

This year, Keepers of the Wild plans to take in at least six large animals including grizzly bears, tigers, and lions, as well as numerous other animals. Some of these plans have been in place for nearly a year but have been delayed due to the continuation of COVID-19 travel restrictions, as the animals are currently located in a zoo outside of the United States. I wish I could share more details with you, but we have been asked not to, just yet. This type of request is common with animal rescues, and we choose to honor the request each time to ensure a smooth and pleasant transfer for the animals. We are hoping that by the end of summer we will be able to transport and receive these magnificent beings. Fingers crossed!

As with every animal rescue, Keepers will not be able to successfully execute these arrangements without the continuation of your faith in our mission and the support of our work. The six large animals will add approximately $100,000 in food and medical bills to our annual budget. That does not include the additional $30,000 for habitat construction and $12,000 for annual enrichment for the six animals. All in all, we expect to spend a minimum of $142,000 to save these animals from the deplorable life they’re living and give them the absolute best quality of life possible, for the rest of their lives.

Raising $142,000 is a big ask (and a big task!), but I know that Keepers of the Wild has some of the most caring and generous supporters around who we can count on to help us save more lives of animals in need; I know we can and will meet this goal together! The kick-off for this fundraiser will be Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in acknowledgment of “Arizona Gives Day”, a state-wide day of giving focused on Arizona-based nonprofits.

Between being awarded the 2020 “Platinum Seal of Transparency” by GuideStar and the 2021 “Vetted” seal by GlobalGiving, along with being rated a 2020 “Top Non-Profit” by Great Nonprofits and being a BBB accredited charity, our donors can always feel confident in and proud of their contributions to Keepers of the Wild.

I look forward to keeping you updated on all the exciting news at Keepers of the Wild this year, including the arrival of new rescues and all the ways your support is directly giving wild animals a brighter future and a chance to live. Imagine how gratifying it will be to see and hear the grizzly bears in their new habitat pool, the tigers stalking through wild grasses for the first time, and the lions bellowing their roars of ownership over their new-found territories… All because of your love and support.

And don’t forget; there are many ways you can help support the animals and work of Keepers of the Wild. Following us on social media and sharing our posts is a fun and easy way to stay informed and help spread the word about what we do. The more people who know about Keepers of the Wild, the more animals we can help save- together.

We Love. We Care. We Protect. We are Keepers of the Wild.

Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and stay kind.

New KOTW park signs!
New KOTW park signs!

Links:

 
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