Discussion in 'United States' started by cwenwyn, 2 Apr 2009.
Does anyone have a firsthand report of this sactuary?
My question exactly. ???
Duh... that would help... Shamabala Preserve in California.
Yes, I have done the tour twice, most recently in October 2006. As big cat sanctuaries go, it may be the nicest. Certainly has very large habitats. The downside is they are only open to the public one weekend a month, for guided tours, and you must reserve in advance online. The location is in a canyon with a stream running through it - very scenic. The other downside is that visitor amenities are very sparse - only public restroom is an outhouse and no food stand (though there is a small gift shop). Also, you must stay with the group - no wandering on your own, although they do end in a grass area where you can relax for a little while and eat a sandwich if you brought one. Since they hand-feed many of the cats during the tour (like in my liger photo), at least you get to see big cats doing something other than sleep.
If you're in the area and you have extra time and money ($35/person), you may find it enjoyable. Could be combined with a trip to Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, which is further up the same freeway (California 14).
Shambala Preserve is actually run and founded by actress Tippi Hedren, best known for her leading role in Alfred Hitchcock's popular thriller "The Birds." Founded by the actress in 1983 after finishing a role in the film "ROAR" with her daughter, actress Melanie Griffith. She also started the ROAR Foundation for charitable support of the Preserve, along with pumping considerable amounts of her own money. Its goal is to be a rescue site for mostly mistreated and abandoned big cats and other exotic wildlife.
Located on 80 acres in Acton, Ca.; ironically not too far from me and some 40 miles north of Los Angeles. The very similar financially troubled Wildlife Waystation is also nearby.
Shambala was most recently in the news when on December 3, 2007, 20 year keeper at Shambala Chris Orr, age 40, was seriously mauled by a 4 yr. old Bengal Tiger named Alexander. It was not considered to be playing around at the time and weighed nearly 450 pounds. More on Shambala Preserve can be found at shambala.com.
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