I worked at Flag Acres Zoo officially from 2002-2007 but helped them after they closed until 2008. The owners wanted to retire so they either auctioned off the animals or found good homes for them.
A note about my favorites:
Thunder & Rayn (Tigers), Zambo & Santania (Leopards) went to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs, AR. They called us wanting our leopards because they were advertised in an animal publication, and we asked that they take the two tigers, too. They agreed. The sanctuary made the error of putting the leopards together after arriving back in AR and subsequently Sandy birthed Spyke! However, they claim she was already pregnant, not wanting to disclose their mistake. Sandy and Zambo were in separate cages at the zoo because she had given birth in February 2008. We have records and photos. I suppose they want to keep their “sanctuary” status. NOW their latest lie is that Flag Acres lost their license which is totally incorrect. We never had any problems with our inspections. The owners wanted to retire and running a zoo is expensive. If Turpentine looks good, then they get more donations, but spouting lies to gain sympathy & support have a way of coming back to bite you. Karma. Spyke is so beautiful, one cannot call him a mistake. You can check out this sanctuary at http://www.turpentinecreek.com. By the way, a true sanctuary isn’t open to the public. They are actually a zoo calling themselves a sanctuary. Santania died January 2015 of liver cancer and Zambo died March 2016 of renal failure. 17 years (both of them) is a good life and Turpentine provided them with a beautiful, spacious grassy enclosure with lots of enrichment. I’m thankful for that!
Mae-Ling (Binturong) went to a small zoo called Claws n Paws in PA – http://www.clawsnpaws.com. They have our cougar Mandy and fennec foxes, too.
Jasmine (Jaguar) is at Space Farms in NJ. This is a great family zoo & museum – http://www.spacefarms.com. I went to visit Jasmine after a two year period and she actually responded to my voice. She became excited by rubbing her face along the fence, stood up poking her face through a hole and rolled over on her back. So, it’s true, big cats have a good memory.
Our lions Simba & Sabu & cougars Amos & Kya went? The animal broker who handled the move will not disclose where he delivered them. This is so upsetting since I hand-reared the cougar & spent countless hours caring for all of them. I hope wherever they went they are being cared for properly, responsibly and lovingly.
The zoo’s two remaining “old-timers” Bud, a 21yr American Black Bear and Sasha, a 20yr Siberian Tiger were laid to rest in Sept. 2009 due to declining health. I’m grateful I was allowed to care for and learn about such magnificent creatures.
Here are some photos of our zoo animals. More will be added as I have time.