Sanctuary

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'World's Loneliest Elephant' To Be Released From Zoo

Kaavan, the elephant, had been living at a zoo in Pakistani, the capital of Islamabad, for more than 35 years. 

Sadly, Kaavan lost his partner in 2012 and has since been battling loneliness, as well as, living in poor conditions that have resulted in him being overweight, yet showing signs of malnutrition, cracked and overgrown nails of living in an enclosure with poor flooring that has damaged his feet. Up until now, Kaavan had been forced to live in a small enclosure, secluded from other elephants.

Now, steps have been taken to finalized Kaavan's transfer to an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia. A spokesman for Four Paws, Martin Bauer, announced this past Saturday that Kaavan had been granted medical approval to travel for a better life, but his journey to recovery will be a long one. Bauer said Kaavan's wounds are more than just physical, that he also suffers from behavioral issues. 

"He also developed stereotypical behavior, which means he shakes his head back and forth for hours. This is mainly because he is simply bored," said Bauer.

There is no word when Kaavan will travel, the push for his relocation has been going on since 2016 by rights activists. 

We are so happy that Kaavan will have a chance at a new, better life, and hope he travels to his new paradise soon! 

Story via The Guardian

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We love Sandra the Orangutan. Some of you may recall that a while ago, Sandra was imprisoned at an inhumane zoo for 25 years, isolated from other orangutans. In 2014,  a court ruled Sandra to be a "non-human person," meaning she is entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by humans. 

Today, Sandra has been granted "personhood" and is living at the Center for Great Apes, an Ape sanctuary. There, she lives along 21 other rescued orangutans! 

Sandra's story is a sad one but we can't help but admire her strength and her obvious intelligence. In a viral video, from last year, you can see Sandra diligently washing her hands, after seeing her caretakers doing so. And now, another video is going viral, one showing her cleaning her enclosure and her hands, again after observing the caretakers doing the same. 

You are amazing Sandra, and we'll never stop admiring you! 

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Classical Pianist Plays To Soothe Blind, Ailing Elephants At Sanctuary

It is claimed that elephants never forget. And we hope that's true especially for these elephants at the Thailand sanctuary, Elephant World, home to older elephants. 

Paul Barton, a classical pianist, has been sharing his talents with a rather large audience these days. And when we say "large," we mean it literally. Barton has been spending most of his time playing his beautiful music for the gentle giants of the elephant sanctuary. 

He first heard about the elephants when his wife discovered the sanctuary online. Barton explains in a video, "We liked the sound of the place being a retirement center for old, injured and handicapped former logging and trekking elephants. So we paid them a visit. I wondered if these old rescue elephants might like to listen to some slow classical music."

Barton reached out to the staff at Elephant World to see if he can bring his piano and serenade the elephants. The staff said yes. 

The first time Barton began to play for the elephants, one blind elephant, was in the midst of eating breakfast and stopped the second he heard the music. Barton had played Beethoven.

Barton continues to explain in a video,  "[He] was often in pain, and I like to think maybe the soothing the music gave him some comfort in the darkness," Barton tells CBS News that this elephant was the first to take to his music.  The musician said this was the first elephant to really take to his music. The gentle giant later died of an infection, sadly. Barton was heartbroken to hear the news. 

Barton continues to play for these old gentle giant, hoping the music soothes their soul. Even if the an elephant is blind, they don't need to see to hear and feel the music Barton is playing just for them. 


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Little Grey and Little White, both 12-year-old female whales, have been in captivity since 2011. Performing for an audience at Chengfeng Ocean World, in China. 

Today, they are one step closer to swimming freely in the open sea. After been flow for 30 hours, traveling 6,000 miles, these two beauties had arrived at the Beluga Sanctuary. The pair are currently staying in a bayside care pool to get them acclimated before the release into the sanctuary. Klettsvik Bay, in the islands off the south coast of Iceland, and is known as the world's first beluga sanctuary. 

Head of Sea Life Trust, Andy Bool, said, "We're absolutely delighted to be able to share the news that Little Grey and Little White are safely in their sea sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their wider open water home. Following extensive planning and rehearsals, the first stage of their release back to the ocean was as smooth as we had hoped and planned for. We are carefully monitoring Little Grey and Little White with our expert care team and veterinarians and hope to announce their final release very soon."

Story via The Independent


Via The Dodo
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This is amazing! Thank you to those who rescued these gorgeous animals who have been living the past 8 years in tiny cages. 

Now, they get to experience some tender, love, and care! In all forms, health and overall quality of life. 

Just imagine, 8 years of living your life in a tiny cage and one day, you're taken to the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa -- it's a dream come true for Tarzan and Tanya! 

Get ready for some feels! 


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Amsterdam's "Cat Boat" Is A Floating Cat Sanctuary

Welcome to the one and only cat sanctuary that floats! A true hidden gem in Amsterdam. 

De Poezenboot (translated in English to 'The Cat Boat') first began not on a boat at all. In 1966, a woman in Amsterdam, known as v. Weddle, found a stray mother cat with kittens and took on the task of caring for them. Soon enough, more and more cats began to come and be taken under her wing. 

Fast forward to two years later in 1968 and the first boat was born! V. Weedle had a large house with a terrace but was soon becoming too small for the cats so she bought a boat on the canal! The boat was named 'The Tjalk' and was completely furnished and made suitable for all the cats. And as soon as the floating santuary was open people came to help care for all those stray cats -- the first volunteers. 

Written in the history of De Poezenboot, "The Tjalk has served faithfully for about 10 years and was replaced by an Ark at the end of 1979. And because the Ark was specially built on the yard for the shelter of cats, this boat met all the requirements we set for it. "

And in 1987, the foundation was founded, "Stichting de Poezenboot."

De Poezenboot is home to so many beautiful cats but is also working to help cats find a forever home with a family. You can donate to their cause here. 

Follow 'The Cat Boat' on Instagram

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Via BBC Earth
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Baby chimps and puppies… need we say more?!

Jenny and Jim Desmond are parents to an unusual and very large family – over 20 orphaned baby chimpanzees. Their home in Liberia is rapidly becoming too small for this rambunctious troop of animals, so they're building a sanctuary in the forest. But before the babies can move out, they need to learn how to live like wild chimps. They need to attend a baby chimp school. And what's better than some puppies as playmates? Watch their unique story on BBC  

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Photographer Captures Intimate And Stunning Portraits Of Big Cats

Meet photographer extraordinaire, Mr Perou

Perou spent months working with The Big Cat Sanctuary in the UK, where he photographed big cats in hope to raise awareness about the animals at the sanctuary and their endangered wild cousins.

Perou created a 'lion's den,' using Siros lights and photographed the animals as he would rock stars, fashion models or actos.

The result? Simply eye-stopping and STUNNING.  You can follow his work on Instagram as well.

Prepare to be enchanted! 

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Blind Bison Makes First Friend After Years Of Solitude

A blind bison named Helen has been roaming the fields of Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary for years, all alone. This was due to the fact that Helen had nervous disposition, she purposely would separate herself from other animals. 

Until now. Oliver, a young Jersey calf has fought his way into Helen's heart with his gentle and kind manner. Since being introduced to Oliver, Helen and Oliver have been inseparable. They do everything together, so much so, that Oliver's fur has even changed in shade to match Helens!

Gwen Jakubisin, at the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary, told USA Today, "The change in [Helen's] demeanor is incredible, her joy is palpable."

With around 250 farm animals currently at the sanctuary, Helen has slowly started to reach other to other animals and is extending her social circle -- all thanks to her new courageous friendship with Oliver. 

Helen has also become something of a surrogate mum for Oliver. Jakubisin said, "Betsy (Oliver's mom) usually drops Oliver off at "daycare" and roams around while Helen watches over him for the rest of day, and she's cool with that. I catch them grooming each other, which is amazing because I don't think Helen has ever had that opportunity to express that motherly instinct before." 

We all need love. No matter what shape or form it comes in. And Helen and Oliver is simply further proof of that. 

Here's to you, Helen and Oliver! We adore your unlikely friendship and have learned from it. 

Story via USA Today / Lighthouse Farm Santuary


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Story Of A Bat Named Lil' Drac Told Through Gifs

Say "hello" to the cutest little short-tailed fruit bat named Lil' Drac! Lil' Drac is an orphan that is being hand-raised by Bat World Sanctuary.  

Bat World Sanctuary rescues hundreds of mistreated bats every year. It is a non-profit, accredited organization that gives lifetime sanctuary to non-releasable bats, including those that are labeled orphan, injured, and retired from exotic pet trades, zoos and even research facilities.

Lil' Drac's mother was sadly another casualty from zoo closure happening across the US. His mother was young, stressed from the conditions in which she was being kept, trauma of being captured and transferred to an unfamiliar environment. Due to all this, she abandoned Lil' Drac right after he was born. Lil' Drac was found "on the padded floor of the indoor flight enclosure at Bat World Sanctuary, curled up in a little ball."

For all of their bat updates, photos and more, check out their Facebook BatWorld.

Also, Lil' Drac now has a book, for all you bat lovers out there! 

Story via Bat World Sanctuary


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Orangutan Imprisoned At Inhumane Zoo For 25 Years Now Lives In Sanctuary With Friends

Meet Sandra, an Orangutan who has spent 25 years in a tiny prison cell-like enclosure in a zoo in Argentina, isolated from any other Orangutans.

Sandra was born in captivity, and has lived at the zoo in Buenos Aires Zoo for 20 years when the zoo officially closed it's doors in 2016. The park officials announced the animals within the zoo would be set free but the experts struggled with the decision on what to do with Sandra. 

According to a court ruling in 2014, Sandra was considered a 'non-human person,' who was entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by humans. However, the judge who fought to free Sandra in 2014 took the side of the zoo caretakers and thought the best course of action to take with Sandra would be just to improve conditions within her cage, rather than send her to a reserve aboard. 

Many officials feared that moving her would all result in negative aspects, fearing she would not survive. 

Today, she has been granted 'personhood' and is officially settling into her new life in Wauchula, Florida, along with 21 other rescued orangutans and chimpanzees!


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Via Beastly
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Wow! Meet Lynea Lattanzio, founder of the Cat House On The Kings, California's largest no-cage, no-kill sanctuary for feral and abandoned cats and kittens. She is the woman who gave up her five-bedroom house, her luxurious cars and retirement fund in order to live and care for 1,000 felines. 

Yup, you heard that right. 

Her sanctuary, 'Cat House On The Kings,' currently homes roughly 700 adults and 350 kittens. In 2003, the sanctuary achieved non-profit status and was able to begin soliciting donations, but initially finances depended heavily on Lynea herself. Lynea spent her retirement funds and sold her Mercedes, her Cadillac and her two-carat diamond wedding ring, in order to stay a float. 

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Welcome To The Kangaroo Sanctuary Of Central Australia

In 2015, Brolga, an Australian man who was living out in the bush with his family of kangaroos, decided to build a 188-acre sanctuary for kangaroos in Central Australia. His vision was to rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned baby kangaroos back into the wild and to serve as a refuge for all kangaroos that have been raised by wildlife carers and cannot be released back into the wild due to injury and to provide them with good quality of life. 

Brolga was approached by the BBC UK in 2011 and was asked if he would be interested in making a documentary about his work with kangaroos. Brolga thought this would be a great way to raise more awareness about the plight of kangaroos orphaned by highway accidents and about kindness towards animals around the world. The BBC went on to make the documentary Kangaroo Dundee which was a huge success.  Kangaroo Dundee has just completed its third series which aired in 2016.  

On its Instagram page, the sanctuary shares some cute photos and videos of baby kangaroos. 

 

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In Turkey, There Is a Town Built Just For Stray Cats

Many places around the world are trying to combat the massive problem of homeless pets, especially cats and dogs, mostly by campaigns encouraging owners to spay and neuter their pets without hesitation. But this time we bring you the incredible story of the northern province of Samsun, Turkey, where they came up with a much more creative and inspiring solution- building a "Cat Town". 

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This Man Has Been Rescuing Battle-Weary Stray Cats In Aleppo, Syria

Meet the cat man of Aleppo -- Mohammad Aljaleel. He has been looking after the stray cays of Aleppo during the aerial bombardment

Since the bombardment, Aljaleel has set up a dedicated sanctuary and veterinary clinic for the homeless felines. 

This man is our hero. 

Story via The Guardian

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