From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1996:

Last July someone dumped four
six-week-old kittens at the Wildlife Images
Sanctuary in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Volunteers caught, neutered, and adopted
out three, but the fourth eluded them.
Starving, he eventually dashed into a pen
where Griz, a 560-pound male grizzly bear,
was eating a bucket of chicken. Because
male grizzlies are notoriously grouchy, Griz
had been kept alone since arriving in 1990,
after a train killed his mother and sister.
“The kitten was so hungry he walked up and
begged for food,” recalls Wildlife Images
founder Dave Siddon. “I thought, ‘Oh my
gosh, he’ll be killed.’ With all due deliberateness,
the bear pulled a piece of chicken
out and dropped it beside his forepaw, and
the cat walked up and ate it.” They now eat,
sleep, and play together––and the cat won’t
let humans near him unless Griz is close. He
whacks Griz on the nose if the play gets too
rough; Griz backs off.

Wildlife Waystation, a 160-acre
rehabilitation center in the Angeles
National Forest near Sherman Oaks,
California, is completing permanent holding
facilities for 27 African lions and “liger”
lion/tiger hybrids rescued from the
Ligertown Game Farm in Lava Hot Springs,
Idaho. Fifteen other Ligertown big cats
were killed by a neighboring landowner and
a 50-member posse on September 21 after a
mass escape. Ligertown owners Robert
Fieber and Dotti Martin were well known to
authorities. In 1984 state and federal officials
raided a game ranch Fieber ran in
Oregon. Charged with 54 counts of animal
cruelty, Fieber pleaded no contest to four
misdemeanor counts pertaining to food storage,
and got the rest dropped. Moving to
north-central Idaho, Fieber and Martin ran
into trouble again in 1986 when one of their
lions was shot while stalking a neighbor’s
horse. Ordered to build better cages, they
moved again, to the Lava Hot Springs site,
where in 1989 they were convicted of running
a wildlife park without a permit but
won a reversal when a judge ruled that the
legal definition of “wildlife park” was insufficiently
Wildlife Waystation on
November 21 took in two grizzly bear
c u b s , orphaned when Kirk Giroux of
Coram, Montana, shot their mother after
she surprised him in his yard. The mother
grizzly had already been trapped and relocated
away from humans three times in three
years. The grizzly orphans were the ninth
and tenth placed by the Montana Department
of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks this year, with
five others still needing homes. Because
grizzlies are difficult to keep in an enclosure
and costly to feed and insure, zoo space for
them is scarce; because unfavorable weather
hurt their natural food supply, conflicts with
humans were especially frequent in 1995.

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