Not Your Ordinary Housecat: Big Rescue Animals
Wildlife expert Patty Perry relaxes in her Moorpark, Calif., home with African Serval Cat Sabi. “We house a Siberian lynx, eagles, hawks, owls, Bengal tigers, camels and a zebra,” she tells PEOPLEPets.com of her organization, Wildlife & Environmental Conservation Inc. The animals each have their own spacious enclosure. “I can see them from my windows,” she says.
EYE OF THE TIGER
Perry keeps her cool on a stroll with a tiger. “I do most of the training and handling,” Perry, 56, says. “But I’m never scared. If you’re scared, you shouldn’t be working with animals.” She employs three other staffers and several volunteers, and the entire operation is privately funded.
Volunteering at a wildlife center 11 years ago inspired Perry to open her facility in 2007. But why? “I don’t know,” she admits. “I think we’re just sort of led to do things in life – we’re given our specific gifts.”
The animals at Wildlife & Environmental Conservation come from a variety of places: Some were victims of environmental hazards, others were sick, injured or orphaned and several – like the Bengal tigers – were bred in captive breeding programs.
“Everything that can be released is released,” Perry says. “I have about a 70 percent release rate.” Sadly, some just have too great of handicaps, including one bald eagle (not pictured) with a double-fracture that prohibits her from flying.
“The wild animals are never pets,” Perry explains. “Sabi is 2 years old, and she’s one of my ambassadors for education. She goes to schools, churches and community outreach programs to teach conservation and environmental issues.”
SHARE THE WEALTH
“My favorite part is sharing the education and information with the community, and with children,” she says. “Children are the best ambassadors for these animals.”