Wild Eyes~

When you look into these wild eyes,

what do you see?

I see,

wild hearts,

untamed,

yearning to be free.

These mountain lions were photographed at The Big Bear Alpine Zoo in Big Bear Lake California.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rescue and rehabilitation facility that provides injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven, either temporarily as they heal, or permanently if they are unable to survive in the wild. 90% of the animals brought to the facility are released back into the wild.

There are 160 animals in the facility currently, comprising 60 different species. There is a golden eagle with one eye, a bear with three legs, a grizzly that was scheduled for euthanasia at Yellowstone, animals that were kept as pets and abandoned when they become too much to handle, and many more animals with sad histories.

A new zoo is under construction that will offer more spacious accommodation with glass enclosures. The zoo is owned by The Big Bear Department of Parks and Recreation and is staffed by county employees (Source: Big Bear Alpine Zoo).

Cheers to you from the gorgeous cats at The Big Bear Alpine Zoo~

For more information check out:

http://bigbearzoo.org/about/

294 thoughts on “Wild Eyes~

  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Always a special field trip when you go over to Cindy Knoke’s blog and today is no exception… I bet when this big cat purrs, you can hear for miles..Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rescue and rehabilitation facility that provides injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven, either temporarily as they heal, or permanently if they are unable to survive in the wild. 90% of the animals brought to the facility are released back into the wild. Do head over to read more and to see the other photographs…#recommended

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  2. I had been to Big Bear several times and did not know that was there. I applaud them for stepping up and helping these magnificent creatures a place to heal and stay if necessary. Everything in the world just wants freedom. They have so little habitat left as the building continues. Thanks for sharing these photos and the information, Cindy.

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  3. Bless the Zoo and the stake holders for the money. I love the photos, he staring right at you. No malice just checking each other out. They are so large and quite dangerous if you come up on one in the wild but that is where wild animals belong! In the wind. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I love mountain lions/cougars/panthers. The Department of Natural Resources here in Georgia says we don’t have them in the wild here anymore, but we do. I saw one behind our house and watched it come down the hill through the woods. Many of our neighbors have seen them, too.

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    • Oh how absolutely thrilling!!! I would so love to see one and I am so happy you have one. It reminds of the lone wolf that was in Northern California. I felt sorry for his lonely life, but mountain lions require 100 square miles of territory each, so it is likely your lion has a friend. How wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Only in freedom are they are in the right place.” I so agree with you. It is sad to see any living creature in cages. I do see the kindness in their eyes as you do. They kill to eat and survive, unlike humans who do it for sport and idiocy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So true, Cindy! Here in Germany since some years there are a lot of TV-documentations, from the several zoo’s. The animals are presented like in a Sitcom. Even if i see this, i become very angry. Wish you a beautiful week. I think in your area its needless to wish you a snow free time. Lol Michael

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  5. How wonderful that these critters have champions to protect and preserve them! Thank you, Cindy, for bringing us up close and personal with this beauty — its eyes are very soulful, don’t you think?!

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  6. Whenever I see the wild eyes of the big cats, my response is that I respect their need to be wild. I was very relieved to read that 90% of the animals at The Big Bear Alpine Zoo are released back into the wild.

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  7. Mountain Lions have always been one of my favourite of the big cats. There is something about them that makes me think more of domestic cats than wild one. I would never make the mistake of actually believing this, but they just have a softness behind those wild eyes!

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  8. I am very much in favor of wild creatures living free, but unfortunately, people for whatever stupid reasons will shot or otherwise hunt them. In my area which is about an hour from Big Bear, we had some idiot shoot a wonderful huge eagle with a bow and arrow, and then another person shot a wild burro. Both creatures were saved, but the thing is that they are injured now and perhaps can no longer get their own food or perhaps they will not live as long. In some areas the specific animal types have been almost wiped out altogether. I believe we must have sanctuaries at the minimum. Yes, I am not in favor of zoos, but the preservation of the creatures is paramount for any of us. Thank you all very kindly.

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  9. My first reaction to the first photo was “Whoa, that is a big kitty!” It is always good to know that when some humans interfere in a bad way … that some step up and do all they can to correct the wrong done. A great set of images!

    Now about what that cat is thinking ……. “I bet that one with the camera would taste good ….” LOL. In reality it’s likely thinking “Man, I would like to get out of here and find a nice peaceful and quiet place!” I think that from house cats up to the big ones that they like to show us that nonchalant attitude just to make us wondering about just what they are thinking about!

    Of course, I bet the folks that work with them all the time do get a good feel for what they are thinking.

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    • “Man, I would like to get out of here and find a nice peaceful and quiet place!”
      You are a perceptive person, and this summarizes beautifully, what we humans, and those lions want.

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  10. What wonderful creatures, and [though ‘zoos’ as opposed to rehab centres like this are controversial and the word is ‘freighted’…] so great to think they will be released into the wild in due course…

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  11. I have a weakness for cats. One of my volunteer gigs is socializing and showing house cats for adoption so I’ve worked with thousands over the last few years. This one wants to know what you’re up to (are you a threat? are you bringing food? let me out?), is listening to things off to the side you didn’t even notice, and is slightly bored. Handsome cat. Hopefully, they can find a good wild place for him/her.

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