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It has been a devastating year here at the jungle. Throughout the year, I lost my job, my father had a stroke in April, then mom in July, Dad died in August and mom just died this month. Leaving behind them a path of grief and devastation.

Fury which was raised by myself, my father and my son went through an extended period of what I could only perceive to be mourning at the loss of one of her favorite keepers. She refused to eat, went CRAZY when I brought a load of clothes into the house of his that needed to be cleaned (yes, Fury had a HARD time adjusting to life on the outside as she was raised as a solitary cub with only domestic house cats, dogs and humans to play with.. but that is all good now and she is happy and content in her new enclosure), and just went call out all the time for him. Not only did I have to deal with the death of my father, but had to deal with watching the cat I loved try to give up.

Now the AR activists have been out with a vengeance. First Sam Mazzola which is a very troubling death. Found with a sex toy shoved in his mouth, a hood over his face and his hands bound, he was found dead in his water bed and even though there was a confessed second party there it was ruled “accidental” (even though this person LEFT him that way and he at that time was still alive). Sam owned the bear that mauled a man to death in about a year ago.. Sam’s death happened just this past July

Then you have Terry Thompson. Now that was a strange one indeed. From what I have gathered from Terry’s friends, Terry was a Vietnam Vet, was a licensed Arms dealer and his marriage was in a shambles. He had to do a stint in prison, came out and found his facility less that what he would have kept it. The animals were in perfect health though. The story told by the media is that Terry was distraught and took his own life but not before CUTTING LOCKS (he had keys) and CAGES (something like 54 animals were released… now you tell me how if these animals were so vicious that he lived LONG ENOUGH to kill himself?), spread chicken around himself. Our infamous Jack Hannah (now will forever be emblazened into my memory as a murderer!) then pulled the trigger. Funny thing is that Joe Exotic of GW Exotics in Oklahoma knew of a problem at Terry’s place and asked the sheriff (Lutz) if he could help by taking some of the animals MONTHS before this all happened. So what then happened is Lutz and then Hannah arrive on the scene opening fire inside the compound (Lutz had given the shoot to kill order) and all but six animals were executed. Leopards (endangered) and Lion Macaques (also endangered). Odd huh? As of this date, they had ruled it a suicide and after much outcry from the masses the case has now remained open..

So with this in mind Mystic Jungle has now had to beef up security. Joe Exotic has had death threats from radical members of several animal rights groups. He is taking Tony the truck stop tiger in case Michael Sandlin loses the court battle. Sad state of affairs that people can attack an individual who has had this tiger for all of life (eleven years and in great health) and because of a screw up in the Louisiana Wildlife commission, force him to give up his Tiger.. but it gets better.. they are now trying to make the judges say WHERE Tony must go. So in the US you can now take someones animal then you get to say where it goes..even though this was NOT a case of abuse! This was a legal paperwork issue!!

Ok.. better go wrap presents.. and when ever I get down.. I just can go listen to the sweet guttural sounds the leopards make.


Vera is a sixth generation Native Floridian and born in the small community of Arcadia Florida. She has been a Barrel racer,making it to the NBHA national finals for 3 years in a row. She was the President in the Potowattomie County Humane Society, Shawnee Oklahoma 1983. She is a Veterinary Technician and in the veterinary medical field for over thirty nine years, starting by volunteering in Ft. Lauderdale at Three Oaks Animal Hospital for OJT at the tender age of 13 years. She has had a Life time of working and living with all species of animals, domestic and exotic. She holds an Associates in Animal Science. Vera also is an active member of the FCF (Feline Conservation Federation - ) and accredited by the FCF as a Wildlife Educator, as well as licensed by the state of Florida as a wildlife rehabilitator

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The Castle
Unit 345
2500 Castle Dr
Manhattan, NY

T: +216 (0)40 3629 4753