Grants Pass, OR
2005: When I first arrived in Grants Pass, I went to the visitor’s center and got loaded down with ideas of what to see during the month I had planned here. One of the first to go into my “must-see” file was Wildlife Images.
I liked the Mission Statement on their brochure and the request: “We ask that you enter with an open mind and heart. If Mother Nature is going to have a chance, we must all do our part.”
Meet “Jaws,” a Bobcat kitten orphaned after his family was attacked by domestic dogs. I mean, just take a look at this face. If there were any chance of seeing it up close, wouldn’t you want to?
But if an animal that arrives here in need can be returned to the wild with a good chance of survival, that’s the ultimate goal. In that case, they won’t put the animal on the tour route so they don’t “imprint” on humans. Only permanent residents are allowed to be visited.
Rufus is a bobcat who is now a permanent resident due to his growing up with close contact with humans. Because a young boy was silly enough to remove him as a cub from his mother’s den, and the boy’s mother silly enough to let him “keep” Rufus, he can never be released in the wild again.
Even though they will never hunt for themselves again, the carnivores are fed raw fresh meat just as they would eat in their natural habitat.
NikkiNikki is a Eurasian Lynx. He came to Wildlife Images de-clawed by his previous owners. He still looks pretty chill, though, doesn’t he?
He really is a big kitty cat, gentle and loving to be touched. He put on a sad puppy dog face when we left, though.
Clark’s previous owners weren’t content with just de-clawing this poor baby – they actually had all 4 tendons cut on his legs. It was pretty sad watching his legs shake as he walked. He gets his share of pampering from Sue Richards, who was kind enough to take me on my tour. I have a feeling he’s one of her favorites.
2017: When I was updating this page, I saw that Clark had passed in 2015. 🙁
Clark the Cougar: Forever in Our Hearts – The circle of life is very real for those of us at Wildlife Images. It is with great sadness on this last day of 2015, that we bid goodbye to our beloved cougar ambassador, Clark. Multiple health issues relating to his advanced age reduced his ability to lead a quality life. With heavy hearts our veterinary and animal care staff made the difficult decision to end his suffering.
Within the canine section, Lakota and her mate, Czar, were rescued from being held as illegal captives in a breeding facility. Wherever large numbers of humans settle the wolves are eliminated. Wolves are an endangered species everywhere except Alaska.
Tundra and Spirit are two other resident gray wolves who are so docile they are allowed to participate in traveling educational programs. Tundra was rescued from an animal shelter in Washington, who thought he was a dog. He got along quite well with my niece, Heather. 🙂
“Hey, Wizard the Harris Hawk: what’s that funny thing around your neck?”
“Bug off, beak-face, it’s not my idea to wear this Elizabethan monstrosity! Maybe if I ignore him, he’ll go away…”
It’s certainly not funny to see the condition that some of these birds are in after contact with humans before they get here. Can you believe someone other than a Bin Laden type would shoot our gorgeous national symbol like this? This regal lady was so determined to live, the vets have now decided to design and fit her with a prosthesis to help her eat.
11845 Lower River Road — Grants Pass, OR
Malia’s 2 Cents: These people do wonderful work and really care about their charges. The animals’ welfare comes first, and that was evident in all the staff’s and volunteers’ actions throughout my tour. Interested in a worthy cause? Here’s how to adopt an animal or make a donation.