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Alpine sanctuary launches binational campaign to help animals seized in Mexico

Alpine sanctuary launches binational campaign to help animals seized in Mexico
Posted at 5:00 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 21:48:09-04

ALPINE, Calif. (KGTV) - An East County animal sanctuary is launching a binational campaign to help hundreds of animals, mostly big cats, recently seized in a raid in Mexico.

Photos released by Mexican authorities show the scene last month, after police raided the Black Jaguar White Tiger animal sanctuary in Mexico City.

Some 200 animals, mostly big cats, were found in ‘deplorable conditions.’

“It's super heartbreaking. It's always the animals that pay. It’s not their fault,” said Bobbi Brink, founder of Lions Tigers & Bears exotic animal rescue in Alpine. “Most all the animals are in bad shape. A lot of them are on the verge of dying. They’re starving to death to the point of eating each other tails."

The foundation that operates the facility in Mexico is based out of Los Angeles. Celebrities have made visits to the facility.

“They had a lot of celebrities traveling down there, getting their photos taken, rolling in the grass with the babies and making donations,” said Brink.

It is Brink who is now raising money for medical supplies to treat the seized animals. She's already sent $8,000 worth.

She's also started a petition drive, asking the Mexican government to allow the animals to be sent to rescues across the US.

She fears there is a lack of space at facilities in Mexico, pointing out there are no accredited sanctuaries in the country.

“The biggest goal is to make sure these animals don’t go from this terrible situation back into another terrible situation … being used for breeding. Right outside cruise terminals is where you can get your photos taken with the babies … I feel like this case has educated a lot of people. Might get help to get it stopped,” said Brink.

Brink is hopeful her efforts are working. She’s hoping to help start an accredited sanctuary in Mexico.

As for her petition, a Mexican zoo official has spent the past week at her rescue. He and some politicians in Mexico has seemed receptive to her idea.

If Mexico signs off on it, Brink is hoping to put the animals on a single cargo flight.

Brink says her rescue has room to house between one and three of the animals.

As for the rest of the animals, Brink says she and her team would drive them to sanctuaries that have agreed to take in the animals.

In a Televisa interview, the founder of the sanctuary in Mexico has denied abusing the animals, contending they were in bad shape when rescued.