I worked for a small 501(c)(3) exotic zoo in another state for almost a decade. Most people don't realize how many laws, rules, and regulations there are regarding exotic animals, and honestly a lot of people really don't care. We worked with all of our local organizations, and especially the USDA in regards to every aspect of our exotics. When we weren't using our hand-raised exotic animals as therapy animals for people and children with disabilities, we were educating the public on the animals and strongly advocating for the proper care of exotics. I love and appreciate sanctuaries like this not only for the grueling hours everyone who works there puts into the care for each and every animal, but also for doing so much to educate the public so we can one day hope for laws that truly prevent people from acquiring and abusing these amazing animals. All of the props to you guys! You're amazing!
This facility is perhaps the best there is. Last year, I adopted a lonely little Cougar who has grown into a BEAUTIFUL 1 1/2 year old. Whether adopter, volunteer, worker, intern or visitor, you will leave this place a better person for having been there. The animals are so precious; many having arrived at IEAS in the nick of time or as a last resort. Living out their lives - whether babies, adults or seniors- they have arrived at a forever home that is fitting for them. It's a shame all animals found in some of their circumstances cannot come to IEAS. Education is foremost as one of their goals, but taking care of these animals, even through enrichment, is their TOP priority. I would not hesitate to recommend visiting IEAS - you won't be sorry; and you will never forget it either. :)
With a degree in Veterinary Technology and now retired; I recently adopted a little cougar who had stolen my heart from day one. I am looking forward to sitting with little Thor and spending quality time with him when he gets used to me. This facility is so well maintained and staffed that I am extremely impressed with the care and attention each and every animal receives. It is definitely a "must visit" for anyone in the North Texas area. Please make it a point to do so, you won't be sorry. Truly lots of "lions, tigers and bears, oh my."
The care the animals and bears get at this sanctuary is exceptional. The habitats the animals live in have everything the animals could want including water features, perches, and enrichment.
With a lifelong passion for animals and the environment, and after graduating college with a degree in Environmental Science, I found an internship at IEAS was the perfect next step. As soon as I arrived, I was blown away with the facility and the dedication of all the employees. The habitats are developed to provide the most enriching and natural environment possible. I personally witnessed the transformation of animals arriving scared and in poor health into healthy and active residents who utilize the environmental stimuli provided them. As I make my yearly return visit, I am able to continue to observe these animals' growth and development. My internship at IEAS provided me with a sound basis for the next step in my career.
IEAS is a top-notch animal sanctuary and all other such places should be modeled after it. They are very well organized, and I have never seen such animals more at peace on a daily basis anywhere else. These animals finally get something they deserve after being mistreated or whatever sad story some person bestowed upon them. This is a must see sanctuary if you have any interest in large felines, bears, or now coatis'! I was fortunate enough to spend a good amount of time at IEAS and enjoyed every moment helping give these animals the life they deserve. I must say the staff is very good at their jobs and train many interns that get hired in a very hard career to get into based on IEAS's reputation. I will continue being a part of this organization for my lifetime!
Texas is a big state. There are lots of people here, and sadly, lots of exotic animals as pets. I used to work at the Austin Zoo, and taking care of big cats is a lot of work and expensive too. They can eat anywhere from five to fifteen pounds of meat a day! I've never been to IEAS, but I do follow their news letter. It's very detailed and informative, as is their website. Having never been there, I still feel very confident that these animals are well taken care of. I am so glad that someone in Texas has dedicated their life to protecting and rescuing these beautiful creatures.
Every morning when I show up to work, the first thing I hear is "Roy...can you fix this?" This is before I even get my first cup of coffee. Though this may be annoying to some, it's quite relaxing working around these wonderful animals, knowing is some way, no matter how small it may seem, I helped them out. To see an organization such as IEAS put the animals needs and emotions first is great. Everything we do out here is for the animals and done to reduce stress on them. Most of these animals have come from sad situations, so I believe they have had enough stress...they deserve the best life they can have, and that is what IEAS does.
I was an intern at IEAS in 2007. The skills they taught me helped me get my current job. They have a HUGE array of knowledge in the care for exotic animals. Not only do they make sure the animals are healthy but also happy and content with the lives these animals were basically forced into. A big part of their mission is to inform the general public of these animals' tragedies in order to hopefully stop it in the future. They plant the seed of conservation, understanding and respect of these animals. The staff was always professional and assisted any way they could in order help the interns began their career paths. I will always remember the animals, how happy, healthy and content they were. Very few facilities can match the level of IEAS.
The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary far exceeded my expectations!! While in college to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Zoology, I began to research Sanctuary Internships where I could gain experience working with large exotic animals. And IEAS stood out to me amongst the rest... Not only do interns get to learn about animal husbandry for exotic cats and bears, they get to take away from this how a sanctuary is run in many other aspects. Grounds maintenance, plumbing, fire arms handling courses, cementing/mortaring, grants/proposal classes, And much more... I would not have traded the experience I got here with any other. After 6 months of interning I was offered a position as keeper. This is the best job I could have ever dreamed of. The staff is extremely friendly and the animals are amazing. Each animal has its own personality or special quirks. Its a great feeling to be able to form a bond with many of these animals through our emotional enrichment program and by just working around them everyday. I cant wait to continue on learning all that I can while I am here!!!
I started at IEAS as an Animal Care Intern back in 2004. Since then, I have learned so much from both the staff and all of the animals of IEAS. This is the first and only sanctuary of it's kind that has been certified by the AZA and it's easy to see why. The animals have everything that they would need to keep them happy and healthy for the rest of their lives. Everything here is done for the animals. I am so proud to be a part of this organization. It is such a honor to work with these amazing animals everyday!
The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary is where I began to live out my dream. I was amazed when I first arrived for my internship. After working only a few days, you could tell these animals were taken care of. Not only that, but their needs come first. That is what a true Sanctuary is all about...putting the animals first. I enjoyed being able to walk around to visit with the animals and seeing just how relaxed they were and some even enjoyed the company. You can tell the Staff takes pride in their work. Everything is well taken care of...not just the animals. The building where they prepare the diets is kept spotless and well organized. This helps to keep things running smoothly when preparing diets for 69 exotic animals. IEAS is truly a place that stands out from other animal facilities. To this day, I still enjoy taking walks around the Sanctuary and just seeing how far IEAS has come in the six years I have been here.