Meet Josh. Josh is an easy going 600-pound Black bear, who enjoys being around people. Josh has spent his youth, since he was a bottle-fed cub, working for a wildlife education program where he made appearances at schools, birthday parties and other events.
Last year the facility lost their state permit to house Josh, who is now 13 years old and retired. Josh has since been living in Okeechobee at Animal Adventures, an exotic animal facility, while waiting for a new home.
Josh is a healthy, happy bear, less than midway through his life expectancy, who is too tame to be released into the wild. Once fed by people, a bear is likely to walk up to humans expecting hand-outs of food and would be considered a threat.
Flamingo Gardens has been working hard to bring Josh back here to live out the remainder of his life in a new roomy and enriching environment with rocks, palm trees, and his own pool.
Josh has spent his 13 years in a 20 by 20 foot enclosure- far from ideal for an animal his size. His new Flamingo Gardens exhibit will be 80 by 100 feet, allowing ample room to roam and run. He’ll be able to splash in his own 3’ deep pool, designed to resemble a pond, and play with an assortment of logs, balls, and other toys designed to stimulate him. Most importantly, Josh will be back among people who love and care for him.
Construction has begun on Josh’s new home which is expected to open in June of 2013. While most of the money to build the exhibit has been raised, it will still take additional funds to feed and care for Josh each year. Josh’s food alone is estimated to cost $8,000 per year.
Flamingo Gardens is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and relies solely on the support of the public for financing. Your donations will help bring Josh home to retire in South Florida, and help care for him in the future.
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Patches is our female otter, who was hit by a car. Although now rehabilitated, Patches is missing an eye and would have difficulty finding food in the wild; she would probably not survive.
Fast Eddie and Patches are part of one of the most successful otter breeding programs in the United States. Otters at Flamingo Gardens have produced over 32 offspring since the program started in 1989. These otters have been released into the wild or sent to other breeding programs at sanctuaries across the US. Perhaps our program’s success can be attributed to the setting among all the other wildlife and our loving animal care; but maybe it’s just Fast Eddie!
Fast Eddie, Patches, Spanky and Bella are looking forward to their new home at Flamingo Gardens. The new otter exhibit will be bigger, with a larger pond, better viewing, a hurricane-proof night house, and multiple areas for the otters to build dens. The new exhibit will further improve the success of our breeding program and result in more otters released into the wild.
Alina & Daniel Vogtner