Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Squiggy the Grizzly

Squiggy the Grizzly, watercolor sketch, Diane Mannion

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary

Had the privilege of visiting the Octagon Wildlife Sancturary with the Peace River Painters!  The experience of being so close to these amazing animals was overwhelming.   Most of us spent the time snapping photos, wandering around, dazed by these extraordinary creatures and their sad tales of survival.  It was almost impossible to paint.

Fran managed to started a half-sheet watercolor of a tiger, while John chose to paint a totem pole because unlike the animals... it held still!  I was only able to do one sketch of a grizzly.

All the animals were rescued from horrible situations.  Most were born in captivity and would not be able to survive in the wild.  They are pampered, well-fed and cared for by volunteers, and will continue to live a comfortable life!  Too many good things to report about this place here.   Please visit their website for more information.  Link is below.

Squiggy the Grizzly shares a huge cage, complete with swimming pool, with two rare Himalayan brown bears, Laverne and Shirley.  The three bears had been rescued from a facility where they were beaten with pipes.  Now fully recovered, I watched the two females play while the grizzly roamed around until feeding time.  Huge piles of meat (donated by food stores) was pushed through a pipe and greedily shared by a flock of vultures pecking through the cage screen.

Group shot of happy creatures.  The sloth does everything but poop while hanging upside-down!
Three tigers were rescued from someone's yard in Port Charlotte!  What were these people thinking?!

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