Sangria was born in 2011. She was found in the wild as a pup by some people who thought she would make a good pet. The people kept her for a few months before being turned into The Arizona Game and Fish Department. When she arrived at SWCC, staff realized she was very sick and malnourished. She spent a long time in the clinic, so she could be monitored by staff to make a full recovery. Unfortunately, today, Sangria still has health issues related to her improper diet; she has cataracts in both eyes, and she has not grown to the size she should be. Sangria does not get a long with other coyotes, but she loves playing with her domestic dog pals Chilly and Hatch.
Wiley and Big Boy- Coyotes
Was born in 1999, and is one of the biggest coyotes at SWCC. Wiley was brought to SWCC because he was a pet, however he does not like people. Wiley is a very “talkative” coyote and he loves to growl, yip, and bark at visitors on the tour. Wiley lives with his mate Big Boy. Wiley is the alpha, and will tell volunteers and staff to back off it they are too close to his enclosure. Big Boy was born in 2003 and was kept illegally as a pet. Big Boy came to SWCC with a short tail, but we don’t know how it ended up bobbed. Big Boy is a shy coyote, and he prefers to stay towards the back of his enclosure when visitors come by. Big Boy lives with Wiley, and he spends most of his time, relaxing in his enclosure.
Bella was born in 1998. She was found by hikers in the Tucson area as a baby. The hikers thought she was orphaned, so they took her and turned her in to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. After arriving at SWCC, Bella was diagnosed with scoliosis of the spine. Her scoliosis had become more apparent with age. Bella is a big, beautiful bobcat who enjoys taking cat naps in the sun.
Spock was born in 2003. He was found in the Casa Grande area after being attacked by a dog. He lost part of his front right foot, so he had to have surgery and live in the clinic while recovering. He now has a limp and would not be quick enough to survive in the wild. Spock is a shy bobcat, and is found most days napping in a tree. He loves his mouse-icles and usually plays with his before eating them.
Feather was born in 2006 and was confiscated from some people who had her illegally as a pet. Feather could not be released back to the wild because she was too used to people and because of Chronic Wasting Disease; a neurological disease that affects the brain and nervous system causing the deer to stop eating. Feather does not have the disease, but Game and Fish was afraid she might catch it in captivity and spread it to the wild population of mule deer. Feather loves running around her enclosure and eating apples.
Berry- Black Bear
Berry was born in 2001and was taking out of his den by some young boys. The boys took the bear cub home and kept him as a kept for quite a while before their parents found out. Once the parents found out, Berry was sent to a zoo and was put in with some female bears, but because Berry was raised by the boys, Berry had a hard time communicating with the female black bears. The females began picking on Berry, so he was moved to SWCC. Berry is the largest animal at SWCC, weighing in at over 300 pounds. Berry spends most of his days playing with his sticks, swimming in his pool and lounging in his hammock.
Grizz, Igasho, Tahoe- Black Bears
All three bears are two years old and are permanent residents of SWCC. Grizz and Tahoe both came from Montana, where they were orphaned at a young age and imprinted on humans. They were sent to a small facility in Montana where they were used for education, but the facility closed down shortly after receiving the young bears. The bear cubs then came to SWCC where they found their forever home.
Igasho came to SWCC from California because he is a two strikes bear. Igasho was found in town by Game and Fish, so they trapped him and released him away from people. Unfortunately, Igasho made his way back to town, where people were feeding him. It didn’t take long for Igasho to imprint on the humans and associate people with food, so Game and Fish trapped him for the second time – his second strike. Game and fish was going to put him down, but instead they decided to send him to SWCC so he could live out his life.
The three bears love to wrestle, play, and chase each other around. Every night the bears get a large bowl filled with dog food, peanuts in the shell, tons of fruits and vegetables, fish, and peanut butter sandwiches. The bears also enjoy honey and jelly as a special treat.
Tocho- Mountain Lion
Tocho was born in 2005 and was orphaned after his mother was shot by a poacher. Tocho had not yet been weaned from his mother when he was sold by the poacher to two young men. The men made him a pet and kept him in a dark shed where he was deprived of sunlight and fed an improper diet. Luckily Tocho was confiscated by Arizona Game and Fish and was brought to SWCC. His healthy assessment upon arriving showed he had three broken legs and a crushed pelvis; his improper diet caused metabolic bone disease, so his bones were extremely weak and fragile. Today Tocho is a healthy, big boy, but is still small for a male because his growth was stunted. Tocho enjoys getting his ears scratched and purrs when he is happy. He lives with Cascable and Cleo, and loves chasing the girls around the enclosure.
Cascabel- Mountain Lion
Cascabel is the one-eyed mountain lion. After her mother was shot by a poacher, Cascabel was kept in a tiny cage in a backyard and fed an improper diet. She was in very poor health when she arrived at SWCC, so she had to be monitored by staff. Once fully recovered, Cascabel was moved into a large enclosure with a lot of trees. While in her enclosure, she punctured her eye on something and got an infection. Unfortunately, the vets could not save her eye. Cascabel is healthy now and moves with ease through her enclosure with just one eye. She can even jump to and from platforms.
Maya- Mountain Lion
Maya was born in 2002 and was bred to be a pet in South Carolina. She was bought over the internet by a woman in Phoenix who had her declawed before she got her and was raising her in an apartment with two small children. The owner would even take Maya out for walks on a leash. Luckily, her neighbors saw and called Arizona Game and Fish Department. Today, Maya has very sensitive feet from being declawed. She walks very carefully and is a bit over weight because she can not run and walk as much as she should. Maya has a beautiful face and loves coming out for visitors. She lives with Giselle, Cypress, and Ash.
Cypress and Ash- Mountain Lions
On Monday, January 31, 2012 an orphaned mountain lion cub was found after her mother was legally killed in the East San Jose area of California. The starving cub had confronted a man’s dog and sustained injuries. The California Fish and Game Department captured the cub and took her to a local vet clinic. Her initial exam revealed emaciation, bite wounds to a rear leg, several broken teeth, plus a flea and tick infestation. She was very weak, and could not eat on her own. The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary was contacted and they agreed to take her in. Her age was estimated to be between 12 and 16 weeks and she only weighed 7lbs. Upon her arrival there, it was determined her serious condition would require 24 hour care. She could not walk or stand on her own and would not eat or drink as she had trouble swallowing. The Folsom Zoo did a full exam with x-rays and discovered that she had two broken legs, a fractured jaw, an infection from the bite wounds, and a parasite overload. Humane euthanasia was considered due to her poor condition, but after consultation regarding all possible outcomes, everyone agreed she deserved a chance at survival. The orthopedic veterinarian put a plate in her front leg and splinted her hind leg. A feeding tube was placed in her esophagus to give her nourishment until they could determine what was needed to repair her jaw and teeth. About a week later another cub (her sibling) was found up a tree at the same location. He was starved almost to death, but otherwise uninjured. Once placed in the same room, zoo officials said the cubs started vocalizing to each other throughout the night and by the second day they definitely recognized each other. Both cubs perked up considerably. The Folsom Zoo staff called the cubs “Cypress” (female) and “Ash” (male) after native trees.
The Folsom Zoo had hoped to keep both cubs, but unfortunately, due to budget cuts, they could only keep one. The California Fish and Game Department contacted numerous facilities trying to find a home for the male cub, but no one had room. The department had worked with SWCC in the past, so contacted the director who agreed to take him if there was no place else for him to go. The Folsom Zoo became concerned about separating the cubs because they were obviously bonded with one another and had been through so much tragedy. It was decided the cubs should stay together and go to SWCC to continue their medical treatment. At SWCC, the cubs can help each other heal and have a permanent home together.
Today, are getting big and are rambunctious as ever. They were recently moved into their new enclosure, so they are having fun exploring their new home, and enjoying the space to run around. Their new enclosure is in with adult females Maya and Giselle. We are hoping the adult females will eventually adopt Cypress and Ash, and teach them how to be mountain lions.
Gobi- Fennec Fox
Gobi is an African fennec fox, so what is he doing in Arizona? Gobi was found hiding under a car in the middle of Mesa. Luckily we were able to catch him and bring him to SWCC. We can only assume Gobi was an illegal pet that escaped from his owners. Gobi is a friendly fox, and loves greeting visitors. His big ears, and fluffy tail make him one of the cutest residents at SWCC.
Himuti – Mexican Gray Wolf
Himuti is an endangered Mexican gray wolf. He was born into captivity, but his genetics are important to the survival of the Mexican gray wolf population. Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is a participant in the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. The Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program is run by U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS), and unfortunately is not doing well. There are only around 50 Mexican gray wolves in the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona, which unfortunately is not a big enough population to ensure their survival. Himuti can never be released, but his genetics will be harvested, and stored to ensure the Mexican gray wolf population will remain diverse.
Indiana Jones- Raccoon
Indiana Jones was living as a pet in an apartment. His owner traded a turtle to a friend in exchange for Indy. He thought he was making a better life for the baby raccoon, but it was a bad arrangement for them both. Indy shredded the furniture and curtains in the man’s apartment. Eventually the man realized Indy was not a good pet, and brought him to SWCC. Indy likes to play in the hose, and jump in his water tubs to cool off.
Pinon is a large porcupine who loves to eat bananas, pumpkins, and bark. Pinon lives at Southwest Wildlife because he was orphaned as a baby near a logging community in Northern Arizona. Someone found the baby porcupine after the mother had been injured by a fallen tree. The porcupine was around people for a while, so he could not be released back to the wild. Today Pinon likes to climb his trees and on hot days he spends most of his time in his air-conditioned house.
Leonardo the Leopard, a magnificent creature, was bred for the entertainment industry and born in a cage. Leonardo spent the first two years of his life entertaining humans in a Las Vegas show. Of course, he had to be made ‘safe’ for his audience, so his canine teeth and all of his claws were pulled out. No one cared that his teeth helped give his jaw support for eating, or that his mutilated feet would forever be crippled and painful. No one cared for his welfare at all. When his owners tired of him, they sold him to a small zoo and pet store in Douglas, Arizona. After seven years, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center was able to step in at take Leonardo. Although SWCC’s focus is on native wildlife, we could not ignore Leonardo. A physical examination was conducted at Sonora Veterinary Hospital which revealed one lung was collapsed and he had a severe case of pneumonia. His feet were also mutilated from being declawed. Today, Leonardo is a happy cat, he loves lying on his perches, running in his grass, and playing with his toys.
Peanut was born 2010 and was found in someone’s attic in Apache Junction. It is very unlikely she came from the wild. When we found her, she was really friendly and eating on her own, so we think she most likely was a pet that escaped into the attic. Today Peanut is an acrobat, and loves to show off. She will hang upside down from the roof of her enclosure and hang-walk across the roof. She is not a picky eater, and she especially loves her mouse-icles.