Between the Lions: Fundraiser for rescued big cats Reply

Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary spokesperson Toni Alberty says lions – like Solomon and Cymba pictured – are the only big cats who live in a social family group like humans, called a pride. The animals show affection by rubbing cheeks, noses, and often lay or sleep on top of each other, forming strong bonds.

Behold, Solomon and Cymba – two African lions rescued from the tiny cages of a traveling roadside circus and now living at the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary off of Circle Drive on the eastern outskirts of Dripping Springs. Solomon and Cymba are just two of the 18 “big cats” housed and cared for at the facility.

In order to continue sheltering the collection of six African lions, six Bengal tigers, three leopards, and three mountain lions, the non-profit Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary has announced an inaugural Big Cats Dinner Fundraiser. The event will be held on Sunday, March 25th, from 6:00-9:00p.m. at the Marriott South Hotel in Austin, and is sponsored by Silicon Labs. Organizers say the program will feature live music, a silent auction, dinner, and a presentation entitled “A Day in the Life of the Zoo.” 

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Patti Clark at (512) 288-1490. Individual tickets are available at $125.00. Tables of 10 are available for $1,000, Tables of 4 for $500.

According to Guest Relations director Toni Alberty, one of the goals of the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is education.

“One thing I don’t think people realize is that the African lion is now endangered,” says Alberty. ”In the 1950’s, there were approximately 450,000 wild African lions. Today, there are less than 20,000. So in sixty years, we have lost 430,000 lions. Very sad for all of us.” 

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