Black Pine Animal Sanctuary : A True Haven


This shot really sums up the relationship of the staff and the animals in their care at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary outside of Albion, IN.   The tiger walked over and lay down and made a rumbling purring kind of sound of comfortable communion when this staff member approached.  Clearly, there is a lot of love and respect given these creatures.  They mostly came from people who surrendered pets who grew too big to handle or from rescues of animals being neglected.


Wanna play house?




I mean it!


I want to play with my keg by myself, thank you!


Bi guy gets his supper.  Look at the bite marks on that ball!


It’s legal to keep an alligator up to five feet long in your home.  This one got much bigger.  A guy was given it in high school and it lived in a frat house bathtub at Indiana University for a while.  I’m sure it’s happier here.


Fox… Possible an Arctic fox, sacked out on a lovely day.  The grounds are shady and peaceful.


Apparently, there are estimated to be over 2,000 bears held in captivity in Ohio alone.


One of the big cat residents passed away this spring.


Mariah, our guide for the 3 o’clock tour was knowledgeable and very comfortable to spend time with.   She was able to answer our questions and knew the history of the various animals.  We were surprised to hear it was only her second time leading the tour.

Much as I like just wandering around, the tour that comes free with the price of admission is well worth it!  I’m looking forward to returning next year to see the new enclosure that’s being built to house the new residents who will arrive before too long.

The following text in brackets turned out to be erroneous.  Clearly I mixed up a couple of stories after the fact.  And me, a researcher!  Bad! 😀 I’m only leaving in my writing so that Lori Gagen’s/Black Pine’s response makes sense.  [Remember that story about the private zoo owner near Zanesville, OH who set his animals free (to disastrous results) and then killed himself?  Black Pine is taking in some of the survivors.]  Good work


9 thoughts on “Black Pine Animal Sanctuary : A True Haven

  1. Rayn says:

    The love and attention given to these wild animals is a testament to the people who have committed themselves to making sure these beautiful creatures are in a safe environment and that the people taking care of them are well educated in staying safe around them. I was appalled, as were many with the release of the animals and the subsequent suicide of the man who was clearly mentally unstable and ill monitored by the authorities.

    There are guardian angels for animals after all 🙂

  2. Lori Gagen says:

    Sundry, thanks so much from all who are dedicated to Black Pine’s mission for sharing your experience. We are happy Mariah did such a great job leading your tour. I do apologize for what may have been an erroneous statement, or simply a misunderstanding. Black Pine is not able to provide refuge to any of the survivors of the Zanesville incident. Those surviving animals were returned to Marion Thompson, the widow of the man who committed suicide after releasing the animals and 49 were shot and killed. After a period of ‘legal’ time where they were in refuge at the Columbus Zoo, still lacking any more legal authority to protect the survivors, they were returned from where they came in Zanesville. The four tigers Black Pine has given refuge from Ohio were among seven living in a safe refuge that was forced to close due to mounting expenses and pending laws that, once in effect, the owners could not comply with.

    The Ohio Tiger Relief Fund, for Sammie, Delilah, Taz, and Ticha is still accepting donations to help fund their lifetime care at Black Pine, as well as the future needs of surely more to come. The latest arrival to Black Pine was Mamie, a 22-year-old black bear who lived in a 15′ diameter corn crib on the Ohio River in southern Ohio until her owner, frustrated with the new OH laws, said come get her, or “I’ll shoot her”.

    And so our work continues…. and your support is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

    Lori Gagen, Executive Director
    Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

    • Sundry says:

      Thanks so much for setting me straight! Clearly it was my hearing that was off. I’ll edit the text above. Sorry it took me so long to correct it…busy upon my return to California.

      Great place you have there!


  3. seabluelee says:

    I found this very touching. The animals look very comfortable and relaxed, which speaks well for the care they receive. And that grave in the woods is so poignant. I understand the fascination people have with exotic wild animals, but It’s a shame people don’t think about the consequences of adopting them as pets before they do so.

  4. markrhunter says:

    It’s a great place to have, and to visit.

  5. kitty says:

    And what a pleasant way that was to spend a couple of hours! The shaded paths at Black Pine, taking you from one spacious enclosure to the next are so lovely.

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