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Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Hawaii's only fully-accredited, USDA licensed, exotic animal sanctuary

Fall 2012 Newsletter

Aloha Friends,

Time seems to really fly when you are having fun and we sure have had fun in 2012. Just a few months ago Richard Hammond, the star of BBC AMERICA’s Top Gear, came to 3RR to film an upcoming episode of his show Richard Hammond’s Crash Course. For a very intense two days, Richard (and a crew of 15) followed me around and learned what it takes to be an Exotic Animal Keeper. Richard has been a race car driver and helicopter pilot and he can tackle just about any machine but dealing with our wild residents was a little bit outside of his comfort zone. It was terrific to be able to teach him how to move in ways the animals could understand and to share this with his millions of viewers. The hour-long program airs on BBC AMERICA on December 3rd at 10:00pm ET/PT so be sure to tune in with friends and watch. (Oceanic Time Warner ch. BBCA/BBCAHD 341/1341 in Kona)

In addition to our Crash Course appearance we are wrapping up the year with a new online store where you can purchase godparent certificates as stocking stuffers, adopt an animal for someone you love, make donations or purchase new items such as our full-color shirts and car magnets.

Shop at for the holidays and help feed the critters into 2013.

Enjoy the newsletter and do please come visit in 2013.
Ann Goody

     Proud partner organization

Wildlife in - wildlife out. A summer full of stilts & bats

Some animals are so rare that even just a few mean a great deal to the overall total population. On May 20, 2012 three newly hatched endangered Hawaiian stilts were chased into the harbor channel by feral cats. The parents wheeled overhead, calling while the chicks floated helplessly. A passing boater, whose daughter was in our afterschool mentor program, picked up his cell phone and called 3RR, “Do stilt chicks float?” The answer was, “No,” and “get them out of the water ASAP.” He called back a few minutes later and reported that the chicks had been netted out and were safe in a box. Those tiny babies could not be reunited with the parents due to the cats sitting in wait back on the bank.

The chicks were very carefully reared at the Sanctuary using a stuffed-animal as a surrogate parent so that they could be returned to the wild without imprinting on humans. At three months of age they were ready to go. The birds were released at the Hualalai Resort with the approval of USF&W Service, DLNR and the resort's owners. To top things off, the release was filmed by the BBC America crew. Silence was maintained so that the birds could mingle with the wild juvenile stilts and establish their place in the flock. Follow-up reports by the resort's wildlife caretakers tell us that all three chicks have survived and thrived. This was a terrific case with a very happy ending.

Just days later another odd phone call came in.
My nephew found a bat stuck on his car antenna. It is in a box. Do you want it?
Again, the call came because a child had been in our afterschool mentor program and auntie knew to call us. The bat was near dead. Although severely dehydrated and with a damaged wing, thankfully, there were no fractures. You can read more about this little guy and his successful release in this West Hawaii Today newspaper article.

We cherish the fact that more and more people now know who to call when they find injured wildlife. Please share our newsletter and web page so that when animals are in trouble Good Samaritans know who to call.

24/7 in Hawaii for injured wildlife (808)-331-8778

Oscar The Grouch & Big Bird come to 3RR

With a name like "Oscar the Grouch" you might wonder why we would accept him. Yes, he is a grouch and he can kill you with a well-aimed blow from one of his powerful legs. But, Oscar and his mate, Big Bird, are adult ostriches who came from a sad situation in Hilo. The pair were living in very wet and miserable conditions and their owner decided, thankfully, to allow them to come to the sanctuary. Providing the right fencing, food and habitat took some work but the two new "ostrich safe" paddocks now allow the birds a half-acre of rotational pasture grazing. The shift paddocks allow us to maneuver the birds from one side to the other without direct human contact, keeping our volunteers safe at all times.

We moved the birds over in August during a one day blitz to Hilo and back. Each bird had to be captured and hooded in the muddy paddock and then walked (while hooded) up into the straw filled trailer. This went far better than we could have imagined and we were on the road back to Kona in less than one hour. However, as we started our decent from the Saddle Road the trailer had two flat tires. Luckily for us, the first person who stopped was a tractor tire repairman who had all his tools, including an air pump, on his truck. After jacking up the trailer and putting on our spare, we had to disconnect, leave two interns with the birds and race to Waimea to purchase another tire. An hour later we put the new tire on and finally headed home. The birds stood quietly the whole time and did not seem at all phased. They were well mannered and walked calmly into the new green quarters where they began to snack on the grass and a tasty meal of grain, ostrich pellets and alfalfa pellets. Just being here, out of the rain, seemed to perk them right up. Most of the birds' primary feathers on their wings had rotted off from the constant dampness they had been living in. In fact, Oscar had no feathers on his belly or chest. The birds now look so different our volunteers are shocked. New, bright feathers are everywhere and the birds do fan dances and run just for the pleasure of it. This was a perfect match and we are very happy to have been able to rescue this pair who can easily live 20 more years.

Come meet Oscar and Big Bird (and bring a couple of papayas, their favorite snack).

Goodbye Dear Friend

One of the Sanctuary's best friends and staunchest supporters, Dr. Hal Markowitz, passed away September 13th with his loving wife Krista, daughter Jenny & friend Mike at his side. Knowing Hal for the past 14 years has been one of the unexpected miracles in our lives. His work in animal behavior and communication was some of the first I read as a student. It was so refreshing to read that an adult who was in a position to teach and be respected by others felt that animals had complex emotional and social lives. (Duh!) Of course they do, it just took Hal to point that out to the rest of the world. His work with behavioral enrichment devices leaves captive animals everywhere with freedom of choice in their environments and activities which helps promote normal healthy behaviors. His work continues in countless labs and zoological parks where staff now strive to provide new and varied activities for their charges. What an incredible legacy. We will always miss this dear man and cherish the help he provided to the Sanctuary over the years as one of our original board members.

What we need from you so we can keep caring for the critters

Regular financial support is needed to provide the food, water and medical care at the Sanctuary, as well as to provide for our educational programs. Without your generous support, none of this can continue. While grants do cover many large capital projects and expenditures, the day-to-day business and maintenance costs must be paid for by donations that you and others like you provide.

In case you were wondering, to feed and care for all these critters, our 2012 operating budget was over $75,000.

Every penny of your donation goes directly to animal care and educational programs. The Sanctuary is run 100% by volunteers. There are no paid staff here.

Please think of the animals this holiday season and give a gift that can do so much good. Adopt an animal for a month or even a year in our new online store There is an animal for every budget: from $6 to $70 per month.

Other fun gift items whose purchase directly supports the sanctuary include godparent certificates, new color t-shirts and car magnets, all of which can be ordered online

Another way you can support us is to consider naming the Sanctuary in your will or through planned-giving. There are many ways of taking the tax benefits on your estate now and leaving a gift to the non-profit of your choice. One way is as a Retained Life Estate. Some benefits may include: removing a major asset from probate, avoiding estate taxes, getting a tax-deduction and bypassing capital gains. All this, while getting to use the asset for your entire life! Join our loving circle of benefactors who have provided for the Sanctuary in their wills, trusts or bequests. You can learn more about these options as they may apply to you in any planned giving from a qualified estate-planning attorney. We suggest Darl Gleed, an estate planning attorney in Kona who can be reached at

All donations are 100% tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit facility (TIN 99-0344980).
We gladly provide receipts to our donors.

Check out for more info on the sanctuary and to learn how you can be part of it. Volunteers in Kona always welcome and visitors can book an educational excursion by appointment.
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Copyright (C) 2012. Three Ring Ranch, Inc. All rights reserved.