Out east in Alpine — on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest — is San Diego County’s only accredited big cat + bear sanctuary, Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB).
The countryside location is home to more than five dozen animalsrescued from the exotic animal trade — all under the care of LTB founder Bobbi Brink and her team. The no kill, no breed, no trade, no contact facility has been helping animals since 2002 — and for Bobbi, it’s a 24/7 passion.
We visited the sanctuary + asked Bobbi 15 questions about this special place, her ongoing mission, and the furry residents who call LTB their forever home.
This is Louie, a white lion now retired from the entertainment industry. | Photo via Lions Tigers & Bears
Q: What is Lions Tigers & Bears?
A: We rescue animals and provide a lifetime home for them. We’re also an education center. We work all over the country with first responders and help get animals out of places that they shouldn’t be. We are their voice. We work on laws that would protect them. We opened this site in 2002 — we started this from a cow pasture.
Q: How big is the sanctuary? How many animals live here?
A: It’s 93 acres. We’ve got 65 animals right now — 17 different species.
Q: What inspired you to open Lions Tigers & Bears 20 years ago?
A: Seeing how terribly these animals are treated. And I think most people not knowing about the exotic animal trade — and that it’s second to drugs, weapons, and human trafficking. And how badly the animals are not only treated, but they’re disposed of and they disappear — and there’s no federal tracking. We’re trying to create awareness and at the same time, help us do better by our exotic wildlife.
Lions Tigers & Bears is located at 24402 Martin Way. | Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday
South Bay Farmers Market | Wednesdays | 3-7 p.m. | Chula Vista Golf Course parking lot | Free | A gathering of South Bay vendors offering fresh, local goodies. 🥭
OB Farmers Market | Wednesdays | 4-8 p.m. | 4900 block of Newport Avenue, between Bacon + Cable streets | Free | This eclectic, beachside market is a prime spot to grab produce, honey, kombucha, flowers + more. 💐
Trevor Wallace | Wed., May 18 + Thurs., May 19 | 7 p.m. | The Observatory North Park | $47+ | Spend the night laughing with the comedian known for his YouTube and TikTok videos. 🎤
Roberto Fonseca | Thurs., May 19 | 6:30 + 8:30 p.m. | The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center | $63+ | Listen to the sounds of Afro-Cuban jazz — $15 food voucher included with tickets. 🎺
Mount Westmore | Thurs., May 19 | 8 p.m. | Pechanga Arena San Diego | $55+ | It’s a meeting of the West Coast rap legends: Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Too $hort + E-40 take the stage — with special guest Warren G. Mount up. 🎤
Salsa Under the Stars | Fri., May 20 | 6-9 p.m. | The Headquarters at Seaport | Free | Manny Cepeda + Orchestra light up the courtyard with toe-tapping tunes — just be ready to boogie. 💃
2022 California Wine Festival | Fri., May 20-Sat., May 21 | 6:30-9 p.m. | Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa | $70+ | A weekend of wine, food, sea + sun. 🍷
68º | Patchy clouds early — then, mostly sunshine | 0% chance of rain
Sunrise + Sunset
Rise: 5:48 a.m.
Set: 7:42 p.m.
Low: 6:07 a.m. + 5:09 p.m.
High: 12:46 p.m. + 11:32 p.m.
San Diego owes $840,000+ in overpayments from city services (business taxes, overpaid utilities, fees, etc.) to nearly 1,070 residents and business owners. The individual refunds range from $1 to $77,500 — check the Unclaimed Monies report to see if your name is on the list. 💸 (Times of San Diego)
The county reached a “topping out” construction milestone at the Southeastern Live Well Center site — a soon-to-be $74 million social service hub that’ll also offer workforce training + educational opportunities. The 65,000-sqft facility is located at the intersection of Market Street and Euclid Avenue and is set to open in summer 2023. 🏗️
After 10 years of selling home brewing supplies and craft beer, North Park’s Home Brewing Co. will permanently closethis Sunday. Owner George Thornton said he’s feeling “lots of gratitude and excitement and sadness.” He’s currently liquidating the storefront — with markdowns on everything from merch and crowlers, to yeast + hops. 🍻
There’s a new speakeasy in town: Convoy Music Bar, an upscale, 40-seat space hidden next to the new Taco Stand on Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa (the entrance is in an alley behind the strip mall). Modeled after a Tokyo listening bar, patrons will find craft cocktails + vinyl playlists curated by nightly DJs. 🍸 (Eater San Diego)
Tomorrow is SANDAG’S 2022 Bike to Work Day. There will be 100 pit stops along this year’s route from 6-9 a.m. where you can stop to rest + pick up a free T-shirt and snacks. Register for the ride — which you can join even if you’re teleworking. 🚲
SANDAG wants to know how local roads, highways, public transportation, bike lanes + sidewalks are used by San Diegans —
and how to improve them down the road. The agency is seeking public input in this San Diego County Transportation Study — and you could win a $25 gift card for participating.
“A Kind of Heaven” — an exhibition featuring works by SoCal artists who imagine the world as another place — debuts this Saturday at the Oceanside Museum of Art. The museum will host a special event from 5-7 p.m. celebrating the opening of this exhibition and three others. 🖼️
UC San Diego is remembering Franklin Antonio — a generous alum (and co-founder of Qualcomm) who donated $30 million to advance the programs at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Franklin died recently but left a big mark on campus: Franklin Antonio Hall, a 200,000-sqft building used for engineering research + collaboration. 🥽 (UC San Diego News Center)
The Mighty Bin — a new zero-waste grocery store on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park — will celebrate International Tea Day this Saturday with a free tea tasting from 12-2 p.m. Sips will include the store’s mint tea + vanilla rooibos tea. 🫖
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Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Valley Center (aka “Funner, California”) has appointed its newest celebrity “mayor” — “Glee” actress Jane Lynch. She succeeds mayors Rob Riggle + David Hasselhoff (you’ve surely seen The Hoff commercials and billboards over the years).
Clad in purple power suits instead of Sue Sylvester-style track suits, Jane will serve as Harrah’s ambassador and face of its advertising campaign. She’ll help promote the North County resort’s latest offerings over the summer, including the launch of Chef Gordon Ramsay’sHell’s Kitchen restaurant, as well as entertainment + concerts.
Editor’s pick: My husband and I took our girls to Sesame Place San Diego in Chula Vista last weekend and we had so much fun splashing around the pools + water slides. Oscar’s Rotten Rafts gave us a thrill (it’s much faster than it looks, so hang tight), while Big Bird’s Rambling River was perfect for relaxing (definitely more my speed) — a 1,250-ft lazy river where you grab a tube and unwind. We even saw the parade as we floated along.🩱
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