Animal Park to welcome new era at annual fundraiser
In 2004, a dozen lions and tigers arrived in Caswell County. As they settled in at their new home, the Animal Park at the Conservators Center, several newly arrived females had cubs, and thus a large new group of big cats set the Park off on a new, expanded mission. All of those cats spent the rest of their lives receiving specialized care and serving as animal ambassadors to educate the public about their wild counterparts.
When the community gathers at the Animal Park’s annual Lions, Tigers & Beer (and Wine!) fundraiser on Sept. 15, 2023, guests will come face to face with the four remaining lions from that group, now almost 19 years old—far beyond the species’ typical lifespan in the wild. While attendees taste local foods and beverages created exclusively for the event, they’ll be supporting these lions, their fellow residents, and the place that’s given them all a home.
Animal Park Founder and Executive Director Mindy Stinner says that caring for these animals throughout their lifetime is a privilege. “We have the honor of providing top-quality care for our residents,” she says. “As with any older loved ones, for these animals, expenses for things like veterinary care, medications, and supplements may increase with age.”
Those who’ve been regular visitors at the Animal Park over the years have been excited to witness its evolution. A new resident, Indra Tiger, is now capturing attention from guests, volunteers, and staff. And the evening of Lions, Tigers & Beer (and Wine!) will mark the dawn of another new era, as a new resident species is unveiled for the first time. Guests at the event will also get background on the growth that has taken this nonprofit from a small private operation to a beloved public destination for education, advocacy, and animal care, with the Park welcoming visitors every weekend for tours and other experiences. They’ll see the facility improvements that now allow the Park to accommodate more than 60 animals across 19 species.
Participants in the fundraiser will experience a special tour of the Park at dusk, when many of the resident species are most active, before sampling a menu of food and drinks inspired by the animals they’ve just seen. They’ll meet the chefs, brewers, and vintners who created the delicious pairings, while enjoying live music from singer-songwriter Kevin Holdson—likely punctuated by a few “backup vocals” from the resident lions, wolves, and other species.
Food and beverage sponsors will include The Angus Barn, Burlington Beer Works, Tanners Wine Bar, The Nomad, BODEGA, Bright Penny Brewing, Dingo Dog Brewery, Red Oak Brewery, and Trophy Brewing.
For more details about Lions, Tigers & Beer (and Wine!), visit animalparknc.org.