PA animal facility prepares for winter

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East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue prepares for winter

Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Launched:11/22/2006 09:32:08 PM EST

Nov 23, 2006 — The bear snoozes, already denned up for the season. And the paying customers won’t be back until the leaves on the swamp maple’s bare branches return.
But on Jack Mountain, chores remain.


Belle, the macaque, needs to have her home heated. The alligator has yet to be taken inside from the pond.


At the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue, $500 would provide warmth for the animals through the winter.


Suzanne and Gary Murray run the rescue, a nonprofit in Fairfield, Adams County. They provide a home to lions, tigers, coatimundi, monkeys, apes, a bear, elk, antelope, parakeets, macaws, an alligator and other unwanted creatures cast off by pet owners once the animals have grown too big or by researchers once they have grown too old.


The rescue struggles financially, but there is never a shortage of people who call, wanting to know if the Murrays can take in just one more unwanted animal.


But what the Murrays need is money.


East Coast would use the money to buy 50 bales of straw and hay to insulate the big cats’ shelters. The Murrays pack the structures so tightly with the bedding material that it’s hard to imagine the lions and tigers could fit inside.


But the cats push their way in there, wiggle around and pack the straw and hay the way they like it, until they’ve got a snuggly home.


How would the Murrays pay for the bedding without the donation?


“It’s called a credit card,” Suzanne Murray said. “It would be nice to see a $500 balance in the bank to rely on, but that never works because there’s always something you need.”


Reach Lauri Lebo at 771-2092 or

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