We hosted our annual fundraising event, Paws and Claws, last Sunday, October 23. It was a great success, with the weather cooperating (started a little cool but warmed up), just about a full house and lots of action. The fun started with a special VIP reception where our guests learned about owls from Jim Tigan of Raptor Adventures. They got to see Louise, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, close up and even get a photo holding her. Our signature sangria was offered at the door by our smiling bartenders, Bob and Nova.

Then off to tour the park – all the animals were out and active and entertaining for the crowds. Our guest speaker, Tasha Dhendup from Bhutan, gave fascinating talks about his research on tigers in the Himalayan mountains. He is studying for a master’s degree at the University of Montana, and Animal Ark is supporting his research with a donation.

Dinner was served – again provided by Pockets Grill, known for their savory tri-tip! The menu also featured chicken and a vegetarian option. Guests were competitively bidding on dozens of Silent Auction items, and the “Pawtique” was open for business offering handmade goods and jewelry imported from Africa.

After dinner, the raffle prizes were awarded, and the excitement was up for the live auction items. Some fabulous prizes were donated this year for both the silent and live auctions. We really want to thank everyone that supported us with their donations.

After dinner, the amazing desserts were again provided by the Eldorado Hotel and Casino. These desserts were  created especially for Animal Ark, and are always a big hit.

And of course, we capped off with a cheetah run! The guests got to see Jamar and Moyo run around the long course at top speeds. This is always a tremendous crowd-pleaser for Animal Ark! Our cheetahs love to run and never cease to amaze with their athletic abilities.