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San Diego Humane Society delivers food to animal sanctuary in San Bernardino Mountains

The Wildhaven Ranch in the San Bernardino Mountains is in crisis as they struggle to feed the animals while the 35-acre property is snowed in.

SAN DIEGO — An animal sanctuary in the San Bernardino Mountains is in crisis as they struggle to feed the animals while the 35-acre property is snowed in.

“We’re in a cataclysmic, once-in-a-lifetime, or once-every-fifty-years to have this kind of snow. I’ve been on this mountain since I was 9, so I haven’t seen anything like this,” said Diane Williams, Director of Wildhaven Ranch. “The problem is you can’t get to the animals because you’re just entombed in snow from 5-7-9 feet, so we had to be able to get snowplows many days throughout this whole storm, but we couldn’t keep up with it.” 

Williams called for help, and the San Diego Humane Society responded by driving up food and supplies Monday. A California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden met the SDHS crew at the bottom of the mountain to transfer the food items before taking them to Wildhaven Ranch. 

“There’s still really limited access to get up there, so we transferred all of our food items, which was everything from food for their bears, which is apples, carrots, yams, as well as meat, food for their bird of prey and their coyotes and their foxes, bobcats, things like that,” said Andy Blue, Campus Director for Project Wildlife Ramona. “There are food distribution areas for the residents up there, which certainly helps them, but there’s not much for the animals, so we want to make sure we can help them out.” 

Williams has been able to feed the animals, though it has been extremely challenging, sometimes hiring a snowmobile driver to get to all the animals.  The heavy snow is also causing damage to the animal enclosures. 

“The other stress is enclosures falling through because we just couldn’t manage that kind of snow on the top of the enclosures and the buildings,” said Williams. 

With another atmospheric river on its way by this weekend, it could worsen a bad situation at Wildhaven Ranch. 

“That’s why we have to get this done before Friday because, as the Fire Department captain told me when that comes through, it could add weight to all the snow that’s on the roofs right now because that will add water that will freeze, and that’s the end of that,” said Williams. 

The San Diego Humane Society is on standby if any animals need to be evacuated.  If you’d like to learn more about how to help Wildhaven Ranch, visit their website at wildhavenranch.org.

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