|Cher opens Beaver Sanctuary |
By our animal welfare correspondent, Georgia Prince
|Mojave Desert, California — In the grand tradition of celebrities helping out those less fortunate than themselves, Cher has jumped on the bandwagon with the likes of Pamela Anderson, Alicia Silverstone, Jenna Elfman, and Montel Williams, and opened a Wildlife Sanctuary for tired old beavers too worn out to help themselves|
Tippi Hedren, best know for her role in the Alfred Hitchcock classic, The Birds, and for giving birth to Melanie Griffith, was the inspiration that Cher needed to motivate her in her new endeavour. Tippi operates the Shambala Preserve, a wildlife sanctuary for Siberian tigers, African lions and elephants, panthers, and many other animals, all born in captivity and cast off by circuses and zoos.
Utterpants caught up Cher at the grand opening of the Canadian Beaver Sanctuary and asked her how the project got started. "Tippi donated a portion of her land, right next door to hers, and that made the beaver haven a possibility," gushed the stunningly beautiful 63-year-old actress and singing sensation. "The Sanctuary is specifically designed for beavers who might be past their prime. They might be getting too old to gather wood, or to feed and care for themselves. Someone has to look out for them, stroke their fur, brush out the knots, to feed and bathe them, so they can feel proud of being a beaver again. It is my intention to help them any way I can. We are even going to have a mating programme where we introduce the older female beavers to younger studs to see if there is any attraction. I have to prove to the world that an old beaver is still a useful beaver. That is my mission."
Tragically, the first three Canadian Beavers died soon after arriving at the sanctuary. The first suffocated when a short-sighted visitor mistook it for a cushion, and the other two were eaten by a psychotic Siberian tiger that jumped over the impassable one-foot fence separating them. Cher insists that special precautions have been made for the safety of the next shipment of beavers due this week. “We have raised the fence separating the animals, and we have added some extra watering holes. We have even brought in some Canadian wood for the beavers to help acclimatise them to their new surroundings. It really is a joy to see them frisking about in the sunshine.”
Story and picture © 2004 Georgia Prince. Design © 2004 utterpants.co.uk/ 120704