January 4, 2011

Animal Rehab Expert Spending A Month In The Lion’s Den

A Florida man has kicked off the New Year by vowing to spend a month with a pair of lions at the animal care center that he owns and operates, various media outlets are reporting.

Jim Jablon of Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando entered the lions' enclosure on Saturday, and will spend all of January with two cats named Lea and Ed.

They are two of the more than 100 creatures that his facility has taken in and cared for, and for the rest of the month, he will be living with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"Jablon plans on sleeping in the hay near them when they sleep and eating when they eat," Brian Hamacher of NBCMiami.com said in a Tuesday report. "The daredevil animal lover said he knows the risk he's taking on and has built a place to hide in the trees of the enclosure for when the lions' playing gets too rough."

Furthermore, the whole thing will be streamed live over the Internet, and Jablon hopes that the stunt will help him raise at least $200,000 for the non-profit facility, according to Hamacher.

"We are just trying to help the animals," Jablon told Eric Waxler of ABCActionNews.com. "We are not driving Cadillacs, we are not wearing Nike. I shop at Walmart. Everything goes to these animals. Whatever the last dollar is, it goes to these animals."

According to Waxler, Jablon says that it takes somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000 annually to keep Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando County (WROH) up and running, in addition to any major medical expenses that the facility might incur. That's why he's willing to go forward with the fund-raising effort, though he is aware of the risk.

"Especially if they're playing with something and you try to take it and you go near it, they go after you and when they fight with each other-- which they do--you don't want to be near them, because as soon as something touches them, they don't concern themselves with who's touching them. They're going to bite," he told Hamacher.

"It's going to be a really hard month for me and my family but we'd really like the community to try to step up," added Waxler.


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