Lovey bids farewell to Clark at Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bend |
Lovey lived next to Clark and his partner Lewis for eight years.
“They loved each other,” said David Fechter, owner of Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoo in West Bend.
Clark and Lewis are brown bears who came to the sanctuary like cubs in 2013.
They live in a two acre fenced pen next to a three acre pen where Lovey lived with other white-tailed deer.
Lovey was born at the shrine in 2012 and for over a decade visitors have loved her.
However, she suffered from complications of old age, dental infection, and give birth to twins.
Fechter informed Facebook followers of the Lovey State Shrine in a post on Tuesday, August 17.
“If you go to Shalom next week or so be sure to say goodbye to the sweetest deer ever, ”he wrote.
Coincidentally, Jessika Eirich, an amateur photographer from Sheboygan, was on her second trip to a week at the sanctuary on Saturday August 21 “I love going there to see all the animals. I love taking pictures of wild animals, ”she told Conley Media.
Eirich and a friend watched Clark and Lewis play in a pond, then walk towards the fence that separated the bears from the deer.
“We saw Lovey by the fence; she did not look in good condition. We knew it was only a matter of time when she was going to pass because she could barely walk, ”Eirich added.
Lovey made it to the fence and Eirich took the photo of Lovey and Clark exchanging the kiss.
“We were amazed by their interaction with each other. They clearly loved each other, ”Eirich said.
“As soon as I heard about Lovey kissing a bear through the fence, I checked out,” Fechter wrote on Facebook.
“Lovey was resting on the ground on her side of the fence and Clark was on the other side watching her,” he continued.
“I stood there for a long time staring at Lovey, too weak to stand,” he added.
She died on Sunday morning, a few hours after “The Kiss ”, which attracted more than 80,000“ likes ”on the zoo’s Facebook page, which has more than 113,000 subscribers.
Fechter has what some might consider a unique perspective on animals.
It is based on a life of observing animals – both wild and domesticated – while working on his grandfather’s farm and owning and managing a wildlife sanctuary for over 40 years.
He believes that animals are intelligent, sentient beings who can also communicate with each other. as humans open-minded and patient enough to closely observe and learn about animals.
In many ways, animals are like humans, according to Fechter; however, he believes that some are superior to people.
“Particularly some that still live in the wild and are not domesticated,” he explained.
Fechter, 61, and his wife Lana, 61, were newlyweds in the 1970s when they made their first down payment on the Shalom estate where he worked as a gardener. and she as a housekeeper.
They intended to preserve the 100 acres of forest near Highway 144, about 15 minutes north of downtown West Bend, but then decided to establish a zoo and animal sanctuary in 1979.
They acquired nearly 800 animals representing nearly 80 different species, including bison, deer, elk, mountain bighorn sheep, wolves, tigers, bears, cougars, zebras and a camel.
A four-mile path winds through the zoo and the sanctuary.
During the summer, visitors have the opportunity to walk or ride a rented golf cart along the trail and visit the animals that live in large enclosures, many of which replicate the animal’s natural habitat.
During the winter months, visitors can drive their cars through the sanctuary, observe animals, and take advantage of special events planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Admission fees vary from $ 10 to $ 14 for adults and $ 8 for children depending on in the month of year.