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Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch Takes in Two Rescued Exotic Antelope

East Texas Sanctuary Mourns Deaths of Two Antelope Who Died During Transport from Rhode Island

With great sadness, The Humane Society of the United States reports the deaths of two exotic nilgai antelope rescued by a Rhode Island resident from a shuttered New York game farm, who were being transported to sanctuary at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas. Additionally, during the process of obtaining medical clearance for interstate transport, another of the nilgai broke out of the enclosure and escaped into the surrounding woods. Authorities in Rhode Island continue search efforts.

“Few things are more heartbreaking than trying to rescue animals from peril only to have them perish,” said Ben Callison, director of the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. “This tragedy illustrates why exotic animals do not belong in captivity, and that there are few good options for them after they are cast off from abusive industries. Sanctuaries are often the last option for these creatures, but unfortunately such rescues and transports are very difficult even under the most professional and responsible care.”

Two antelope from the original group of five arrived at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, where they will be quarantined, given medical screening and care, and then lifelong sanctuary.

The HSUS was called in to provide sanctuary for these animals from a private owner in Hopkinton, R.I., who lacked facilities to safely house the animals. The nilgai came from an auction at the Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, N.Y., which shut down in 2006. The process involved cooperation with the Rhode Island state veterinarian, Texas Animal Health Commission and a Tufts University veterinarian. A licensed professional hauler was used to transport the animals.

When one of the male and one of the female antelope showed signs of distress en route to sanctuary, the driver made an emergency stop at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Va. One of the female antelope died prior to arrival and the male antelope was euthanized there after his condition worsened. Necropsies are being conducted and results are expected in a week to 10 days.

Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, a 1,250-acre sanctuary owned and operated by The Fund for Animals in partnership with The HSUS, is the nation’s largest and most diverse animal sanctuary. It is home to more than 1,000 domestic and exotic animals, rescued from cruelty and neglect cases, slaughter plants, invasive research laboratories, unaccredited roadside zoos, the exotic pet trade, and other situations. Bison and cattle, horses and burros, antelope and apes, camels and llamas, all have permanent, safe homes at the sanctuary, which was founded in 1979 by Cleveland Amory, author and animal advocate.


Media Contact: Heather Sullivan, 240-477-2251, hsullivan@humanesociety.org

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.


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