Eco Station: Bobcats, Reticulated Pythons, Tank Busters and More

 

Where can you find a bobcat, a serval, a 17 foot reticulated python, alligators, giant tortoises, tank busting fish (aka oscars) and many more exotic species?  At the STAR Eco Station in Culver City of course!

Housed in an 18,000 square foot facility on the industrial stretch of Jefferson Boulevard, the STAR Eco Station is an environmental science museum and wildlife rescue center.  This last-chance refuge for illegally trafficked and abandoned animals, designed to look like an ancient Mayan temple swallowed up by the rainforest, is home to over 200 exotic and endangered animals.

Animals come to the Eco Station from all over the world in three different ways:

  • Stolen from the wild and confiscated by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services.
  • Confiscated after being kept as illegal pets.
  • Relinquished by people who can no longer care for them because they have outgrown their enclosure or outlived their owners.

The Eco Station acts like a foster care system for these animals and tries to find better homes for them.  Some of the animals who make good pets, such as chinchillas and small reptiles and birds, are available for adoption.

Meet the Animals

Jay the Bobcat/Lynx

Jay the Bobcat/Lynx hybrid
Photo Credit: STAR Eco Station – All Rights Reserved

 

Jay

Jay, a hybrid bobcat/lynx, was confiscated from an apartment in Burbank during a police raid.  His owner had tried to hide him in a suitcase!  Jay had been declawed and was in a lot of discomfort.  Declawing is incredibly painful and often results in lasting medical issues.  Declawing exotic cats is illegal in California and declawing domestic cats is illegal in eight cites in California (most in Los Angeles County – way to go L.A.!):  Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Culver City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Berkeley and San Francisco.  Thanks to The Paw Project, Jay had reconstructive surgery on his injured toes to ease his discomfort.  Check out Jay’s digs here.

 

 

 

 

 

Ibis

Ibis, a serval (3rd fastest land animal on the planet), who was rescued/confiscated from a truck driver who used to feet him bologna and hot dogs is another resident in the wild cat room at the Eco Station.

Ibis the Serval

Ibis the Serval
Photo Credit: STAR Eco Station – All Rights Reserved

 

Tuffy

Tuffy the Bobcat

Tuffy the Bobcat
Photo Credit: STAR Eco Station – All Rights Reserved

 

Guaco

Guaco, a very talkative Yellow Naped Amazon in his 70s, outlived his first owner and is fortunate enough now to be the EcoStation greeter.  Be sure to look for Guaco in his outdoor enclosures and say hello.

 

Samantha

Samantha the Toucan

Samantha the Swainson’s Toucan
Photo Credit: STAR Eco Station – All Rights Reserved

 

X.O.

X.O., the reticulated python, on a field trip with Corey Adolphus, assistant director of outreach at the STAR Eco Station

XO the Reticulated Pyton

XO the Reticulated Python
Photo Credit: STAR Eco Station – All Rights Reserved

 

 

STAR Eco Station Mission

The Eco Station’s mission, “preservation through education”, comes through loud and clear as visitors have the opportunity to see, touch and learn about the rescued wildlife during an hour-long tour led by knowledgeable staff members.  Educational displays highlight the importance of protecting our oceans and preserving wildlife.

In the Oceania exhibit visitors learn about ocean conservation, the effects of urban runoff, and how coral is the lungs of the ocean.

House Plumbing

House Plumbing Exhibit
Photo Credit: EcoBuzz Los Angeles – All Rights Reserved

The storm drain exhibit by Surfrider and the Santa Monica BayKeeper’s shows visitors how litter ends up in the ocean and where the waste water from your sinks, toilets and showers go.

An exhibit of confiscated goods from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service teaches preservation and how illegal poaching and killing animals for their fur, tusks, shells, antlers, etc. is detrimental to the ecosystem.

In the Reptile Kingdom guests learn what animals make good pets, what animals are better left in the wild and the importance of making sure pets are captive bred and not wild caught.

Visitors leave the Eco Station excited about the animals, inspired to make a difference, and ready to spread the word about conservation.

 

Background

STAR Eco Station

STAR Eco Station
Photo Credit: STAR Eco Station – All Rights Reserved

Erick and Katya Bozzi and their children, Erick Jr. and Katiana Bozzi, founded the STAR Eco Station in Culver City in 1997.  In addition to being selected as a “model program” by the White House and U.S. Department of Education and receiving numerous recognitions for their work in wildlife rescue and preservation, the Eco Station was the proud recipient of the prestigious Médaille d’Excellence from Fête D’Excellence, in collaboration with the United Nations, for their role in Youth Environmental Education in Geneva, Switzerland in 2001.

The Eco Station is designated as an official Wildlife Rescue Center by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In addition to visitor tours, the STAR Eco Station also offers birthday parties, eco summer camp, mobile exhibits, an annual Children’s Earth Day Celebration, and field trips with lessons aligned with the California State Science Standards.

For information about tours & hours click here.

To find out other ways you can support the Eco Station click here.

STAR Eco Station
10101 Jefferson Boulevard
Culver City, CA
310-842-8060
www.ecostation.org

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