All of these animals were cruelly plucked from their natural habitats and sold on the black market. Fortunately, they were later rescued by an organization in California.
Because exotic animals, such as the African serval, the South American capuchin monkeys, and the Australian kangaroo, are considered to be cute, there’s a black market trade from which humans can collect them as pets. Unfortunately, when this happens, they lose more than their freedom. Sometimes, the animals also lose their lives due to negligence as well as living in conditions which are less than ideal.
Fortunately, the sanctuary Animal Tracks, which is located in Agua Dulce, California, specializes in procuring and caring for the black market pets. And recently, they teamed up with a Los Angeles-based photographer Natasha Wilson of De Anastacia Photography to showcase the creatures’ diverse beauty and strengths.
Entitled Where the Wild Things Are, the collection is both stunning and educational. It features models wearing color-coordinated outfits and incorporates vivacious nature-inspired backdrops that remind one of the habitats from which the animals were cruelly plucked.
Though many of the animals endured various forms of cruelty, they appear completely dignified and at peace in the series. Scroll through the captivating images below and explore each of their stories.
If you would like to support Animal Tracks, visit the organization’s website. Learn more: De Anastacia Photography, Facebook, Instagram
Scout is a 5 year old wolf/dog hybrid and is currently dealing with stenosis of the spine. He has the most amazing attitude for an animal that is part wolf. He is friendly to all and enjoys a good game of tug-o-war and long walks at Vasquez Rocks. Scout came from the movie industry where they realized that he had a medical issue and needed to have a specialized home.
#2 African Serval
Monzo is one of the last remaining animals of the original Animal Tracks family. He is an 11 year old African Serval, the mid size cat of Africa. He was confiscated by Fish and Game from someone who had him illegally. He is a sweet old man, always looking for some love, and is a great ranch ambassador for his species.
#3 Laughing Kookaburra
Bam-Bam is a captive bred Laughing Kookaburra, and approximately 9 years old. He was attacked by another bird and lost the bottom quarter of his beak. He is now dependent on the sanctuary to keep his beak short enough for him to drink and eat successfully. He is the voice of Animal Tracks.
Honey Bear and Luna are Kinkajous. Honey Bear is three years old, and has adopted Luna, a yearling. Honey Bear was a surplus animal in Florida at another facility. Luna was attacked by her mother while living in Minnesota. They are guardians of the night, one of the nocturnal representatives at Animal Tracks.
#5 Red Kangaroo
Bella Roo is a five-year-old female red kangaroo. She is married to the love of her life, Winston the wallaby and they have been happily cohabiting at Animal Tracks ever since they met. They love yams, spinach, romaine lettuce and warm sunny days. Animal Tracks is hoping for a good 20 years with them. Both Bella Roo and Winston were previously owned by people who were not permitted to have them.
#6 Cavy Family
The cavy family are around 2 years old. They came from Arizona where they were previously owned and the owner relinquished them for unknown reasons. They love shoelaces and monkey chow and are hoping for a sod garden this fall. The cavy family is a family of rodents native to South America, in the same family as the domestic guinea pig.
#7 Squirrel Monkey
Luke is a 7 year old Squirrel Monkey. He was privately owned, and got in a fight with another monkey which resulted in the loss of all of his fingers on his right hand. He lives with the love of his life, Princess Leia, quite peacefully, though he does still occasionally flirt with the ladies of Animal Tracks.
#8 Bengal Cat
Cheshire the Bengal Cat is now approximately 11 years old and has had several owners in his lifetime. The last one was a busy person and Cheshire needed more of the owners time. He started to do negative things like poop and pee where he pleased, shred curtains and bedding and even attack other pets. This is a common story for animals that are part domestic and part exotic. He now resides in a 200 square-foot kitty cat house at Animal Tracks, with his new best friend Monzo the Serval.
Porcupine Quillamenia (pictured) and her husband Al Sharpton have been happily cohabiting at Animal Tracks since 2008. They were surplus animals at another facility, meaning, this facility already had enough of their own and were trying to help find homes for others. Quillamenia and Al like to come out for long walks and visit the monkeys who will often save their own monkey chow just for them.
Jake and Cami are cockatoos, and both previously owned pets. The pet owners, for various reasons, could no longer care for them. These two are some of the nicest cockatoos you will ever meet. They love having lunch with the employees of Animal Tracks and enjoy musical groups like Queen and Blue Swede. The love talking, singing and even screaming.