St. Martin

Mar 22, 2011 7:22 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Exotic Animal Sanctuary Overloaded

An exotic animal sanctuary in Breaux Bridge just rescued hundreds of new animals.

Director of Sundown of the South, Brett Matte, said "if this bird didn't come here, the Winter will kill it and the Summer will kill it."

Lori Matte said, "a lot of times you'll find iguanas in trees, hedge hogs in the bush."

The Matte's said these type of rare animals often end up abandoned because someone buys them before knowing how much work it takes to care for them.

"There's maybe two animals here in my whole life that I bought--everything else around here has been brought to us to look after, " Brett said.

"Many animals come to us on their death bed and we save some and we lose some, but I'd like to believe we save more than we lose," Lori said.

One of the animals who needs the most help is a 5 year-old Wallaby. He has a serious eye infection and unless he receives medical attention soon, he'll die.

"The wallaby is suffering," Brette said. "He's ill right at the moment. He's got his infection bad now and we haven't been able to clear it up. Then we are having a lot of trouble finding a vet that will take him on."

The Matte's have been educating people about exotic animals through their business Zoo-Zoom for more than a decade. They said since taking on the task of rescuing exotics a few months ago they're expanding so fast, they don't have enough money to cover the added cost which worries them.

"Ten dollars--it's not going to buy two cups of coffee but it could feed an animal here for a week," Brett said.

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