Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

September 27, 2013

Animal sanctuary adding animals great and small

By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG — Be it a horse named Bill, a lion named Savannah, a cow name Five(O), or a kangaroo called Uluru, Jim Stapp loves them all.

Stapp’s not-for-profit animal sanctuary – Circle S Ranch – located on the outskirts of Greensburg, has grown significantly in the last year or so, with the animals above comprising but a small portion of the residents he’s recently welcomed to the facility.

Stapp was kind enough to provide the Daily News with a tour of Circle S Saturday afternoon and introduce this reporter to some of his latest additions.

Five(O) is probably the most noteworthy bovine Stapp has ever welcomed to Circle S. Donated by local farmers Danny and Elaine Ortman, visitors to the ranch may at first feel a twinge of pity for this calf. Five(O) was born with a fifth leg growing from near her shoulder blades just above her neck. According to Elaine Ortman, the extra appendage once belonged to a sibling with whom Five(O) shared the womb. That sibling didn’t live, but left a part of itself growing out of Five(O) to be remembered by for all time.

So why not feel pity for the deformed calf?

According to Danny Ortman, the extra leg saved Five(O) from the slaughterhouse. “The processors were going to charge us extra to take her,” he said.

The couple also considered donating the animal to Purdue University for research, but in the end decided to give her to Stapp. “We thought it [donating the calf to Circle S] would be a good thing to do for the community,” Elaine Ortman said.

Stapp concurred. “We hope she’ll grow old here,” he said.

Since her arrival at Circle S, Five(O) has been paired with a Belgium horse named Bill. Bill is another fairly recent addition to Circle S. Bill was a competition pulling horse who, after developing arthritis, was forced into retirement. While the muscle-bound, oversized equestrian paints quite a contrast next to Five(O), Stapp said the pair get along famously.

The baby red kangaroo Stapp introduced the Daily News to – Uluru – is just a whippersnapper as ‘roos go, but he won’t stay that way long. Stapp estimated that the dog-sized baby would be around six feet tall and weigh several hundred pounds when it reaches adulthood.

Savannah, meanwhile, a baby lion Stapp acquired in January, is already too big to be around anyone she doesn’t know. The frisky, bright-eyed feline, in fact, is kept in isolation at this point until she reaches a less rambunctious stage and until Stapp clears more space for her with his other resident big cats.

The Saturday afternoon tour also included a visit with Layla, a rare white tiger Stapp also acquired in the last year. Of course, Jogga, Rocky, Bellefille, Jasmine, Winston, Meeka and Africa – the remainder of Stapp’s big-cat brigade – were also on display at Saturday’s visit, lounging in their cages and soaking up the sun.

The Daily News also made the acquaintance of black bears Yogi and Boo-Boo and their cubs, Cocoa and Blue.

There was also a three-year-old, Dorito-loving camel named Oscar, a capuchin monkey named Willow, a fallow deer named Friendly, a gaggle of elk, a gigantic turtle, a pot-bellied pig and her young ones, and too many donkeys, rabbits and goats to count.

Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011