Bonnie Hart, 64, might have seemed like any average pet owner at first. The Texas grandmother owned a small dog and lived on a large property deep in the heart of Texas. Yet anyone who took a step into her back yard could see that this grandma was anything but ordinary.
If anything, Bonnie was a wild animal lover, and never was that more obvious than one day when she noticed that her dog was walking toward the house with some unusual friends in tow. What would have sent most folks running for the hills didn’t even phase Bonnie…
Many people would not expect Bonnie Hart, a 64-year-old former truck driver who lived in Texas, to lead a risky life. She was a grandmother who owned a dog and a nice property. By all accounts, she was pretty ordinary. But looks can be deceiving…
Talk to Bonnie for just a few minutes and you’d notice a very different side of things. What was so odd about this seemingly average grandma? It all began the day Bonnie saw her dog heading toward her property with two strange creatures trailing close behind…
She couldn’t have expected what she saw. “I’m sitting on the porch, drinking coffee… and here comes my black dog,” she recalled. “Wrapped behind him are two little black things following him.”
Bonnie didn’t know what she was looking at upon first glance. “I thought they were other dogs,” she continued. “And as they got closer, I went ‘Holy moly, they’re bears!'” That’s right—two bears followed her tiny dog home, and they were quickly approaching her house!
Barcroft Animals / YouTube
Amazingly, the bears didn’t attack her or her dog. In fact, they stuck around! Bonnie didn’t know their backstory, but she decided to keep them as pets, naming them Pebbles and Bam Bam. If that seems crazy, you’ll be stunned to learn what else Bonnie did…
Bonnie was also the proud owner of Anushka, a beautiful white tiger! She housed the big cat in a pen in her back yard ever since she was first gifted the tiger as a cub. Just looking at the two of them together would be enough to make your jaw drop!
Soon enough, Pebbles, Bam Bam, and Anushka were fully grown, and Bonnie since settled into her life as their permanent caretaker. Yet, as with most exotic pet owners, there was a great deal of risk involved. It didn’t scare Bonnie; she took her responsibility seriously.
Bonnie clearly loved and felt comfortable around her unusual pets, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t aware of the risks. “I have tranquilizer guns so we can tranquilize them if we have to,” she admitted.
Still, Bonnie didn’t think it was likely that she’d have to take those measures anytime soon. “Nobody’s going to be hurt, not unless you just climb into the pen and be stupid,” she insisted. She wasn’t shy about detailing her relationship with each of the animals…
“Pebbles can get a little cantankerous at times, and she’s slapped me with her claws, she’s bit at me a couple of times, but nothing, like, attacked me.” Bonnie knew things could get out of hand if she wasn’t on her guard—which made her next actions all the more shocking!
Despite the dangers, Bonnie actually allowed her own grandchildren to play with her pets! The kids agreed that it was risky. “I think it’s a little bit crazy that she likes having tigers and bears,” one of her granddaughters, Clara, admitted.
Another granddaughter, Raeanne, felt a bit differently. “I think it’s really cool. I mean, it’s definitely a different experience,” she said. “Bears are my favorite animal. Like, overall.” Not many grandmas would let their family get in a cage with one, of course.
Interestingly, the grandkids’ relationships with the bears were not the same as the ones they had with Anushka. “I don’t go in the tiger pen,” Raeanne admitted. “Because, you know, it’s a tiger.”
Bonnie’s family members weren’t the only ones who enjoyed her animals. Some people liked to visit them on a regular basis. “My neighbors, they love it,” Bonnie said, adding that they even brought their families along sometimes. While Bonnie seemed accommodating to her visitors, you wouldn’t want to try to get between her and her pets…
What would happen if somebody tried to take her animals away from her? Bonnie claimed she would, “Shoot them. Point blank. Come on my property and try to take my animals? I don’t care if it’s tigers, bears, horses, or dogs, somebody’s going to get shot.” Got it.
Aside from all of those risks, caring for her pets cost a great deal of time, effort, and, of course, money. “You’re looking at $1,000, $1,500 dollars more a month just to feed these animals,” she explained. That was more than some families spend!
Anushka’s carnivorous diet was particularly demanding. “I feed her probably between 14 and 20 pounds a day,” Bonnie said. “And she eats beef, pork, chicken, stuff like that.” Just like any good grandma, Bonnie treated Anushka to exactly what she liked.
Bam Bam and Pebbles, on the other hand, had tastes that were a bit more refined. “These bears…” Bonnie began, laughing. “I’ve tried fish. I’ve tried salmon. They don’t want it. They want their berries, their watermelons, their cantaloupes, their candy…”
They were predators, but that didn’t mean they didn’t have a sweet tooth! “They love cookies, marshmallows, they love anything that’s sweet, and they will almost mug you for honey,” Bonnie said.
Bonnie might have seemed, as her granddaughter Clara put it, “crazy” for keeping bears and a white tiger in her back yard. Still, when she interacted with them, her actions clearly came from a place of love!
Bonnie might have lived an unusual lifestyle, but she seemed happy and confident. It just goes to show that anyone can defy your expectations!
Share this fantastic story with your friends who love animals below!