Graystone rescue facility provides care, love for animals

  • Follow Metro
Overview of Graystone Ranch and and some of its animals.

Noah's Ark was built with burnt steel from a mobile home.

The Ark is actually a petting zoo at the 500-acre Graystone Ranch Educational Center in Hephzibah, and it's an example of Rusty and Kandi Eskew's resourcefulness with converting donations into homes for their 200-300 animals.

Graystone is a state and federally licensed animal rehabilitation center, sanctuary and preserve. It's one of the three centers licensed in Georgia for all types of animals.

"No one would ever set out to do what we do," Mrs. Eskew said. "It's a calling."

There is no typical day for the Eskews. One recent day they were chasing down rabbits that escaped from a pen and giving an oil rubdown to an albino Burmese python that had trouble shedding its skin.

Three of their daughters also chip in: Adrianna Rain, 11, takes care of the birds, Alexandria Jade, 9, tends to the snakes, and Annaistasia Paris, 6, cares for the geese.

The family also counts on about 50 active volunteers, "Keepers of the Ark," who help with everything from visitor education to cleaning stalls.

Nothing goes to waste at Graystone. Castoff items are re-purposed: A trampoline frame, for example, was converted into an animal shelter.

They also created a mobile reptile unit out of a 1974 GMC motor home, and an old Columbia County inmates van was turned into a colorful van for the tigers.

"Everything that comes down this driveway is put to use," Mr. Eskew said.

There are three categories of animals at Graystone: Native animals in need of rehabilitation; discarded pets; and farm and exotic animals. About 3,000 animals are rescued each year, 200-300 stay at the center.

Its residents include Todd, a gray fox, and Napoleon, a raccoon; Kamaul, a 4-year-old Bengal tiger; and Sunga, a 4-year-old Siberian tiger who appeared in the movie Two Brothers. There's also Avalanche the ferret, llamas, miniature potbellied pigs, horses, a Zebu bull, goats and donkeys, peacocks, parrots and reptiles.

The Eskews said faith shaped their view of the interaction between people and animals: That God has given people dominion over animals.

"After all, the original conservationist was Adam," Mrs. Eskew said.

They stage various corporate events and birthday parties to pay the bills. They sell passes during the summer to a lake and beach, and present concerts on their stage. Otherwise, appointments are required to visit the center outside of events.

Because of the religious basis of their center, they receive no government funding.

"As long as we keep doing what we're doing, it'll work out," Mrs. Eskew said.

Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or sarah.owen@augustachronicle.com.

IF YOU GO


WHAT: Graystone Ranch Wildlife Educational Center's Fall Festival. The weekend will include a petting zoo, hayrides, games, crafts, animal attractions including the tigers, a turkey shoot, music, cloggers and martial arts demonstrations. At night, there will be a DJ party Friday and a dance from 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday.


WHERE: 1017 McManus Road, Hephzibah


WHEN: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Nov. 15, and 1-8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16


COST: $10 per day, $15 for the weekend; children get in free per paying adult; each additional child pays $5


FOR MORE INFORMATION: (706) 554-9082; www.graystoneranch.com

Comments (27) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 09:27 am
0
0
Editors, please review this

Editors, please review this article and consider removing one of the photos for possibly unacceptable content before someone picks up on it and it faces the possibility of a transition to the kiddie porn sites. Somebody didn't think this one all the way through.

weatheringheights
0
Points
weatheringheights 11/06/08 - 09:45 am
0
0
Uhh, kiddie porn??? I don't

Uhh, kiddie porn??? I don't think so. While I may not let my child bare her abdomen, its hardly risque. Any one that finds that it is would probably find some of the pictures of the 'kid of the day' provacative.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 09:51 am
0
0
From a man and a father's

From a man and a father's viewpoint, there's more than just her midriff showing. Combine that with a large snake wrapped round her, and you have a combination that is dangerous. However innocent it appears to be at first glance.

chatty814
0
Points
chatty814 11/06/08 - 10:03 am
0
0
The picture is innocent and

The picture is innocent and when I viewed it the thought of "kiddie porn" or "provocative" never crossed my mind. I feel sorry for any "man" or "father" that tries to turn this photo into something that it is most definately not.

SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 11/06/08 - 10:40 am
0
0
Do they have Camels ? Camels

Do they have Camels ? Camels have the most beautiful eyes.

freedombelle
29
Points
freedombelle 11/06/08 - 11:07 am
0
0
Casting Fool, Seems you have

Casting Fool, Seems you have a past too....Leave the folks alone, they are doing a great job & let "the past" be forgotten. You're just nitpicking..Those girls are good kids, don't try to slander them..I KNOW WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND...FORGET IT...

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 11:12 am
0
0
"I feel sorry for any "man"

"I feel sorry for any "man" or "father" that tries to turn this photo into something that it is most definately not." And this is where I figured that this topic would go. I'm supposed to be a pervert because I'm a man or a father, or both? My guess is that all of the comments so far deriding my own comments are from women. It isn't what you as a woman think about the photo that's important, it's what some male pervert is going to think. And you're only going to get that information from a decent man who cares enough to say something about it. The picture is not" innocent". In my own opinion, it's borderline child porn. If you don't get it, tough. Don't deride me because I cared enough to say something in a public forum. Calling me names isn't going to change the fact that this is probably an inappropriate photo for the Chronicle.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 11:24 am
0
0
"Seems you have a past

"Seems you have a past too..." What? Who are you, "freedombelle", God? Gee, I guess I should "clean up my act" before all of the gritty details get posted here. I didn't "slander" the young lady, I questioned the Chronicle's wisdom in allowing the photo to be published with the article. You're all nuts. Fine. Let your daughters show as much body as they want. Go to church and then dance with the devil on Monday. Just don't come running to God when things get to hot to handle. God doesn't suffer fools lightly, especially when it involves children.

freedombelle
29
Points
freedombelle 11/06/08 - 12:37 pm
0
0
No, I am not God and yes I am

No, I am not God and yes I am a woman..Obvously we don't look at young girls the same way you do..There is NOTHING wrong with the picture. It was obviously made in the summertime and the weather was hot. So the child is wearing a midriff top which shows a little skin but unless you are prone to erotica or some such stuff you wouldn't see what you seem to be seeing. God also says judge not lest you be judged..and... He WANTS us" to come to Him when we need Him." He is ALWAYS there for us to turn to..and...NO He doesn't suffer fools lightly...
We aren't responsible for all the perverts out there...They are probably some in your neighborhood, they sure are everywhere else..Your opinion is just yours & mine is just mine but don't be a part of scare tactics...These parents are quite aware that there are fools out there and they are good parents..You don't hold a monoply on parenthood..You do what you have to do with your own children and let others be responsible for theirs..We all know there are threats around us and have to rely on prayer to see us through..MEN?????

daddyfrog1
4
Points
daddyfrog1 11/06/08 - 01:25 pm
0
0
I'm more concerned with what

I'm more concerned with what this kid has around her neck than her bare midriff.These are danderous snakes!I gleaned this from a site on Burmese Pythons:" No matter how tame & friendly the snake, it is a wild animal & subject to unpredictable behavior.No matter how long an owner has had the snake or how familiar it is with the family, hunger,fear,unease,& other factors can trigger instinctual behaviors."The number of people killed by these animals has tripled in the last few years.The site also said it takes two people to safely handle a snake as big as this one.What this child is doing is putting her in danger.Plus these people have a Bengal tiger & other large cats of prey.If you turn your back just once, they'll go for you.These animals need to be in a zoo not in a populated area, and certainly not around children.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 02:10 pm
0
0
"freedombelle", you have no

"freedombelle", you have no business, from a worldly standpoint or a Christian's to cast aspersions on my character. You do not know me at all. You are writing things that you do not know are true, and that is slander, plain and simple. You said "but unless you are prone to erotica or some such stuff you wouldn't see what you seem to be seeing..." and "obvously we don't look at young girls the same way you do...". Your first statement would have better read "but unless someone is prone to erotica or some such stuff they wouldn't see what you seem to think that they are seeing...". The words you used are slanderous and could be construed as such in a court of law. Your second statement is the same and would have better read "obvously we don't look at young girls the same way men do..." Men are visually stimulated. When you dress young girls like older women, exposing flesh that should be covered up in all modesty, you open them up to the desires of men who should know better. You should know better than to let your temper get the better of you and cause you to write things that are criminally wrong as well as sin. What a shame.

weatheringheights
0
Points
weatheringheights 11/06/08 - 02:13 pm
0
0
Something more than her

Something more than her midriff? And just what would you be referring to her arm? Maybe her face? Or OMG! You must mean her prepubescent chest? You are right, she needs to be wrapped in a burka and hijab immediately! Some freak may get the wrong idea.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 02:27 pm
0
0
I cannot believe that some of

I cannot believe that some of the folk here cannot see the point that I'm trying to make. Maybe it's just the condition of our society. Tell people that something is acceptable long enough, and they'll swallow it eventually. The combination of the girl's positioning, her extremely low belt line, and the snake add up to something that could be misconstrued as sexually enticing to men. Maybe you can't see it, but the potential of the photograph to be misused exists whether or not you personally think it does. Ask your pastors. If they're men, and honest, they'll tell you the truth. Y'all have fun being women and trying to "castrate" the poor fellow who tried to point out the problem with the photo.

freedombelle
29
Points
freedombelle 11/06/08 - 02:51 pm
0
0
Casting Fool, I don't know

Casting Fool, I don't know anything about your character but I do know you have a problem if you think a 9 year old looks like an adult woman. This picture is clearly a picture of a child NOT an adult...I have said nothing that is at all against the law but since you seem to know it all....I suppose you are a lawyer too...
I have a suspicion that you are of another religion other than mine and that's your right but don't try to push it on others. I sure haven't pushed mine on you..YOU mentioned God first..As for my temper I haven't lost my temper YET..It is NOT natural for grown men to be stimulated when looking at a child...And she is NOT dressed like a woman. As punkeysmom said maybe she should be dressed like a mummy.. And finally...I am an old woman 72 years old with four children 12 grandchildren & 3 great-grands and my grammer isn't great but my morals ARE..I hope God will bless you today and keep your thoughts clean. I also have already prayed for patience with people who different from me...Good day and Goodbye...

freedombelle
29
Points
freedombelle 11/06/08 - 02:53 pm
0
0
daddyfrog your post makes

daddyfrog your post makes much more sense.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 07:37 pm
0
0
No, I don't have a problem, I

No, I don't have a problem, I know how men think because I am one. Jesus became a man so he could understand our condition and redeem us. Does being a man make him a pervert, too? I'm not sure how you acquaint having kids and grandkids with proving your morality. You're also wrong about grown men not being able to be stimulated by a 9 year old, men can be stimulated by anything and everyone. Ask any doctor or psychiatrist. It takes a real man to control his impulses, and a godly man to keep that up for a lifetime. I'm not a "pervert" for being concerned that the photo has the potential of leaving the young lady open for exploitation. It can be easily saved to a personal computer and exploited in a dozen different manners. That's why I am concerned that it's available through the Chronicle. Personally, I don't think it should be.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/06/08 - 08:10 pm
0
0
The photo and article have

The photo and article have been reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children CyberTipline. As they're the experts, we can let them determine if it's acceptable or not. I'm quite willing to take their word for it either way.

mable8
4
Points
mable8 11/06/08 - 10:31 pm
0
0
Castingfool: Where IS your

Castingfool: Where IS your pea-brained mind? There is nothing "provocative" on the video or in the article. Nor is there anything remotely pornographic, whether adult or child related. Are you inferring the young lady's breast is too large? For pete's sake, you had to really stretch the imagination on that one. My grandchildren (ages 6 to 11) saw the video and were fascinated with the animals. Your prurient interests would make me worry if YOU were anywhere near my grandchildren! So you have reported the video and article? Well, your moniker says it all--you ARE a Casting Fool.

Rose
17
Points
Rose 11/06/08 - 10:39 pm
0
0
A beautiful video. Always

A beautiful video. Always people looking for the worst.

mable8
4
Points
mable8 11/06/08 - 10:39 pm
0
0
After reading all of your

After reading all of your comments, Casting Fool, I think you need to see a psychiatrist and find out why you believe innocent photos are pornographic. Be sure you kiss the devil tonight; he will certainly appreciate it.

corgimom
48249
Points
corgimom 11/06/08 - 11:43 pm
0
0
I think Casting Fool was

I think Casting Fool was speaking out of concern for that child. My concern was that they printed the full name of the child- and when I saw that her age was 9, I thought it was a typo, I thought she was older than 9. And I'm a woman. I would never let a 9 year old wrap a python around their neck- a python that big could strangle an adult.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/07/08 - 01:50 am
0
0
Thank you, "corgimom". At

Thank you, "corgimom". At least one person understands my concern. I can't understand how showing concern prompted so many "You're just a pervert" responses from people who don't even know me. My son and I live together, as he's in college here in Augusta. My wife and three of our children, God bless them, are with the Lord. I work hard, live frugally, and pay my bills on time. I won't even have HBO or other premium cable channels because of the content on them, and I'm careful with what I watch on the channels that I do get. I don't rent XXX movies or read pornography; for that matter, I don't even watch sports (might get flashed by a cheerleader.) I do have a temper, but I'm working on it. For 15 years I was faithful to my wife, until she passed away in '92. And I haven't been with anyone since, unless you count my dachshund and cat who sleep, one under the covers and one on my wife's pillow every night. :O) You only get decent behavior from from those who really work at it, and even some of those can fail you at times. I didn't look for something prurient in that photo, but I knew that some men would. I was wrong to comment, I should have just reported it to the NCMEC.

Casting_Fool
1223
Points
Casting_Fool 11/07/08 - 02:08 am
0
0
"mable8" wrote: "Well, your

"mable8" wrote: "Well, your moniker says it all--you ARE a Casting Fool." Yes, it does. I run several small companies and one of them is a miniatures company where I sculpt and cast miniatures in polyurethane resins. I was told that to do so was foolish, and I adopted the idea for the company name. I don't make much profit at it, but it's a fun occupation.

augdowg
0
Points
augdowg 11/07/08 - 08:45 am
0
0
WOW !.....If THAT picture

WOW !.....If THAT picture gets you going...you are a wack-job....IF you have a T.V. DONT turn it on..YOU will be SHOCKED at whats you will see on it..and DONT go to the Mall...

augdowg
0
Points
augdowg 11/07/08 - 08:45 am
0
0
WOW !.....If THAT picture

WOW !.....If THAT picture gets you going...you are a wack-job....IF you have a T.V. DONT turn it on..YOU will be SHOCKED at whats you will see on it..and DONT go to the Mall...

devilishlymad67
0
Points
devilishlymad67 11/07/08 - 08:48 am
0
0
casting fool, as the mother

casting fool, as the mother of 3 daughters i was concerned when I saw the pic so I asked a female co-worker and she was concerned. We are the type of parents who worry about child molesters. We know they are around. I never put my children in day care. I protected my children by not giving perverts a chance. I raised three beautiful daughters all who graduated and are/have attended college. All are in great relationships. And none had children while they were in their teens. Those that are proactive instead of reactive sometimes save our children grief.

TheGeorgian
621
Points
TheGeorgian 11/07/08 - 04:27 pm
0
0
Thank you, Chronicle, for

Thank you, Chronicle, for this article on the wonderful people and animals of Greystone Rescue. My husband and I would love to see the facility and to learn about adoptable animals. What a wonderful way for people to spend their lives! God bless.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Fort Gordon bus route under 30 day review

Even as an experimental bus route continues to drain money from the city coffers, Augusta Commission committee members unwilling to end service to Fort Gordon granted Augusta Public Transit 30 ...
Search Augusta jobs