Lions, Tigers, Bears…Oh Really! This Sanctuary Rescues Them All From Abuse

With so many house pets entering animal rescues every year, it’s easy to forget about their wilder cousins.

It’s not just cruel hunting practices that endanger our wildlife, though. People illegally take them in as pets, abuse them in circus acts, and trade them in the exotic animal market. In fact, this very live underground currency is the third largest source of illegal profits in the world!

That’s where The Wild Animal Sanctuary aims to help. Founded in 1980, today, it’s the oldest and largest sanctuary in the world devoted to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores. More than 400 lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and others call the Colorado shelter home.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) rescues exotic animals from around the country and world.

They’re victims of abuse in shopping malls, used as attractions in amusement parks, held as pets by people who don’t know how to care for them, and even taken from drug dealers.

Once at TWAS, they’re given top-notch veterinary care to assess their mental and physical health.

Most face years of recovery for the emotional scars left behind long after their external wounds heal.

But with over 720 acres, the animals finally have plenty of space to run, play, sleep, and interact with new friends.

Every animal has its own heartbreaking story…Mary Jane was a truck stop attraction in Texas. Her cubs “were sold to motorists who stopped to get gas.”

Yukon is a tundra wolf who was kept in an Iowa mall as an “educational” display. He was thankfully rescued and placed in the hands of the professionals at TWAS.

Amazingly, though, many of the animals are rescued from more credible zoos, where they’re set to be euthanized because of overcrowding or other sad reasons.

In addition to the wide open grasslands of the sanctuary, there are also lakes and ponds for the animals to explore.

Learn more about TWAS here:

This truly is a magical place.

If you’d like to visit, you can walk along the enclosures and see the animals enjoying life up-close! Please also consider contributing to their wonderful cause, be it through “adopting” one of the animals or donating.


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