Just down the road in Keenesburg, Colo., one can find lions, tigers and bears – along with bobcats, camels, coyotes, emus, leopards, lynxes, mountain lions and wolves – at the Wild Animal Sanctuary. As the oldest and largest non-profit sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere, the Wild Animal Sanctuary is exclusively dedicated to rescuing captive exotic and endangered carnivores and giving them large-acreage, species-specific habitats. In addition, the sanctuary has an elevated walkway – “The Mile Into The Wild Walkway” – where visitors can view the animals from a safe distance without putting any pressure on them.Why these animals? Because of the high cost to feed these creatures, and the high level of danger associated with caring for them, large carnivores are more likely than any other animal to face euthanasia. The Wild Animal Sanctuary, established in 1980, has responded to more than 1,000 requests from private citizens and government agencies to rescue animals.
Visiting the sanctuary
The public is invited to visit the 720-acre sanctuary that houses more than 330 carnivorous animals. The entrance fee of $7.50 for kids ages 3-12 and $15 for adults helps ensure that these creatures are well cared for and safe. They’re open every day – except New Year’s Day, Fourth of July and Christmas Day – from 9 am to sunset.