Animal Care

Animal Care Program – This includes serving regular meals of species-appropriate food, cleaning the animals’ enclosures on a regular basis, and providing health care and enrichment or play activities. More than 8,500 pounds of raw meat are needed to feed our Great Cats and Wolves... and another 9,000 pounds of Fruits, Vegetables, Fish and other kinds of food are needed to feed our Bears each week!  All of this food, as well as the related transportation costs, cold storage, and massive delivery systems in place cost the Sanctuary over a half-million dollars a year.

 

Wild Animal Care Program

It is the Sanctuary’s goal to get all the animals into a large acreage habitat with others of their own kind, so that they can experience life with plenty of space, diets of exceptional quality, expert veterinary care, and freedom from performing, traveling, or otherwise doing things Nature did not intend for them. 
Once the rescued animals arrive at The Wild Animal Sanctuary, they are given time in seclusion to get adjusted to their new home.  Depending on the level – and type – of abuse, the animals are rehabilitated with loving care, so that they learn they can trust humans again. 

Animals live in a variety of places on the Sanctuary grounds, based on their species and their relative newness to the Sanctuary.  Those living in the main compound have inside/outside enclosures, along with heated areas for winter.  They also have a wide variety of play structures, including pools for the tigers.  The main animal house has gates that allow the cats to take turns in the tiger pool area, which features a waterfall and large zoo balls for play.  Outside enclosures are spread with wood chips, which are cleaned and changed on a regular basis.  (to top)

Habitats – TWAS has 25 habitats, ranging in size from 5 to 25 acres.  These natural habitats are on rolling prairie grasslands, complete swimming ponds, trees and seasonal lakes.  The all have underground dens (that stay about 60 degrees year round), shade shelters and play structures, and all kinds of toys and enrichment. (to top)

Diet – The animals are fed on a random schedule, like they would eat in the wild.  This feeding process helps address their natural biological needs perfectly.  The Sanctuary feeds 8,000 lbs. of top quality USDA-inspected meats (beef, poultry, mutton, pork, etc...), blended with vitamins and other nutrients, to its great cats and wolves (about 2/3 of our animal population) each week.  The cost of this meat diet is around $450,000.00 annually. (to top)

We feed another 8,500 lbs. of everything to our bears each week.  While most of the bear food (fruit, veggies, eggs, fish, etc...) is donated, it costs the Sanctuary another $100,000.00 a year in transportation and cold storage costs (fleet of vehicles, gas, maintenance  and insurance, cold and freezer storage units).  As you can imagine, costs of food, transportation and storage make up the “lion’s share” of the Sanctuary’s budget! (to top)

Veterinary Care – We provide exceptional veterinary care for the animals.  Upon arrival, the animals are checked and vaccinated if necessary.   Since there is no breeding, male animals not already neutered must have that procedure when they arrive.  (All except for the African lions, who would lose their manes, so female African lions receive implants to depress their cycles.).   (to top)

TWAS Veterinary Hospital - The Sanctuary has its own Veterinary Hospital that was buit with all the necessary specialized equipment to comfortably accommodate animals up to the size of our largest animals - the 1,500 lb. grizzly bears.  The onsite Veterinary Hospital can handle the vast majority of medical issues the animals face, and utilizes a network of dedicated Veterinarians to cover the spectrum of animal medical issues.  Another goal of the Hospital is to provide educational opportunities for veterinarians and students who want to specialize in large carnivore care.  For serious medical issues requiring major diagnostic equipment such as MRI machines, the animals must be sedated and taken to Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where expert teams and state-of-the-art equipment can be utilized.

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