Captive Wildlife Rescue Program – We rescue animals from all across the US, Canada, Mexico and South America, from a variety of situations…from being kept illegally as a pet, surpluses’ from zoos, from the entertainment industry (movies, TV, magic acts, circuses), from roadside stands and exotic animal auctions, and from other facilities that are closed due to animal abuse and sometimes public safety issues. Many animals have been confiscated by state or national law enforcement agencies such as the USDA or US Fish and Game. We also provide short-term foster care during pending court action, and permanent guardianship of the animals after legal custody is obtained. In addition to individual requests, we respond to calls from overcrowded zoos and other wildlife facilities, where animals face euthanasia due to overcrowded conditions. We rescue many animals each year, and the maps below demonstrate (1) all of the states we've rescued animals from... (2) the animals currently living here in relation to which state they came from... and (3) our International rescues.


State Rescue Map from Wild Animal Sanctuary on Vimeo.

International Rescues from Wild Animal Sanctuary on Vimeo.


Wild Animal Rescue

Since 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary has answered the call to rescue captive exotic and endangered large carnivores living in backyards, apartments, tiny cages, garages, crawl spaces, horse trailers, barns and other terrible situations. 

Our rescued animals come from private owners who have the animal illegally or find they are unable to properly care for it…surplussed from zoos…entertainment industry rejects or “retirees”…roadside stands…exotic animal auctions…other facilities that have been shut down due to animal abuse, public safety concerns, or financial problems.  The vast majority of our animals were confiscated by law enforcement officials, including the USDA, US Fish & Wildlife and various state and local law enforcement agencies.

TWAS has special rescue vans, trucks and trailers, along with custom built travel cages, all providing temperature controlled comfort for the animals during transport to their new home at the Sanctuary.  Rescues range from small – picking up two foxes a state away – to medium – saving an African lion, two tigers and a mountain lion from a crawl space – to large – rescuing a family of lions from Mexico City - to huge - rescuing 25 Bears from a facility closed in Texas.  Recent large rescues include working with Animal Defenders International to rescue and provide sanctuary for 25 Lions from Bolivia.   

The Wild Animal Sanctuary works closely with national, state and international law enforcement agencies; local, state and national agencies (zoning, health and welfare, for example); and government entities such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  These organizations depend on us to provide safe and humane wild animal rescue services.  We also work with zoos and wildlife facilities that are experiencing overcrowded conditions and need assistance.

TWAS provides short-term foster care during pending court action, and permanent guardianship of the animals after legal custody is obtained.  We rescue many animals each year, depending on the space we have available.

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