Though we come from deep forests, from the edges of deserts, from snowy mountain ranges, from dense wet jungles, we are now part of your community. Who are we? We’re the cast-off, unwanted wild creatures whom man brought to civilization, bred and profited from, and no longer has use for… We are CAPTIVE WILDLIFE… Lions, Tigers, Jaguars, Leopards, Mountain Lions, Bears, Wolves and other Wild Species. We number in the thousands, and we are starving, cast off, abused, abandoned, exploited, confined in tiny cages, illegally kept and traded, and bred for profit - not Love
Just How Big Is This Problem?
There are over 30,000 large carnivores being kept privately in the United States today (which means they are OUTSIDE the Zoo System! )
Approximately 15,000 of them are tigers (which is far more tigers than remain in the wild!)
Each day, dozens of these animals become homeless or abandoned (and face euthanasia if authorities can’t place them in properly licensed Facilities)
How Dangerous is this Problem?
There have been at least 7 people killed and 31 people injured by tigers in the United States since 1998, according to Phillip Nyhus, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Franklin Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. Several of those attacks have been in Texas, where pet tigers recently killed a 10 year old girl and bit off the right arm of a 4 year old boy.
“We get calls from people who have acquired an animal - it may be a wolf or a big cat or maybe even other animals, like monkeys - and they don’t know what to do with them,” said Spence Conley, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “When the animals are puppies or cubs, they are wonderful and cuddly, but they are not trainable. And the next thing you know, the animal is jumping on your table to eat your turkey.”
“We’re seeing more of these pop up around the country, but there’s really no comprehensive approach to regulate what people have in their homes,” said Craig Hoover, of the World Wildlife Fund.
Tigers are popular - so popular that there are more privately owned tigers in the United States than remain in the wild around the rest of the world, according to animal rights organizations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has even had to print a special public document titled “Large Wild and Exotic Cats Make Dangerous Pets,” showing a picture of a full-grown tiger on the cover.
“The problem is getting out of hand” says Pat Craig, the sanctuary’s Executive Director , “as people are beginning to take these animals out into the country side and let them go - just like people have done with dogs and cats for many years - only now, these animals can end up killing someone!”
What can be done to Help this Problem?
Support A Wild Animal Sanctuary (they are the only place these animals can go)
Get Educated about this Crisis and learn how to be Effective (be part of the solution… become proactive in your area and spread the word about Captive Wildlife)
Support Legislation that will make it illegal to own or breed Wildlife
How did these animals end up in a Sanctuary?
Zoos Breed Their Animals To Get Cute Babies So They Can Increase Attendance Numbers (this practice causes great amounts of “surplus” animals being placed outside the zoo system… being sold, or dumped into the private sector)
Private Citizens Purchase Exotic Animals (many people believe they can own one as a pet, and others try to open a petting zoo, or road side attraction to make money displaying them - but many fail - leaving the animalsto be abandoned, or confiscated and possibly euthanized by authorities)
Private Citizens Breed Them To Sell As Pets (this only adds to the ridiculously high numbers of Captive Wildlife living outside of our public zoo system)
Why is The Wild Animal Sanctuary such a Special Place?
A true sanctuary for abused, abandoned, exploited and endangered exotic Captive Wildlife, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is home to over 200 of the most magnificent creatures onthis planet….African Lions, Tigers, Jaguars, Leopards, Mountain Lions, Servals, Bobcats, Wolves and Bears. This unique refuge for Captive Wildlife is like no other….here, the Animals who have suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment, commercialization and exploitation get to “come home”…. home to a wonderful safe haven that provides them with spacious indoor-outdoor living quarters, large habitats, the best quality food available, and lots of free time to roam, play and swim on the Center’s 240 acres…. and those most important ingredients to a happy life…. lots of love, affection and interaction.
Started in 1980 by Pat Craig, a 19 year-old college student who could not condone the euthanization of healthy animals by zoos, government agencies, and other facilities, TWAS continues today as a shining example of the “right” thing to do for captive wildlife. Rescuing Animals in dire need, rehabilitating them with love and affection, and providing them with an exceptional quality of life, the Sanctuary also actively promotes public education - about the serious crisis of Captive Wildlife in America today - through presentations and educational modules. The vast majority of the sanctuary’s rescued animals came from official confiscations by law enforcement agencies - who had no choice but to intervene on the animals behalf - since so many people either failed to care for the animal properly, or were keeping them illegally.
After everything the Animals have endured before coming to live at TWAS, it is the Sanctuary’s commitment to provide a home where they can safely live in peace. TWAS does not breed or sell its Animals, nor are they used for commercial purposes. The Sanctuary is set up to allow visitors on a daily basis - but does so with an elaborately constructed viewing system, which protects the animals’ privacy and welfare. People interested in learning more about the Captive Wildlife Crisis can come to the Sanctuary, tour its Education Center, and see the rescued Animals.
TWAS is a 501(c)3 public non-profit sanctuary, and receives no government funding. The Sanctuary’s annual budget comes primarily from individual donations from people like you. As a nearly all-volunteer organization, the money raised goes almost entirely to feed the Animals, heat their compound in winter, pay for Veterinary care, and for facility expansion and maintenance. Rising costs, plus the ever-increasing number of Animals in need, make fundraising a constant challenge for the Sanctuary.
Won’t you please help us save some of the most magnificent creatures on Earth!
1946 WCR 53 * Keenesburg, CO 80643