If you wish to access all of the audio files along the Walkway (to use your phone instead of the kiosks), please go to our main Audio Tour page.
Audio Kiosk #12
On either side of you live Hyenas. Both of them are quite old, being in their mid-20’s. They began their lives at the University of California in Berkeley, as a part of their captive Hyena colony used as research subjects for the university’s Hyena vocalization studies program. At one time Cal Berkeley had the largest captive Hyena colony in the world with 54 animals. There is quite a bit of information about this program on the Internet if you are interested in learning more. However, eventually the research ended and the university was forced to find new homes for their Hyenas. A number of them ended up at the Wildlife Waystation outside of Los Angeles. When the Wildlife Waystation closed its doors in the summer of 2019, the Sanctuary was asked to give these Hyenas and a number of other animals a permanent home. The Sanctuary gladly agreed and now these two senior Hyenas can live out the rest of their days in peace. Somewhat surprisingly, we have found that they are much more visible in cooler weather, and if you’re lucky and are here very late in the day, you may hear them making a wonderful whooping sound that you’d expect to hear on the Serengeti!
Carnivore Nutrition Center
The tan building just to the east is by far the most important building on the property! Certainly that’s the case if you ask any of the animals. This is the Carnivore Nutrition Center where, in the months when the Bears are awake, 80,000 pounds of food a week or so is processed. When the Bears are hibernating that number drops to about 40,000 pounds of food a week for the carnivores. All of the food is currently donated from big-box stores located in the Denver metro area. The Sanctuary has three trucks and three drivers that go to over 60 stores each week up and down the front range of Colorado. This excess food, often having 2 or 3 days before expiring, is then brought to the Nutrition Center where our army of wonderful volunteers sort the food and prepare it into diets for the animals. The carnivores primarily eat frozen meat blocks that are a combination of beef, poultry and pork to which eggs, vitamins, minerals and other supplements are added. The Bears eat primarily fruits and vegetables along with fresh fish, seafood, grains and some red meat. The Grizzly and Brown Bears eat a great deal more red meat than do the Black Bears. Typically, the carnivores are fed 3 to 4 times a week while the Bears have food in front of them all the time since they are foragers, just like humans.
If you look to the west you will see a modular home in which employees live. The lower level is the Sanctuary’s well-equipped veterinary clinic. The animals that are rescued and live at the Sanctuary enjoy world-class veterinary care that is provided in many different ways. The Sanctuary has a full-time veterinarian and veterinary technician that work closely with the Animal Care staff and keepers. Most primary care is handled here on-site. The clinic is specially designed with a lifting system so that animals weighing hundreds of pounds can easily be moved around the clinic and into position for surgical procedures. The sanctuary also works very closely with the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins. The teaching hospital is able to provide specialized doctors and care as well as provide CT imaging and MRIs when needed. Additionally, the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, located right here in Colorado, provides critical root canal therapy and other advanced dental care. Believe it or not, the number one health problem at the Sanctuary is simply old age and the chronic conditions that accompany it. As they age, many of the animals begin to suffer from osteoarthritis and other muscular-skeletal problems associated with their previous lives where they did not receive adequate nutrition, were perhaps declawed, and spent all of their time on hard, concrete surfaces. We are proud of the care we give each animal and know that it is only through the generosity of our supporters that allows us to continue such high quality care for the animals.
As you look towards the veterinary clinic you may see various hoof stock animals like Llamas and even an American Buffalo or Bison. Yes, the Sanctuary is primarily devoted to rescuing large carnivores, but sometimes other animals just need a home. For example, one of our rescued horses was part of a package deal when we rescued a Tiger from an elderly woman in Oregon. “How are we able to take in these other animals?” one may ask. The Sanctuary does not extend its carnivore habitats up to the road but rather, leaves about a 200-foot buffer. This prevents people from doing dumb things along the road. As a result, there are many acres of pastureland available for our rescued hoof stock, and allows our making a good use of otherwise unused land. Many long-time supporters may recall the herd of Alpacas that was rescued in 2012 which now lives very happily at the Refuge. Visitors may also see Camels, Horses and even a couple of Mules that were faced with being euthanized when their entire substandard facility was completely shut down.