RESCUE STORIES

 

TIGERS

Tajah: Minnesota Law Enforcement Seizure -Tajah was confiscated after being found with a chain on her neck in the back yard of a house in Minnesota. The man keeping Tajah had ignored the state's law banning the ownership of Tigers, and so authorities had to confiscate her and seek out a proper home for her. They contacted our Sanctuary and a rescue team immediately went to Minnesota to bring Tajah to her new home.

Athos:  Born to Rescued Tiger - Athos was born shortly after his mother was rescued and brought to TWAS.  He was raised in the office with Eddy, the Black Leopard, since our enclosures are not designed for cubs.  We do not breed and therefore do not have a nursery, so the few that are born here – to newly rescued animals – are usually hand raised.

 

Frida I: USDA Confiscation (Circus) - Frida was rescued from a Mexican circus touring the United States in June, 2008. The USDA stepped in after one of the other animals in the group of seven died, and Frida had been hurt by the other adult Tigers in the circus.

Chase: Private Surrender - Chase was purchased by a couple who wanted a pet Tiger when he was only three days old. He lived alone in a small cage in the backyard of a house in Missouri for seven years. Now at TWAS, Chase is learning how to be a Tiger again and is making new friends with the other Tigers so he can one day roam freely on wild open spaces.

Simon & Sophie: Born to Rescued Tiger —Shortly after their mother was rescued and brought to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Simon and Sophie were born, and were raised at the Sanctuary.  They now live a worry free life in a large acreage habitat with plenty of room to play!

Hamilton:  North Texas Humane Society Confiscation - Hamilton was found in a cage on the back porch of a lady’s house.  The neighbors had called the Humane Society because of the tiger’s living conditions, as well as being afraid he would escape.  It turned out to be a valid concern—as a few days after Hamilton was rescued—a tornado tore through the area and destroyed the lady’s house.

 

Mowgli, Kiara & Simba:  Idaho State Court Ordered Surrender - Female Tigers Mowgli and Kiara and male Tiger, Simba, were being kept by an exotic animal breeder in the State of Idaho.  They and many other Tigers were kept and moved from county to county by a man that was avoiding new regulations that were being put in place to stop him and other people from breeding and selling exotic animals as pets.  Finally, state authorities stepped in and obtained a court order shutting down the operation.  The Tigers now live freely at the Sanctuary, and enjoy the company of other rescued Tigers.

 

Milo:  Ohio Roadside Zoo Surrender - Milo, a male Tiger, was kept in a small cage inside a tiny roadside zoo along with many other animals that were supposedly “rescued”.  However, after many animals suffered from lack of proper care, and others died, the USDA decided they had no choice but to confiscate Milo and other animals for their own protection.  Yet, just hours before they were to be confiscated, the facility owners decided to “donate” the animals to our Sanctuary in order to avoid the stigma of having them legally taken away.  Milo was able to be rescued and brought to the Sanctuary and now lives with other Tigers that are going through our rehabilitation process, so they can have and live in their own large acreage natural habitat.  With his newfound freedom and better accommodations, Milo has a wonderful new life ahead of him.

 

Timara:  Ohio Roadside Zoo Surrender - Timara is a female White Tiger that was rescued from a roadside zoo in Ohio that failed to care for their animals.  With freezing temperatures, no heat or adequate shelter and nutritional deficiencies, Timara’s coat of hair failed to shine as brightly as it should and she was underweight.  Yet, in a much cleaner environment, and with a lot of well-balanced food flowing through her digestive system, Timara is transforming into a beautiful snow-white Tiger and will live freely at the Sanctuary, enjoying her new life with the company of other rescued Tigers.

Cucho:  Mexico Government Confiscation - Cucho is a male Tiger that was confiscated by the Mexican Government agency known as PROFEPA because of a history of severe medical neglect.  Due to unknown previous abuse and neglect, Cucho suffered from severe paralysis in his back limbs which made it impossible for him to sit up or walk.  Fortunately, his initial rescuers didn’t give up on Cucho and after various spinal therapies he is now able to walk again.  Since arriving at the Sanctuary, Cucho’s recovery has steadily progressed with his improved care and living conditions.  This handsome Tiger will now live out the rest of his life with dignity and lots of loving care in the company of other Tigers.

 

Diego:  Mexico Government Confiscation - Diego is a male White Tiger that was confiscated by the Mexican Government agency known as PROFEPA due to a history of severe abuse and neglect.  He was rescued from a roadside Zoo where he used to be      sedated regularly so people could take pictures with him.  Thankfully Diego did not suffer from organ damage or other lasting effects related to this terrible practice, but he did show signs of stress through self-mutilation activities.  Diego was very thin when confiscated as a result of poor nutrition and an overall lack of concern for his welfare... but has been able to gain weight and calm down since being rescued by our Sanctuary.  Diego will now be able to live a wonderful life with other Tigers in a large acreage habitat, and will never have to pose with people again!

 

Frida II:  Private Forfeiture - Frida, a four year-old female Tiger was kept by a private owner in Mexico who purchased her as a cub at a pet shop, thinking he would be able to keep her as a pet.  For 22 months Frida lived in the man’s backyard, chained to a wall that caused her pain and discomfort as the chain collar dug into her neck.  Due to a very unhealthy diet and lack of adequate space to move in, Frida grew to be morbidly obese.  Eventually realizing that a Tiger cannot be a pet, the owner surrendered her to a wildlife rescue organization that works on a regular basis with our Sanctuary.  Frida was kept at their facility as she regained her health and until she was able to be transferred to Colorado - where she will now be able to live and thrive in one of the Sanctuary’s large acreage habitats.

 

Grumpy & Louise:  USDA-mandated Relinquishment - Male Tiger Grumpy and female Tiger, Louise, were two of 24 animals suffering from declining care at an animal rescue facility in Spearfish, South Dakota.  Accepting both domestic and exotic animals, the facility began to suffer from overcrowding and mismanagement.  As a result, the USDA stepped in when many of the exotic animals, including Tigers, a Lion, Wolves and Bears, showed signs of being undernourished.  Because the facility’s director was initially unwilling to surrender the animals, the USDA was prepared to legally confiscate the  affected animals.  However, at the last minute the director acquiesced and the animals were surrendered to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  Grumpy and Louise and the rest of the animals can now look forward to living out the rest of their lives with plenty of food to eat and acres and acres of room to roam!

Simba:  Circus and City Zoo Forfeiture - Female Tiger, Simba, began her life in a circus in Mexico where she was treated cruelly with minimal care.  When Mexico passed a ban on circus animals she was then dumped at a zoo in Tijuana where she waited for a permanent home—locked away in a small, behind-the-scenes enclosure.  The Wild Animal Sanctuary worked tirelessly with Mexican authorities to rescue her and she finally made it to the life she deserves—full of respect, love, care and living with other Tigers.

Pearl:  Court Ordered Relinquishment - Female Tiger, Pearl, along with nearly twenty other Tigers spent their lives at a facility in Dade City, Florida where people could pay to interact and swim with Tiger cubs.  Removed from their mothers at only a day or two of age and forced to interact and swim with paying guests, such abusive treatment was determined to be in violation of the Endangered Species Act.  After an illegal journey through a notorious Tiger breeding facility in Oklahoma (Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park of The Tiger King series), the Sanctuary was finally able to rescue Pearl and the other Tigers so that they now live wonderful lives in large-acreage habitats with other Tigers—free from human exploitation.

 

Fireball:  Oklahoma Roadside Zoo Surrender - Male Tiger, Fireball, was one of 20 Tigers rescued from one of the most notorious Tiger breeding facilities and roadside zoos in the country (Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park of The Tiger King series).  Most likely born there and used in their pay-to-play-with-cubs racket, Fireball would have quickly outgrown that use and then spent years languishing in a small cage.  Fortunately for these 20 Tigers the owner opened a short window where he agreed to release them and the Sanctuary was quick to step in and give the Tigers a new lease on life.  Fireball can now look forward to a wonderful life with lots of love, room and living with other Tigers—free from all human exploitation.

Nakita:  Court Ordered Relinquishment--Female Tiger, Nakita, along with nearly twenty other Tigers spent their lives at a facility in Dade City, Florida where people could pay to interact and swim with Tiger cubs.  Removed from their mothers at only a day or two of age and forced to interact and swim with paying guests, such abusive treatment was determined to be in violation of the Endangered Species Act.  After an illegal journey through a notorious Tiger breeding facility in Oklahoma (Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park of The Tiger King series), the Sanctuary was finally able to rescue Nakita and the other Tigers so that they now live wonderful lives in large-acreage habitats with other Tigers—free from human exploitation.

Enzo:  Oklahoma Roadside Zoo Surrender--Male Tiger, Enzo, was one of 20 Tigers rescued from one of the most notorious Tiger breeding facilities and roadside zoos in the country (Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park of The Tiger King series).  Most likely born there and used in their pay-to-play-with-cubs racket, Enzo would have quickly outgrown that use and then spent years languishing in a small cage.  Fortunately for these 20 Tigers, the owner opened a short window where he agreed to release them and the Sanctuary was quick to step in and give the Tigers a new lease on life.  Enzo can now look forward to a wonderful life with lots of love, room and living with other Tigers—free from all human exploitation.

Lily:  Court Ordered Relinquishment--Female Tiger, Lily, along with nearly twenty other Tigers spent their lives at a facility in Dade City,  Florida where people could pay to interact and swim with Tiger cubs.  Removed from their mothers at only a day or two of age and forced to interact and swim with paying guests, such abusive treatment was determined to be in violation of the Endangered Species Act.  After an illegal journey through a notorious Tiger breeding facility in Oklahoma (Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park of The Tiger King series), the Sanctuary was finally able to rescue Lily and the other Tigers so that they now live wonderful lives in large-acreage habitats with other Tigers—free from human exploitation.

Mo:  Oklahoma Roadside Zoo Surrender--Male Tiger, Mo, was one of 20 Tigers rescued from one of the most notorious Tiger breeding facilities and roadside zoos in the country (Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park of The Tiger King series).  Most likely born there and used in their pay-to-play-with-cubs racket, Mo would have quickly outgrown that use and then spent years languishing in a small cage.  Fortunately for these 20 Tigers the owner opened a short window where he agreed to release them and the Sanctuary was quick to step in and give the Tigers a new lease on life.  Mo now lives a wonderful life with lots of love, room and living with other Tigers—free from all human exploitation.

Brutus:  Court Ordered Relinquishment--Male Tiger, Brutus, along with nearly twenty other Tigers spent their lives at a facility in Dade City, Florida where people could pay to interact and swim with Tiger cubs.  Removed from their mothers at only a day or two of age and forced to be handled by and swim with paying guests, such abusive treatment was determined to be in violation of the Endangered Species Act.  After an illegal journey through a notorious Tiger breeding facility in Oklahoma (Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park of The Tiger King series), the Sanctuary was finally able to rescue Brutus and the other Tigers so that they now live wonderful lives in large-acreage habitats with other Tigers—free from human exploitation.

Karma:  California Facility Closure--Female Tiger, Karma, ended up at an animal rescue facility near Los Angeles after having spent a number of years in the entertainment industry.  However, since Karma absolutely hated cameras she was “retired”.  After being damaged by both fire and flooding, and experiencing a lack of funding, the rescue facility management chose to cease operations.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife assumed care of the animals and asked the Sanctuary to provide a home for this beautiful Tigress.  Naturally, the Sanctuary agreed so now Karma gets to live the most natural life possible with other rescued Tigers.

Bailey and Budahshay:  USDA-mandated Relinquishment--Raised together since they were cubs,  Tiger brothers, Bailey and Budahshay, were part of 24 animals suffering from declining care at an animal rescue facility in Spearfish, South Dakota.  Accepting both domestic and exotic animals, the facility began to suffer from overcrowding and mismanagement.  As a result, the USDA stepped in when many of the exotic animals showed signs of being undernourished.  Because the facility’s director was initially unwilling to surrender the animals, the USDA was prepared to legally confiscate the affected animals.  However, at the last minute the director acquiesced and the animals were surrendered to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  Now these majestic cats live unprecedented lives of freedom on 35 acres of forested habitat at The Wild Animal Refuge and never have to worry about having enough food again.

 

LIONS

Mara:  Private Forfeiture —Mara  used to be in the film industry in California.  However when she reached roughly the age of two, Mara chose to stop cooperating with her trainers—and so she was discarded.  She now enjoys her time in one of the Sanctuary’s many large acreage habitats.   

 

Ike: Private Forfeiture —Male African Lion, Ike, was purchased for $450 at an exotic animal auction when he was just a few-week old cub.  The couple who purchased him soon found that he outgrew living in their house in just a matter of weeks, and decided to put him in a shed in their back yard.  It wasn’t long before Ike was even too large for the shed, and that’s when the couple called TWAS to come rescue Ike.  He was entered into the Sanctuary’s rehabilitation program, and now lives freely within one of the African Lion Prides at the Sanctuary.

 

Lacie, Tabitha & Sampson: Private Forfeiture —A private owner near Dayton, Ohio was originally keeping a male Lion and female Lion in a horse trailer.  An animal welfare agency convinced the owners to give the animals to TWAS, but when the female Lion became pregnant (no contraception had been enacted for either animal) and the inevitable set of cubs was born - three in all – the owners changed their minds and decided to keep all five Lions.  The owners were immediately forced to step in and move the Lion family out of the horse trailer, to keep the babies from getting crushed by the adults in such cramped quarters.  Over the next year, the animal welfare agency continued working tirelessly to get the Lions released, but the owners refused.  Then another tragedy befell the Lion family…the adult male was electrocuted in a horrible accident.  To make the situation even more dire, one of the cubs died from malnutrition and the other two cubs were in imminent danger of the same demise.  With the fate of the remaining mother Lion and her two cubs hanging in the balance, the animal welfare agency who had been working on the case all along, made a final push to get the Lions released.  The owners, at long last, agreed.  For mom Lacie, and cubs Sampson and Tabitha, it was the best day of their lives! Since TWAS had long since agreed to take the animals, our rescue team went to Ohio in spring to, at long last, rescue the Lions. 

 

AFRICAN LIONS FROM URUGUAY –

Sol & Luna I: Uruguay Lion Rescue– These African Lions were rescued from a closed zoo in Uruguay.  They spent their entire lives being neglected and abused and were kept in old-world zoo enclosures. Now at TWAS, they are healthy and living a life surrounded by other Lions

 

AFRICAN LIONS FROM BOLIVIA -

Morena, Marta, Rosa, Rosita, Rosario, Campeon, Panchula,  Fida, Kiara, Percy, Bob, Nancy, Pancho, Temuco, Kenya, Chitara, Dalila & India: Bolivian Lion Rescue - These Lions were confiscated by Bolivian authorities after a nation-wide ban on using animals in circus performances was enacted - and eight circuses refused to comply. The Lions were flown to the United States so they could live out their lives in freedom at the Sanctuary.  They all now live in 80 acres worth of large acreage habitats at the Sanctuary in four separate prides.  Read Bolivian Lion Journal...

 

AFRICAN LIONS FROM MEXICO-

Malka: Public Citizen Forfeiture—Malka is a young female African Lion that was sold as a cub to a private citizen in Mexico.  When she was just a year old and had become too dangerous and expensive to feed, her owner dumped her at a zoo in Pachuca, Mexico.  Malka was held at the zoo for a few months while the Sanctuary took care of all the paperwork needed to get her into the U.S.  The Sanctuary rescued Malka, along with two other lions from different parts of Mexico, and now all three live much happier lives with all the other lions living at The Wild Animal Sanctuary. 

 

Gigi: Private Owner Forfeiture – Gigi is a female White African Lion that was purchased by man in Mexico when she was just a few weeks old.  The man thought he would keep her as his personal pet, but realized she wasn’t going to be as easy to care for, or as loveable as he imagined.  He decided to turn her over to a zoo located in Mexico that our Sanctuary works with on a regular basis, and Gigi was then transported to Colorado where she will live freely in a large acreage habitat with other Lions for the rest of her life.

 

Xinna: Mexican Wildlife Authorities Confiscation – Xinna is a female African Lion that was being kept privately in Mexico.  Her owner purchased her illegally and pulled her claws and teeth out when she was very young in an attempt to make her safe for him to play with.  When he realized that wasn’t going to make her any less dangerous, he, locked inside a dark room where she languished without adequate food or water for many months.  Eventually, she was rescued by a zoo in Mexico that our Sanctuary works with on a regular basis, and was brought to Colorado where she now lives with other Lions in a large natural habitat.

 

Orion: Mexican Zoo Forfeiture – Orion is a male African Lion that was born in a zoo in Mexico.  When he was no longer small enough to be used to attract visitors, the zoo sent him to another zoo in Mexico that we work with on a regular basis.  The zoo in Pachuca, MX contacted us and asked if Orion could join the other animals we would be bringing to Colorado, and we agreed to rescue him too.  Now, Orion lives with other Lions at the Sanctuary and will someday be the king of his own Pride.

Cana & Dian: Canadian Fish & Wildlife Confiscation — Male African Lion, Cana (pronounced Cane), and his brother Dian (pronounced Dee-on), were confiscated from a drug dealer by Canadian Wildlife Officials when they were only 6 weeks old.  They were subsequently rescued, and brought to the Sanctuary where they could be raised with lots of love and eventually join one of the prides living in open habitats at the Sanctuary. 

 

Gala:  Mexican Circus Surrender —When contacted to take Lions living in desperate conditions in a circus in Mexico, The Wild Animal Sanctuary had no idea the two Lions would turn into three!  Elsa and Yuma’s nearly dead cub, Gala, was found lifeless in the tiny cage in which they lived.  But Gala did survive, and the intensive paperwork was begun to bring the Lions back to Colorado.  They are now enjoying life in their own spacious habitat, and fast-growing cub Gala is being lavished with the best care that she can ever have.

 

Leo, Leon, Zoya & Zinna: Ohio Department of Agriculture Surrender/Confiscation - Leo, Leon, Zoya & Zinna along with other Black Bears were rescued from Zanesville, Ohio as a result of the new laws about private exotic animal ownership in Ohio. All of the animals were originally owned by Terry Thompson, the man who was responsible for letting his collection of 56 exotic animals loose before killing himself in October 2011 in Zanesville, OH. Now at TWAS, Leo, Leon, Zoya & Zinna  are living in a large acreage habitat where they can roam freely for the rest of his life.

 

Leonardo:  Mexico Wildlife Authorities Confiscation - Leonardo is a male African Lion that was purchased for a young girl as a gift.  It soon became very apparent how dangerous even a baby lion could be.  Leonardo was surrendered to a small-town zoo in Pachuca, Mexico which asked the Sanctuary to rescue him and bring him to Colorado where he could live in a nice large enclosure with lots of love and attention for the rest of his life.

 

Zimba:  Mexican Circus Surrender - Zimba, a male African Lion, was surrendered by a circus because he was too aggressive to use in their public performances.  A zoo in Pachuca, Mexico took him in until the Sanctuary was able to secure the international paperwork needed to bring him to our Sanctuary.  Now that the Sanctuary has rescued Zimba, he will be able to live a much happier life as a member of one of the Sanctuary’s many functioning African Lion prides that roam freely within large acreage habitats.

 

Agata:  Mexican Government Confiscation - Agata is a female African Lion that was passed from one Mexican Zoo to another due to overbreeding and a severe lack of space.  She eventually ended up in a Zoo where her tail was injured and needed to receive medical care.  Unfortunately, without proper wound care, her tail continued to get worse and was eventually amputated.  Since Agata struggled to recover from the injury and medical procedures that followed... she spent nearly three years in the Zoo’s veterinary clinic before she was finally able to be moved outside and eventually taken by the Mexican Government.  The Government knew Agata needed a good home where she could receive the best care possible and arranged for our Sanctuary to rescue her and provide a wonderful life-long home for her!

 

Luna II & Miranda:  Mexico Zoo Forced Closure - These siblings were born and raised in a Mexican Zoo where they suffered from poor nutrition and were forced to live in a very small concrete wall and dirt floor display.  They were part of many cubs the zoo had as a result of uncontrolled breeding, and like all the others born there, they barely survived eating rotten chicken and living in a harsh environment.  Finally, the Mexican Government forced the Zoo to close and give up their large carnivores due to the lack of care, and subsequently decided to place them at our Sanctuary where they knew they and the other Lions could live together in wonderful large acreage habitats.  When they were rescued, their ribs, vertebrae and hip bones protruded from the lack of proper nutrition, and their fur coats were dull, brittle and had visible scarring from previous injuries.  Yet, within months of their arrival at the Sanctuary, with lots of great food, love and medical care, all of the Lions from that zoo are now beautiful thriving Lions that live very happily together while enjoying their new life in Colorado! 

 

Jupiter, Terra & Venus:  Mexico Zoo Forced Closure - These siblings were born and raised in a Mexican Zoo where they suffered from poor nutrition and were forced to live in a very small concrete wall and dirt floor display. They were three of many cubs the zoo had as a result of uncontrolled breeding, and like all the others born there, they barely survived eating rotten chicken and living in a harsh environment.  Finally, the Mexican Government forced the Zoo to close and give up their large carnivores due to the lack of care, and subsequently decided to place them at our Sanctuary where they knew Jupiter, Terra and Venus and the other Lions could live together in wonderful large acreage habitats.  When they were rescued, their ribs, vertebrae and hip bones protruded from the lack of proper nutrition, and their fur coats were dull, brittle and had visible scarring from previous injuries.  Yet, within months of their arrival at the Sanctuary, with lots of great food, love and medical care, Jupiter and his siblings and the other rescued animals from that zoo are now beautiful thriving Lions that live very happily together while enjoying their new life in Colorado!

Dark:  Zoo Surrender - Male Lion, Dark, along with his mate, Haeri, and their cub, Haeryong, were obtained from a zoo in Seoul, South Korea.  Tragically, the adult Lions were involved in a situation where a keeper lost his life, at which time the zoo was pressured to euthanize the animals.  Fortunately, a Korean animal welfare organization advocated on their behalf.  For three-plus years they languished in solitary confinement out of view of the public—with Haeri giving birth to a cub in the meantime.  Approached by the animal welfare organization, the Sanctuary agreed to rescue them and save them from certain death.  All of them now live as a family pride in a large-acreage habitat—happier and safer than they have ever been.

Haeri:  Zoo Surrender - Lioness, Haeri, along with her mate, Dark, and their cub, Haeryong, were obtained from a zoo in Seoul, South Korea.  Tragically, the adult Lions were involved in a situation where a keeper lost his life, at which time the zoo was pressured to euthanize the animals.  Fortunately, a Korean animal welfare organization advocated on their behalf.  For three-plus years they languished in solitary confinement out of view of the public—with Haeri giving birth to a cub in the meantime.  Approached by the animal welfare organization, the Sanctuary agreed to rescue them and save them from certain death.  All of them now live as a family pride in a large-acreage habitat—happier and safer than they have ever been.

Haeryong:  Zoo Surrender - Female Lion cub, Haeryong, and her parents, Dark and Haeri, were obtained from a zoo in Seoul, South Korea.  Tragically, the adult Lions were involved in a situation where a keeper lost his life, at which time the zoo was pressured to euthanize the animals.  Fortunately, a Korean animal welfare organization advocated on their behalf.  For three-plus years the adults languished in solitary confinement out of view of the public—with Haeryong being born in the meantime.  Approached by the animal welfare organization, the Sanctuary agreed to rescue all three of the Lions and save them from certain death.  All of them now live as a family pride in a large-acreage habitat—happier and safer than they have ever been.

Huruma:  City Zoo Forfeiture- Lioness, Huruma (“Uma”), and her litter-mate sister, Willa, came to live at the Sanctuary when a city zoo in Ohio needed to reduce the number of Lions it had.  The zoo’s director and staff went to great lengths to ensure their beloved Lionesses would be going to the best life-long home possible, and they chose the Sanctuary after coming for a personal visit.  These lucky Lionesses can look forward to living on many acres of natural habitat in a pride with other Lions while receiving the Sanctuary’s world-class care.

Willa:  City Zoo Forfeiture - Lioness, Willa, and her litter-mate sister, Huruma (“Uma”), came to live at the Sanctuary when a city zoo in Ohio needed to reduce the number of Lions it had.  The zoo’s director and staff went to great lengths to ensure their beloved Lionesses would be going to the best life-long home possible, and they chose the Sanctuary after coming for a personal visit.  These lucky Lionesses can look forward to living on many acres of natural habitat in a pride with other Lions while receiving the Sanctuary’s world-class care.

Gus:  Safari Park Surrender--Male Lion, Gus, was born at the Toronto Zoo along with three brothers but then ended up at a drive-thru Parc Safari located near Montreal, Canada.  After about 4 years, the facility determined it was no longer able to provide the best home possible for Gus due to conflicts with the other Lions.  At such time The Wild Animal Sanctuary was contacted about taking-in this Lion and two Wolves in a similar situation.  The Sanctuary agreed to provide a lifelong home for all of them, and after a cross-country trek these Canadian residents became United States citizens!  Gus will now become the nucleus of a new Lion Pride where he can reign as king.

 

BEARS

Gaika & Masha: Circus Closure - These two Grizzly Bears were part of a Russian circus were they lived in a truck for 17 years. The circus closed when the owner/trainer died. When they arrived at TWAS, they suffered nicotine withdrawals, as that was what their trainer used (by getting them addicted) to train them-so they would be desperate enough to do tricks for him. They are now addiction free, and enjoy plenty of space to play.

 

Maye: USDA Confiscation -Maye came from a photography studio where the owner would use her in photographs with clients. Her owner decided it was not a lucrative enough business and therefore no longer wanted May e. She was rescued by TWAS where she will always be wanted.

 

Nadia: Contraceptive Failure -Nadia was born after AZA contraceptive medications failed-leaving us no choice but to permanently fix Kelty so there would be no more accidental Grizzly Bear births.

 

Shaq & Lil' Kim: Taxidermist Surrender -Shaq and Lil' Kim were a breeding pair of Grizzly Bears at a South Carolina taxidermist operation. When the owner died, the family did not want to continue the business, and had prepared to put the animals down. Someone in a neighboring state got involved, and called us to take the remaining animals to keep them from being put down. Shaq and Lil' Kim escaped certain death when we rescued them and brought them back to live in "Bear luxury" at The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

 

Tanaka: Florida Fish & Game Confiscation -Grizzly Bear Tanaka was kept by a private owner in southwest Florida for 15 years. When Florida required a bond for the owners of large exotics, the owner refused to pay it, so TWAS was called in to take the bear. Tanaka has adapted very well to his new environment-enjoying all the room to roam.

 

Ben: USDA Confiscation -Ben was kept in a small cage in a remote area in Wisconsin, by a back-woods miner, before being rescued by TWAS. Good food, a better climate, and of course, good company, have given Ben a much better life!

 

Thelma: USDA Confiscation -While sleeping the winter away, Thelma's owner sold his property and told the new residents he'd come back when she woke up in the spring, and shoot the Bear. The new residents contacted the USDA and TWAS for a Bear rescue.

 

Ethel, Fred & Lucy: Ohio County Officials and USDA Confiscation - These Bears were rescued from Ohio, where they suffered great abuse by the person that kept them- until the facility was shut down by USDA and Wildlife Officials.  They are now healthy and happy, romping through the Sanctuary's Black Bear Habitat.

 

James & Tuff: USDA Confiscation - These bears came from a tourist attraction in North Carolina that was not designed to house Bears. Now at the Sanctuary they rumble and tumble with each other, and all the other Bears.

 

Jessie I : Colorado Division of Wildlife Confiscation -Jessie was held illegally in an Evergreen basement. Her owners intended to use her for shopping mall photograph sessions. She was confiscated and brought to TWAS by the CO Division of Wildlife. She is now very glad to be living with other Bears!

 

Ben II: Private Forfeiture -Ben was being kept in a corn crib, converted into a cage, as a pet in Iowa. When the state insurance requirements increased on Ben the owners no longer wanted him. Ben now lives in a large acreage habitat with lots of other bears!

 

Magic: USDA Confiscation -Magic came from a photography studio where the owner would use him in photographs with clients. His owner decided it was not a lucrative enough business and therefore no longer wanted Magic. He was rescued by TWAS where he will always be wanted.

 

Smokey: USDA Confiscation - Smokey was living in neglect, illegally kept in South Dakota. She was confiscated and taken to an Animal Shelter, where she was housed for 8 months in a wooden 4 foot by 8 foot crate with only a small opening on the top. Now she has plenty of room to roam in the Sanctuary's ten acre Black Bear Habitat!

 

Alfalfa, Darla & Spanky: Contraceptive Failure -In 2004 the standard zoo contraceptive medications used on our Bears failed. As a result, many unplanned births occurred in zoos throughout the nation. Because TWAS does not support breeding of these animals, it was a great shock when these three bear cubs (along with Nadia the Grizzly) were born. To prevent this from happening again, all the male Bears were permanently -Axed.

 

Bob: Private Forfeiture - This black bear was surrendered by an Indiana business that breeds and trains bears for the entertainment industry. Bob proved to be one of those animals who was untrainable, thus he was of no use to his owners and was slated to be put down. Bob now enjoys life with the other bears in a ten-acre habitat.

 

Emily: USDA-Enforced Zoo Closure - This black bear was one of 18 animals facing an uncertain future when a Nebraska zoo was shut down by the USDA due to animal abuse and safety violations. Since Emily was rescued late in the year, we had to get her into a den so she could hibernate. Emily is now enjoying life with other bears in a spacious habitat complete with swimming tanks and play  structures.

 

Buddy: Private Forfeiture -Buddy the Black Bear was kept as a pet by an individual in Texas who bought him from an exotic animal breeding compound in Missouri. When he got to be too much for his owner to care for, Buddy was surrendered to The Wild Animal Sanctuary. Here, Buddy enjoys a Bear's life the way it's supposed to be, with plenty of space to roam and play, and lots of food to eat.

 

Sam: Indiana Fish & Game Confiscation -Black Bear, Sam, was confiscated after his owner was deployed to the Gulf War—leaving the Bear unattended in a small cage with a metal dumpster set in it as a house for him to live in. Without food, water or someone to care for him, neighbors contacted the state Fish & Game and asked them to find a new home for the Bear. The Wild Animal Sanctuary rescued Sam and brought him back to live freely with our other rescued Bears in one of our specialized large-acreage Bear habitats.

 

Sammy: Michigan SPCA Closure -Sammy, Ellie Mae & Anthony found themselves in a tight situation when the SPCA they were living at was shut down, and winter was fast approaching. Sammy, Ellie Mae and Anthony had been orphaned in a tragic turn of events in California- and were somehow shipped to Michigan to live. TWAS was called in to save the bears and get them to Colorado in time to get settled in for their long winter hibernation. The two Bears will now be able to wake in the spring and -And they can roam freely in one of our large acreage natural habitats.

 

Teddy:  USDA Confiscation, Ohio —When a breeding compound in Ohio was shut down for more than 900 counts of animal abuse, the USDA contacted The Wild Animal Sanctuary to take seven Black Bears in a covert operation.  Teddy lived in horrendous conditions before coming to live at the Sanctuary in Colorado.  Now enjoying a 15-acre habitat complete with cozy underground dens, play structures and swimming tanks, this lucky Bear has all but forgotten his enforced hibernation in tiny concrete boxes and the miserable 30x30 cage they all lived in prior to being rescued. 

 

Cupcake:  County Animal Control Confiscation —This beautiful Black Bear cub was found tied by her neck to a front porch outside Dayton, Ohio.  When county authorities confiscated her due to animal abuse by her owner, they   contacted The Wild Animal Sanctuary to come pick her up.  Cupcake now enjoys life as a Bear was meant to – living and playing in a large open space in our west Black Bear habitat.   

 

Little Bear:  Private Forfeiture —This young female black bear was being kept with numerous other animals on a farm in Iowa.  When the State passed new laws requiring liability insurance for exotic animals, her owners no longer wanted to keep her - or the other animals - so they called the sanctuary to come rescue her.

 

Buster:  Kansas Humane Society Confiscation —Buster, a young Black Bear, was sold at an exotic animal auction to a couple intending to keeping him as a “pet.” The couple soon realized that bears are not pets and sold him.  He was passed around from person to person, until finally he came to The Wild Animal Sanctuary — now he will never be passed around again!  He will stay with us for the rest of his life — potentially 40 years! 

 

Chocolate, Hercules, Hillbilly, Megan, Smokey II, Winnie, Missy:  Roadside Attraction Surrender —When the owner of a roadside attraction passed away, his family no longer wanted to keep the animals.  Chocolate, Hercules, Hillbilly, Megan, Smokey and Winnie were living together in a 30x50 enclosure before being rescued by The Wild Animal Sanctuary, but now they’re enjoying the kind of life they really deserve in their 15-acre habitat. 

 

Bonnie & Clyde:  USDA Assisted, Louisiana State Park Surplus —Bonnie & Clyde lived in a Louisiana State Park Attraction that featured animals from the swamps of Louisiana.  The State cut the funding for the park, so the captive animals there needed to be rescued - as they could not be released into the wild since they born in captivity, and would associate food with humans.

 

Beau & Panda:  Private Forfeiture —Beau and Panda were kept in concrete and steel cages at a Taxidermy shop in South Carolina by a man that had decided it was a good way to make money (by raising animals to kill and mount).  The man died, and his family didn’t want to keep the bears anymore - so they decided they kill them - but a nearby zookeeper stepped in to save them by calling us.  We immediately drove to South Carolina to rescue Beau & Panda, as well as two Grizzly Bears they had there.

 

Yogi:  Private Forfeiture —Male Black Bear, Yogi, was being kept as a “pet” by a family in rural Ohio.  After two previous pet bears died, and quite some time keeping Yogi in a barren wire corn-crib in their back yard… these people finally realized that trying to keep a bear as a pet was not going to work out.  TWAS rescued Yogi and brought him back to Colorado where he now happily lives and plays with lots of other rescued bears.

 

Ellie Mae & Anthony:  Michigan SPCA Closure —Ellie Mae, Sammy  & Anthony found themselves in a tight situation when the SPCA they were living at was shut down, and winter was fast approaching.  Ellie Mae and  Anthony had been orphaned in a tragic turn of events in California – and were somehow shipped to Michigan to live.  TWAS was called in to save the bears and get them to Colorado in time to get settled in for their long winter hibernation.  The two Bears will now be able to wake in the spring and find they  can roam freely in one of our large acreage natural habitats. 

 

Lilly: Illinois State Attorney Confiscation - Lilly is a young Black Bear that was confiscated from a man who bought her at an exotic animal auction and was trying to keep her as a pet.  The State Attorney worked with the local   animal control to seize the Bear and place her in a temporary holding facility until they could find a permanent home for her. The State Attorney office called TWAS right away because they knew she could have the best life possible here. Now at TWAS, Lilly lives in a large acreage habitat with other rescued Bears where she will live freely for the rest of her life.

 

Sierra & Nevada: California Fish & Game Confiscation - Sierra and her brother Nevada were left with nowhere to go after their mother was shot and killed after invading several homes near Sacramento in desperation to find food for her cubs. Even though the cubs were born in the wild; they were deemed unfit to participate in any type of rehab and release program because they were extremely young and participated in the home invasions with their mother. No one at the temporary holding facility wanted to see the Cubs euthanized so they contacted TWAS to rescue them. Now at the Sanctuary, Sierra and Nevada live in a large habitat where they will live for the rest of their lives with other rescued Bears.

 

Gus: New York State Wildlife Officials Confiscation – Gus is a male Black Bear that was being kept in a rundown facility that was supposed to be a Sanctuary, but had tiny cages and extremely poor facilities for the animals living there.  New York State Wildlife Officials, along with other Animal Welfare Agencies, raided the facility after the owner refused to comply with their attempts to raise the care standards there.  Gus and two other Black Bears were rescued by The Sanctuary and now live and roam freely in a large 20 acre habitat complete with underground dens and lots of friends to play with.

 

Natasha, Boris & Tiny: Texas Facility Closure – Natasha, Boris & Tiny were among 25 Bears that were rescued from a facility in Texas that was forced to close.  The owner of the facility ran away and left no funding to feed or care for over 300 animals.  With nowhere to go, TWAS and other facilities were called to the rescue to give all of the animals a second chance. All three Bears are now living together in a large acreage and enjoying their new   freedom at TWAS. 

 

Tuvy, Pasha, George II, Arzo, Crombie, Pumpkin, Boo Boo, Ballou, Ben III, Baby, Gracie, Lady, Murphy, Benny, Newman: Texas Facility Closure – These were among 25 Bears that were rescued from a facility in Texas that was forced to close.  The facility had no funding to feed or care for over 300 animals.  With nowhere to go, TWAS was specifically called to rescue all of the Bears and give them a second chance. All of the Bears are now living together in a large acreage habitat and enjoying their new freedom. 

 

Princess: Private Surrender - Princess and other Black Bears were rescued from a small property in Dayton, Ohio after their owner died suddenly. The Bears spent 20+ years of their lives living in tiny horse stalls with concrete floors. They were also declawed and had their teeth filed down because they were trained to perform tricks and wrestle people at local fairs. Now at TWAS, the Bears do not have to perform or wrestle another day and they just get to enjoy being a Bear in a large acreage habitat.

 

Sugar Bear:  Private Forfeiture —Female Black Bear, Sugar Bear, was raised by a couple in Ohio as a pet, but it soon became evident to them that bears don’t make good pets, and require an enormous amount of food and space to be happy and healthy.  The couple soon contacted TWAS to come rescue Sugar Bear and give her a    proper home where she can eat, play and hibernate like a bear should.

 

Mary, Pam, Bonnie II & Clyde II: Ohio Department of Agriculture Surrender/Confiscation—Black Bears Mary, Pam, Bonnie II and Clyde II and four African Lions were rescued from Zanesville, Ohio as a result of the new laws about private exotic animal ownership in Ohio. All of the animals were originally owned by Terry Thompson, the man who was responsible for letting his collection of 56 exotic animals loose before killing himself in October 2011 in Zanesville, OH.  Now at TWAS, Pam is living in one of the Sanctuary’s large acreage habitats, with her other Bear friends, where they can roam freely for the rest of their life.

 

Cody:  Amusement Park Closure--Male Black Bear, Cody, was a long-time resident of an amusement park located in Florida.  The wild animal portion of the park was closed in 2013, and a number of Bears living there needed to be rescued and find a life-long home.  The Wild Animal Sanctuary was happy to rescue them, and now Cody gets to enjoy romping and playing in a wide open habitat!

 

Chumlee, Sassy, Abby Lucy and Diesel: USDA-Enforced Zoo Closure--Chumlee, Sassy, Abby Lucy and Diesel were rescued from a road-side zoo in Wisconsin.  The owner of the zoo had purchased the Bears two years earlier when they were tiny cubs but was unable to renew his license.  The Bears are a tight-knit bunch and out of all the people the zoo-owner called, only the Sanctuary was willing to rescue all of them together.  Chumlee is the leader of the group, and the others happily follow him around enjoying life as a Bear was meant to - living and playing in a large open space in our Syrian Brown Bear habitat.

 

Jake:  Amusement Park Closure – This male Kodiak Grizzly Bear was a long-time resident of an amusement park located in Florida.  The Wild Animal portion of the park was closed in 2013, and Jake, along with some Black Bears living there, needed to be rescued and find a life-long home. The Wild Animal Sanctuary was happy to rescue Jake and he now gets to enjoy romping and playing in a wide open habitat!

 

Carolina, Ella, Catfish and Josie: South Carolina State Wildlife Officials Confiscation – These Black Bears were used in an ancient medieval custom called “Bear Baiting” where hunters train their dogs to attack captive bears that have had all of their teeth and claws removed and are chained to a wall.  This practice was illegal in every state in the U.S. except South Carolina and these Bears were regularly chained up and allowed to have packs of hunting dogs attack them in order to make the dogs feel more confident when they would go out on real hunting trips.  Finally, the SC legislature passed a law banning the practice, and we were able to rescue them and bring them to the Sanctuary.  Now they all live their lives in a wide open habitat free from harassment and have lots of love, respect, great food and good friends to enjoy!

 

Jessie II, Little Bear II & Coco: North Carolina Private Forfeiture - Jessie, Little Bear and Coco are Black Bears that were kept by a family - in a series of corn crib cages on a farm in North Carolina.  The family had purchased the bears as cubs and tried raising them as pets, but when they got bigger they put them into makeshift cages and left them there.  When they were forced to sell their farm, the family decided they weren’t going to take the Bears with them, so they contacted our Sanctuary to help provide them with a stable and much more appropriate home.  Now Jessie, Little Bear and Coco and live in a large acreage natural habitat where they can roam and play freely with all the scrumptious food they can eat.

 

GEORGIA BEARS ~

“GRIZZLY BEARS”: O.B., Urusula, Rose, Drew, Howell, Mancell, Marley, Mikie, Ringo, Alex, Anna, Mel, Sam, George, Helen, “BLACK BEARS”: Burton, Nikki, Nacoochee,  Goldie, Sassy II: Georgia Facility Closure-  21 Bears were rescued from Helen, GA as a result of the Black Forest Bear Park going into foreclosure.  All 21 Bears lived in barren concrete pits that were part of a tourist trap/roadside zoo.   Many animal welfare organizations had been pushing to close down the facility, but the end finally came when they failed to pay their mortgage.  Every year, their cubs were taken from the female Bears at birth and put on display for profit.  TWAS was able to rescue all of the bears, and rehabilitate them so they could live in large natural spaces.  Two of the female Grizzly Bears (O.B. and Ursula who were pregnant when rescued) gave birth to three cubs each at The Wild Animal Sanctuary, and they are finally able to raise them for the first time in their whole life with no fear of having them taken away from them.  

 

Skittles: New York State Wildlife Officials Confiscation - Skittles is a Black Bear that was being kept in a small cage located in a junk-ridden back yard of a couple living in New York State.  The couple had purchased Skittles, along with a Mountain Lion and an African Serval with the intention of keeping them as pets - but once they all had grown up – they were placed in cramped cages out behind the couple’s house.  Skittles, and her fellow back yard “pet” friends were rescued and now live in open habitats with others of their own species.

 

Boudreaux: USDA Forced Zoo Forfeiture – Boudreaux is a male Black Bear that was once a wild Bear roaming the backwoods of Louisiana.  He got into human trouble a number of times and was finally captured by the LA Fish & Game Department and sent to a local zoo to live.  However, the zoo didn’t have an enclosure for him, so they placed him in an indoor concrete room that had no windows or skylights – where he stayed for more than 3 years.  The zoo kept swearing they were going to build a new exhibit for the Bear, but never did, so Boudreaux was left to languish in deprivation.  Finally, the USDA forced the zoo to surrender Boudreaux to our Sanctuary so he could be free from his solitary confinement cell, and live in a more natural environment at our Sanctuary.

 

Clyde III: New York State Wildlife Officials Confiscation – Clyde is a Black Bear that was being kept in a rundown facility that was supposed to be a Sanctuary, but had tiny cages and extremely poor facilities for the animals living there.  New York State Wildlife Officials, along with other Animal Welfare Agencies, raided the facility after the owner refused to comply with their attempts to raise the care standards there.  Clyde and  another Black Bear were rescued by The Sanctuary and now live and roam freely in a large 20 acre habitat complete with underground dens and lots of friends to play with.

 

Dora, Dasha, Sasha, Sebastian, Darwin & Diego: New York Court Ordered Confiscation – These 6 Black Bears were confiscated (by court order) from a man who was breeding and selling Black Bears and other exotic animals from his backyard facility.  Dora, Dasha, Sasha, Sebastian, Darwin and Diego were kept together in a tiny concrete and steel cage in this man’s unofficial roadside zoo.  New York State Courts ruled he had to get rid of his animals, or they would have to be euthanized, so our Sanctuary worked with two other animal welfare organizations to arrange for the Bears to be saved.  They were rescued and brought to live in large natural habitats where they will be able to enjoy their wonderful new home for the rest of their lives.

 

Eva:  Florida Photo-Op Facility Surrender - Eva, the Grizzly Bear Cub was rescued from a photo-op/pay-to-play with exotic babies outfit in Florida.  She was pulled from her mother just days after being born and sold so they could use her (as well as many other exotic babies) to make money.  When Eva got too big for people to handle and pose with, as well as started to suffer from the searing heat and humidity, a concerned Miami resident took it upon herself to help secure her freedom and find her an appropriate home.  Now that Eva lives at our Sanctuary, she has moved in and bonded well with Marley - a small female Grizzly Bear previously rescued from GA (who has become a wonderful surrogate mother to Eva).  Eva will be able to live in a wonderful habitat for the rest of her life.

 

Sun & Moon:  Tennessee Wildlife Department Confiscation - Moon, a female Asiatic Black Bear and Sun, a male Asiatic Black Bear were confiscated from a tourist attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN.  They were being kept by the owner of a place called Three Bears Gift Shop, but were obtained illegally, so the TN Fish & Game officials were able to confiscate them and let us bring them to live in a more natural setting here at TWAS.  Sun and Moon will now be able to roam freely in their own large acreage habitat and enjoy their new-found ability to eat well, hibernate and do everything else Bears enjoy!

 

Ricki:  Forced Private Forfeiture - Ricki is a female Black Bear that lived in a small concrete and steel cage outside of an ice cream shop located in Pennsylvania for more than 12 years. Ricki’s cage was located next to a Putt-Putt golf course in order to attract more visitors to the ice cream shop.  Visitors would watch Ricki pace back and forth all day and would buy dog food from vending machines to put down a PVC pipe that led to Ricki’s cage.  Private citizens, along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, sued the owner and were able to reach a settlement where Ricki would be freed and come to the Sanctuary where she could then live and roam freely in a large acreage natural habitat.

 

Kelly:  USDA Confiscation - Kelly, a male Syrian Brown Bear was born at The Wild Animal Sanctuary shortly after his pregnant mother, Paula, and intact father, Simon, were rescued from a defunct roadside zoo in West Virginia.  They were kept in a tiny mud-ridden cage for years before the USDA finally closed the facility.  Fortunately for Kelly, this handsome Syrian Brown Bear will never have to live in the fetid squalor that Paula and Simon did.  Now living as a family unit in a large, natural habitat, these three Bears live a life of dignity and respect previously unimaginable.

 

Trouble:  City Zoo Forfeiture - Male Brown Bear, Trouble, came to live at the Sanctuary when a city zoo in Minnesota was forced to downsize due to budget constraints.  The zoo’s director and staff went to great lengths to ensure their beloved Trouble would be going to the best life-long home possible, and chose the Sanctuary after coming for a personal visit.  This large, handsome Bear now lives on many acres of natural habitat in the midst of numerous other Bear habitats and will be loved, cared for and respected for the rest of his life.

 

Molly:  Ohio Department of Agriculture Seizure - Female Syrian Brown Bear, Molly, came to live at the Sanctuary with 11 other Bears as a result of the State of Ohio’s new law restricting ownership of dangerous wild animals.   Molly was confiscated along with two other adult Syrian Brown Bears from a breeder that failed to come into compliance with the new law.  Upon being confiscated, Molly and the other Bears were held temporarily at a state-run wildlife facility, which is where she gave birth to a single female cub named Betty Jean.  All 12 Bears were rescued by The Wild Animal Sanctuary and Molly and her cub now live in a spacious 15 acre habitat!

 

Zelda:  Ohio Department of Agriculture Seizure - Female Syrian Brown Bear cub, Zelda, came to live at the Sanctuary with her mother, Ersila, two siblings and 8 other Bears as a result of the State of Ohio’s new law restricting ownership of dangerous wild animals.   Zelda’s mother, Ersila, was confiscated along with two other adult Syrian Brown Bears from a breeder that failed to come into compliance with the new law.  Upon being  confiscated, Ersila and the other Bears were held temporarily at a state-run wildlife facility, which is where Ersila gave birth to three cubs, including Zelda.  All 12 Bears were rescued by The Wild    Animal Sanctuary and Zelda and her family now live in a spacious 15 acre habitat!

Lily:  Private Forfeiture - Lily is a female Asiatic Black Bear that was rescued from a roadside zoo in Maryland.  Along with her brother, Lily was placed in a concrete-floored, 12-feet diameter corn crib ten years earlier.  After her brother was relocated to another roadside zoo, Lily lived a life of isolation in filth and squalor, with nothing to do but eat.  As a result she became morbidly obese and her health became a concern of visitors.  With pressure from many fronts, the zoo’s owner finally agreed to let Lily be rescued.  She now joins the Sanctuary’s other Asiatic Bears to roam freely in a large acreage habitat and enjoying everything Bears enjoy!

Polly:  Zoo Surrender - Female Syrian Brown Bear, Polly, was previously kept by the Detroit Zoo.  Wanting to provide a better home for all of its Bears, the Zoo opted to retire and re-home Polly and a Black Bear to give their remaining Bears more room.  After an extensive search and review of sanctuaries, the zoo decided The Wild Animal Sanctuary would be the best place for the Bears to live.  Upon being asked, The Sanctuary was more than happy to give beautiful Polly and her zoo-mate a lifetime home of wild open spaces, lots of good food and living with other Bears.

Booger:  Private Forfeiture - Female Syrian Brown Bear, Booger, and a Black Bear were rescued from an animal park in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Two local residents filed a lawsuit against the facility for violating the state’s anti-cruelty statute due to the Bears’ inadequate care and condition.  The owners agreed to release the Bears who now live in large, natural habitats with others of their own kind—and always knowing the feeling of dirt and grass underfoot instead of concrete.  Booger lives a healthy life being able to swim in her pond, hibernate and doing everything else Bears enjoy!

Benji:  Indiana Sanctuary Surrender - Male Black Bear cub, Benji, came into the world at a Bear breeding facility where he was subsequently purchased by an Indiana couple who wanted him as a “pet”.  Benji was then confiscated by the Indiana DNR since it is illegal to possess a Bear in the state, and was placed at a wildlife sanctuary also located in Indiana.  Realizing they really did not have the facilities or know-how to properly raise a Bear cub, they asked The Wild Animal Sanctuary if we would give Benji a home, to which we gladly agreed!  Benji now looks forward to living with other Black Bears in a 15-acre habitat, finally getting to live like a Bear truly ought. 

Baloo:  Alabama Petting Zoo Surrender - Male Black Bear cub, Baloo, and his parents were rescued from a petting zoo in rural Alabama.  When asked by the owner of the facility to take Baloo, since he was not permitted to have any additional Bears, the Sanctuary agreed on the condition the parent Bears were allowed to come to the Sanctuary as well—thus preventing further breeding and removing them from a horrible life.  Once large enough, Baloo will join his parents and other Black Bears in a 15-acre habitat, never knowing the terrible life of living in a steel and concrete cage, and being loved and respected for the amazing animal he is. 

Kody:  ODA and USDA-mandated Relinquishment--Male Grizzly Bear, Kody, had a multi-year, round-about trip before finally getting to settle at the Sanctuary.  He was one of 24 animals suffering from declining care at an animal rescue facility in Spearfish, South Dakota.  Previously, that facility had been caring for Kody as a ‘ward of the court’ since Kody had been confiscated from his owner in Ohio—who was now legally appealing Kody’s confiscation by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).  The South Dakota facility began to suffer from overcrowding and mismanagement.  As a result, the USDA stepped in when many of the exotic animals showed signs of being undernourished.  Because the facility’s director was initially unwilling to surrender the animals, the USDA was prepared to legally confiscate the affected animals.  However, at the last minute the director acquiesced and the animals were surrendered to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  After two-plus years of additional legal wrangling, Kody is now a full resident of the Sanctuary and can look forward to living out the rest of his life with plenty of food to eat and having acres and acres of room to roam!

Tupak, Nico and Pina:  Zoo Closure--Male Spectacled Bears, Tupak and Nico and Female Spectacled Bear, Pina, were three of hundreds of animals in need of a new home when the city of Buenos Aires decided to close its zoo and convert it to an Ecopark due to the antiquated and inhumane conditions in which the animals were living.  These three Bears lived their entire lives in a decades-old concrete grotto enclosure, often spending their days begging for food from guests.  The Wild Animal Sanctuary happily agreed to take them when asked by the zoo, and now these three unique Bears will be the first residents of the new 250-acre Bear habitat at The Wild Animal Refuge where they can live in the most natural habitat possible!

Grizzly Bears, Maverick, Timber, Amos, Mishka and Miss Montana, along with her sister, Miss America:  California Facility Closure--these Grizzlies all come from varied backgrounds but ended up at a rescue facility near Los Angeles.  After being damaged by both fire and flooding, and suffering from a lack of funding, the facility management chose to cease operations.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife assumed care of the animals and asked the Sanctuary to provide a home for these beautiful Grizzly sisters and many other animals.  Naturally, the Sanctuary agreed so now Miss Montana and Miss America are living out their lives on over 100 acres of Refuge freedom!

Black Bears Brett, Chloe, Cheyenne and Liberty:  California Facility Closure--these Black Bears all come from varied backgrounds but ended up at a rescue facility near Los Angeles.  After being damaged by both fire and flooding, and suffering from a lack of funding, the facility management chose to cease operations.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife assumed care of the animals and asked the Sanctuary to provide a home for these beautiful Grizzly sisters and many other animals.  Naturally, the Sanctuary agreed so now all of them are living on acres and acres of natural habitat with other Bears!

Male Grizzly Bears Yogui, Atila, Buko and Fausto along with Female Grizzly Bears Rosita, Julieta, Esperanzea, Libertad, Mabel and Sopresa:  Zoo Closure--were part of hundreds of animals in need of a new home when the City of Mendoza, Argentina decided to close its zoo and convert it to an Ecopark due to the antiquated and inhumane conditions in which the animals were living.  These Grizzlies lived their entire lives in decades-old concrete grotto enclosures.  When asked, The Wild Animal Sanctuary happily agreed to take give them a new forever home, and now these ten Bears will become some of the first residents of the new 103-acre Grizzly Bear habitat at The Wild Animal Refuge where they can live in the most natural habitat possible!

Dillan:  USDA Assisted Private Forfeiture - Dillan is a male Asiatic Black Bear that was rescued from a sportsmen’s club in rural Pennsylvania.  Subjected to the sound of constant gunfire from the shooting ranges and with no enrichment, Dillan suffered from severe zoochosis where he rocked rhythmically against a concrete wall hours on end—for years according to one person familiar with the situation.  He also suffered from morbid obesity due to his poor diet and lack of exercise and had a mouthful of rotting teeth and gums.  With pressure from many fronts for the club to either better care for Dillan or let him go to an accredited sanctuary, the club ownership finally agreed to release him to the USDA which then released him to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  Dillan will now join one of the Sanctuary’s female Asiatic Bears and they will together roam freely in a large acreage habitat and enjoy living a healthy life, free from harm and doing everything else Bears enjoy!

Charity, Charlotte and Oliver: Mandated Owner Relinquishment - These three Grizzly Bear litter-mates were only about two and one-half months old when rescued by the Sanctuary.  Born at a facility that breeds Bears and sells cubs, the breeder attempted to bring them into the state of Ohio without the proper permits.  There is little doubt that they were taken away from their mother shortly after birth and were on their way to some place where they would be exploited for profit.  Fortunately, the cubs were discovered.  Facing prosecution, the breeder surrendered them to the state which asked a major zoo to care for them until a permanent home could be found.  Within a matter of days the Sanctuary drove to Ohio and brought the three cubs to their new forever home.  These three beautiful Bears can now look forward to the best of care and when old enough, be released into the massive Grizzly Bear habitat at the Refuge to live as close to wild as possible.

 

JAGUARS

Manchas: Mexico Government Confiscation - Manchas is a four year-old male Jaguar that was kept by private owners who purchased him as a cub and thought they would be able to keep him as their pet.  Even though the family had proper permits to keep him, they didn’t provide the attention and care that he needed.  He was more or less left to be raised by the family’s dogs, which caused him to be confused about his identity.  Over time, due to the stress of being kept in such an unnatural   environment he began self-mutilating.  His owners finally realized he could not survive or function as a pet, so they gave him to a wildlife rescue organization that works on a regular basis with our Sanctuary.  Manchas was kept at their facility until he was able to be transferred to Colorado - where he will now be able to live and thrive as a powerful and majestic male Jaguar in one of the Sanctuary’s large acreage habitats

 

Negrita:  Mexico Government Confiscation - Negrita is a twelve year old female Jaguar that was confiscated by the Mexican Government after her owner  abandoned her in the woods, leaving her there to die.  She had previously suffered many years of neglect and abuse while she was kept by a store owner in Cancun, Mexico.  Negrita’s previous owner used to anchor her with chains in his restaurant’s window to attract more clientele.  She was fed only when her owner had cheap rotting meat to throw away.  Negrita was declawed and had her teeth filed down, which caused painful ulcers in her mouth, and she was unable to stand or walk on many occasions due to severe bouts of gastritis. Now that  Negrita has been rescued, she will receive proper medical care and will be able to recover.   She will eventually be able to live the remaining years of her life with other Jaguars in one of the Sanctuary’s large acreage habitats.

 

LEOPARDS

Chloe & Jake:  CA Fish & Game and USDA Confiscation —Spotted Leopards, Chloe & Jake, came from “Tiger Rescue” in Colton, CA, when it was shut down in 2003.  These two were found as infants in an air-conditioning duct where they were hidden by their owners from authorities.  They were two of five Leopards rescued from the facility, by The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  They now live freely with other Leopards in their specially designed enclosure.

 

Jumanji:  Ohio Roadside Zoo Confiscation/Surrender - Jumanji is a male Black Leopard that was rescued from a roadside zoo in Ohio that failed to care for its animals.  With freezing temperatures and no heat or adequate shelter, he suffered from frost bite and ammonia sores from being forced to lay in his own urine for days at a time.  Malnourished and suffering from infections and open wounds, Jumanji and a number of other animals were in terrible shape when they arrived.  Yet, with world-class veterinary care and a specially-formulated diet, this stunning Leopard has made a full recovery and will enjoy a new life living with Eddy and the other Leopards here at the Sanctuary.

 

Kiro:  Mexico Government Confiscation - Kiro is a male Leopard that was confiscated by the Mexican Government agency known as PROFEPA due to his being trafficked illegally.  When rescued, Kiro was suffering from abuse and neglect including having been declawed on all four feet and being malnourished and underweight.  Kiro is now at a healthy weight and has regained his agility and mental health.  This handsome Leopard can look forward to living a wonderful life in a sensory-rich habitat with the Sanctuary’s many other Leopards.

 

MOUNTAIN LIONS

CeCe: State of Florida - Enforced Amusement Park Closure—CeCe was rescued from an amusement park in Florida after the facility had been shut down by the state.  CeCe spent 7 years living in a concrete and steel holding pen and was only allowed to go into a grassy display area for short periods of time.  Now that she has been rescued, CeCe will be able to live comfortably at The Wild Animal Sanctuary and have other Mountain Lion friends to live with.

 

Kiera:  New York State Wildlife Officials Confiscation - Kiera is  a Mountain Lion  that was being kept in a small cage located in a junk-ridden back yard of a couple living in New York State.  The couple had purchased Kiera, along with an African Serval  and a Black Bear with the intention of keeping them as pets - but once they all had grown up – they were placed in cramped cages out behind the couple’s house.  Kiera, and her fellow back yard “pet” friends were rescued and now live in open habitats with others of their own species.

 

Buddy:  USDA Enforced Zoo Closure - Buddy, a male Mountain Lion was rescued from inside a mall in Iowa where a man had what he called a “wildlife education display” - but had animals locked inside cages for years on-end.   Sitting day after day on concrete floors scattered with wood chips and bark in order to make them seem “natural” and with no sunlight or fresh air to be had, these animals were being forced to exist in one of the most unnatural environments possible.  Now, Buddy shares a large habitat with other Mountain Lions where he can run freely and for the first time in his life feel earth and grass under his feet

 

Montana:  Ohio Roadside Zoo Surrender - Montana, a male Mountain Lion, was kept in a small cage inside a tiny road-side zoo along with many other animals that were supposedly “rescued”.  However, after many animals suffered from lack of proper care, and others died, the USDA decided they had no choice but to confiscate Montana and other animals for their own protection.  Yet, just hours before they were to be confiscated, the facility owners decided to “donate” the animals to our Sanctuary in order to avoid the stigma of having them legally taken away.  Montana was able to be rescued and brought to the Sanctuary and now lives with other Mountain Lions that have their own large acreage natural habitat.  With his newfound freedom and better accommodations, Montana has a wonderful new life ahead of him.

 

Pakal:  Mexican Wildlife Authorities Confiscation - Pakal is a male Mountain Lion that was sold to a private citizen in Mexico.  He was taken to a  veterinarian to get checked and was found to have metabolic bone disease (Rickets) due to poor nutrition.  The owners refused treatment and took Pakal home, but he ended up scratching a small child and was sentenced to be killed.  The veterinarian heard about his plight and helped protect Pakal until he was able to find a safer place for him to go.  Working with our partners in Mexico, the Sanctuary was able to rescue Pakal and fly him to Colorado, where he now lives with other Mountain Lions in a large acreage natural habitat.  With newfound freedom and specialized care, Pakal now has a wonderful new life at The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

Cascade:  California Facility Closure--Male Mountain Lion, Cascade, ended up at an animal rescue facility near Los Angeles where he lived for about a year prior to coming to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  Unfortunately, nothing is known about his life prior to that.  After being damaged by both fire and flooding, and experiencing a lack of funding, the facility management chose to cease operations.  The         California Department of Fish and Wildlife assumed care of the animals and asked the Sanctuary to provide a home for this handsome Mountain Lion.  Naturally, the Sanctuary agreed so now Cascade will never have to move again and he can live the most natural life possible while sharing a large-acreage habitat with others of his kind.

 

WOLVES

Aztec: Rescue Organization Transfer - Aztec, a young male Timber Wolf, was found roaming around the woods near Cleveland, Ohio so a local Husky Rescue decided to take him. Since Aztec is a Wolf, the rescue knew they couldn’t adopt him out so they needed to find a Sanctuary for him. While temporarily living at the rescue, he bonded with a young Arctic Wolf named Fidget, who was also waiting to find a permanent home. TWAS did not want to separate them and agreed to rescue the pair and provide them a lifelong home so they will never be abandoned again.

 

Duke: Colorado Animal Control Confiscation – Duke is a male Wolf that was captured after being found running lose in the Woods outside of Denver, CO.  He was obviously someone’s pet that had gotten lose, and animal control confiscated him and asked the Sanctuary to give him a permanent home.  Duke is now a happy member of the Sanctuary’s Arctic Wolf Pack and enjoying his life roaming with his new Wolf Family.

 

Keona, Raven & Yukon:  USDA Enforced Zoo Closure - These Wolves were part of a group of 18 animals rescued from inside a mall in Iowa where a man had what he called a “wildlife education display” - but had animals locked inside cages for years on-end.  Sitting day after day on concrete floors scattered with wood chips and bark in order to make them seem “natural” and with no sunlight or fresh air to be had, these animals were being forced to exist in one of the most unnatural environments possible.  Now, these Wolves can run freely and for the first time in their lives, be in a functioning Wolf pack.

 

Macey:  USDA-mandated Relinquishment - Female Wolf, Macey, was one of 24 animals suffering from declining care at an animal rescue facility in Spearfish, South Dakota.  Accepting both domestic and exotic animals, the facility began to suffer from overcrowding and mismanagement.  As a result, the USDA stepped in when many of the exotic animals, including Tigers, a Lion, other Wolves and Bears, showed signs of being undernourished.  Because the facility’s director was initially unwilling to surrender the animals, the USDA was prepared to legally confiscate the affected animals.  However, at the last minute the director acquiesced and the animals were surrendered to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  Macey can now look forward to living out the rest of her life with plenty of food to eat, living in a Wolf pack and having acres and acres of room to roam!

Kiko:  Owner Surrender – Female Wolf, Kiko, was acquired by a family in Denver who wanted a Wolf as a pet.  However, by only six-months of age Kiko’s lack of domestication and ability to escape was becoming a major problem for her owners.  Realizing that Kiko could never be a pet and fearing more escapes, her owners contacted The Wild Animal Sanctuary, which was more than happy to give Kiko a lifetime home of wild open spaces and living in a Wolf-pack where she belongs.

Ajack:  Safari Park Surrender--Male Arctic Wolf, Ajack, was born at the drive-thru Parc Safari located near Montreal, Canada.  After about

3 ½ years, the facility determined it was no longer able to provide the best home possible for Ajack and his litter-mate sister, Sijack.  At such time The Wild Animal Sanctuary was contacted about taking-in these two Wolves and a male Lion in a similar situation.  The Sanctuary agreed to provide a lifelong home for all of them, and after a cross-country trek these Canadian residents became United States citizens!  Ajack and Sijack now enjoy life in a large-acreage, natural habitat near other Wolves and may eventually form the nucleus of a larger Wolf pack as time goes on.

Sijack:  Safari Park Surrender--Female Arctic Wolf, Sijack, was born at the drive-thru Parc Safari located near Montreal, Canada.  After about 3 ½ years, the facility determined it was no longer able to provide the best home possible for Sijack and her litter-mate brother, Ajack.  At such time The Wild Animal Sanctuary was contacted about taking-in these two Wolves and a male Lion in a similar situation.  The Sanctuary agreed to provide a lifelong home for all of them, and after a cross-country trek these Canadian residents became United States citizens!  Sijack and Ajack now enjoy life in a large-acreage, natural habitat near other Wolves and may eventually form the nucleus of a larger Wolf pack as time goes on.

Eva and Lupin:  Private Owner Surrender--these two Wolves belonged to a private owner in the Miami, Florida area.  After multiple escapes that included attacks on local dogs, the owner was forced to relinquish them to an appropriate facility like the Sanctuary.  Now they can live on acres of land with other Wolves and freely be the animals nature intended.

Sage:  California Facility Closure--Male Wolf, Sage, was one of twelve Wolves that were given a new life by The Wild Animal Sanctuary after previously living at a rescue facility near Los Angeles.  Sage most likely was one of fifteen Wolves rescued from a Minnesota fur farm in August 2018 before arriving at the California facility.  After being damaged by both fire and flooding, and suffering from a lack of funding, the facility management chose to cease operations in mid-2019.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife assumed care of the animals and eventually asked the Sanctuary to provide a home for Sage and eleven other Wolves.  Naturally, the Sanctuary agreed so now Sage and all the others can live out their lives in natural habitats with other Wolves and never have to worry about where they will live again!

Wind Walker:  California Facility Closure--Male Wolf, Wind Walker, was one of twelve Wolves that were given a new life by The Wild Animal Sanctuary after previously living at a rescue facility near Los Angeles.  Wind Walker was one of fifteen Wolves rescued from a Minnesota fur farm in August 2018 before arriving at the California facility.  After being damaged by both fire and flooding, and suffering from a lack of funding, the facility management chose to cease operations in mid-2019.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife assumed care of the animals and eventually asked the Sanctuary to provide a home for Wind Walker and eleven other Wolves.  Naturally, the Sanctuary agreed so now Wind Walker and all the others can live out their lives in natural habitats with other Wolves and never have to worry about where they will live again!

 

LYNX

Koschka: Washington State Court Ordered Surrender —Siberian Lynx Koschka was confiscated through a court order after state officials found a person breeding Lynx to sell as pets.  TWAS was contacted by a Humane Society that had been temporarily holding the cats, and agreed to give Koschka a life-long loving home where she can live freely.

 

Viktor: Born to Washington State Court Ordered Surrender animals - Viktor was born at TWAS shortly after his parents were rescued. His mother, Koschka, was sent to TWAS after her owner was forced by Fish and Game officials to relinquish his animals. TWAS was informed that the female was reportedly spayed so we kept the pair together. However, it wasn’t long before we discovered that Koschka was pregnant. Koschka and Viktor live happily in a large enclosure with other cats – enjoying the freedom and room to roam that they so aptly deserve.

Chester: State Attorney Confiscation - Male Lynx, Chester, was one of hundreds of animals confiscated from a rural roadside zoo that had fallen afoul of state animal welfare laws due to animals living in horrific conditions and subject to neglect and abuse.  The Wild Animal Sanctuary rescued Chester as a young kitten as well as 23 other animals, including Chester’s parents, Finn and Mira and older sister, Leia.  This incredibly close and adorable Lynx family now get to live great lives where they will always be loved and cared for, and be able to live as naturally as possible with all the amenities a Lynx family could ever ask for.

 

BOBCATS

Mitchell : Washington State Humane Society- Mitchell and his brother were born at TWAS shortly after their parents – Morris and Cisco - were rescued. Morris and Cisco were sent to TWAS after their owner was forced by Fish and Game officials to relinquish the animals. TWAS was informed that the female was reportedly spayed so we kept the pair together. However, it wasn’t long before we discovered that Cisco was pregnant. Mitchell lives happily in a large enclosure with other cats – enjoying the freedom and room to roam that he so aptly deserves. All of the males have been neutered now to prevent any future breeding.

 

Marcus: Washington State Humane Society - Marcus and his brother were born at TWAS shortly after their parents – Morris and Cisco - were rescued. Morris and Cisco were sent to TWAS after their owner was forced by Fish and Game officials to relinquish the animals. TWAS was informed that the female was reportedly spayed so we kept the pair together. However, it wasn’t long before we discovered that Cisco was pregnant.  Marcus lives happily in a large enclosure with other cats – enjoying the freedom and room to roam that he so aptly deserves. All of the males have been neutered now to prevent any future breeding.

 

Paisley:  Owner Surrender - Female Bobcat, Paisley, began life at a breeding facility and was quickly separated from her mother when she was acquired at two weeks of age by a couple in Montana to be kept as a pet.  Subsequently and sadly, she was declawed on all four feet.  Upon moving to Colorado, Paisley’s owners were unable to keep her due to the state’s laws regarding exotics.  Fortunately for Paisley, though, the best part of her life began anew as she now gets to live with other Bobcats and is no longer being kept as someone’s “pet”.

Shadow:  USDA Enforced Zoo Closure--Shadow, a male Bobcat, was one of 18 animals rescued from inside a mall in Iowa where a man had what he called a “wildlife education display” - but had animals locked inside cages for years on-end.  Sitting day after day on concrete floors scattered with wood chips and bark in order to make them seem “natural” and with no sunlight or fresh air to be had, these animals were being forced to exist in one of the most unnatural environments possible.  Now, Shadow lives in a habitat where he can enjoy the sun, breathe fresh air, do what he wants and for the first time in his life, live with other Bobcats.

 

AFRICAN SERVALS

Aslyn:  Private Surrender —Given to a couple as a wedding gift, Aslyn went from being a “pet” to a liability when the couple’s first baby was born and the Serval became jealous.  Surrendered to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Aslyn now resides in a large enclosure adjacent to two other Servals.  She has a cozy heated condo for winter, and lots of space to jump and lounge around on platforms of varying heights.

 

Nakita: Owner Surrender – Female Serval, Nakita, was raised by a family in Nevada as a so-called pet—and perhaps with an eye towards using her for breeding purposes.  Moving to Colorado and not wanting to run afoul of the state’s strict laws against keeping exotic animals, the family called and asked if The Wild Animal Sanctuary could provide a home for the young Serval.  The Sanctuary was only too happy to offer a more appropriate, forever home to this beautiful cat who now enjoys lots of room, enrichment and shares her life with the Sanctuary’s many other Servals.

 

RACCOON

Jake: Private Forfeiture –Jake was brought into Colorado by his owner, who didn’t realize he had to have a license to own him. When contacted to take him, TWAS was glad to give Jake a home. As Jake was raised inside a house, he is getting happily acclimated to his large outside enclosure (raccoons really prefer the outdoors) and he has a cozy dog house to snuggle up in when he chooses. 

 

COATI MUNDI

Maurice: Private Surrender- Maurice is a male Coati-mundi and was found far from what would be his native home in Central America. He was discovered running around at a warehouse in downtown Denver and was probably being kept as someone's pet and had gotten loose. The people who found Maurice called TWAS right away and we gladly took him.  Maurice now lives freely at the Sanctuary, and enjoys the company of other rescued Coati-Mundis.

 

Addie and Avery: State Attorney Confiscation - Female Coati Mundis, Avery and Addie, were two of hundreds of animals confiscated from a rural roadside zoo that had fallen afoul of state animal welfare laws due to animals living in horrific conditions and subject to neglect and abuse.  The Wild Animal Sanctuary rescued these sister Coatis as well as 22 other animals.  These two beautiful Coatis now get to live great lives with the Sanctuary’s other Coatis where they will always be loved and cared for, and be able to live as naturally as possible with everything they could ever ask for.

 

COYOTES

Chiqui, Igor, Pulga and Brownie: Public Zoo Forfeiture—These  Coyotes came from a small-town zoo located in central Mexico.  They were some of many smaller animals that were being kept in small wire crates stacked on top of each other 24 hour a day.  The zoo knew it was a terrible life for these beautiful Coyotes, so they asked the Sanctuary to rescue them and bring them to Colorado where they could live in a nice large natural habitat where they can roam freely for the rest of their lives.

Harley:  Mexican Zoo Surplus--Female Coyote, Harley, was born at TWAS shortly after her parents were rescued.  Harley’s parents were two of five Coyotes rescued by the Sanctuary after discovering them in a small zoo in Mexico.  They were being kept in tiny transfer cages on a full-time basis since the zoo didn’t have room for them in their normal exhibit area.  The Sanctuary was incorrectly informed the male Coyotes had been sterilized, but the arrival of Harley and her sibling disproved that!  We are happy to report the entire Coyote family is doing well in their roomy Sanctuary home.

Marty:  Mexican Zoo Surplus--Male Coyote, Marty, was born at TWAS shortly after his parents were rescued.  Marty’s parents were two of five Coyotes rescued by the Sanctuary after discovering them in a small zoo in Mexico.  They were being kept in tiny transfer cages on a full-time basis since the zoo didn’t have room for them in their normal exhibit area.  The Sanctuary was incorrectly informed the male Coyotes had been sterilized, but the arrival of Marty and his sibling disproved that!  We are happy to report the entire Coyote family is doing well in their roomy Sanctuary home.

 

FOXES

Rita, Rocky & Orejitas: Public Zoo Forfeiture- Rita, Rocky and Orejitas are Kit Fox that came from a small-town zoo located in central Mexico. They were some of many smaller animals that were being kept in small wire crates stacked on top of each other 24 hours a day. The zoo knew it was a terrible life for them, so they asked the Sanctuary to rescue Rita, Rocky and Orejitas and bring them to Colorado where they could live in a nice large enclosure with lots of love and attention for the rest of their lives.

 

Starkey:  New Mexico Fish & Game Confiscation —Starkey, a Red Fox, was owned by two ladies living in a New Mexico trailer park, and was confiscated by law enforcement officials for being kept illegally.  Coming from an extremely small enclosure, he was temporarily placed at a local humane society. Since New Mexico has no sanctuaries where Starkey s could go, TWAS rescued him, and brought him back to live in spacious quarters, where he can run, play, dig and climb (in Ringo’s case) to their hearts’ content.  

 

Granite & Marble:  USDA Enforced Zoo Closure - These Fox were a part of 18 animals rescued from inside a Mall in Iowa where a man had what he called a “wildlife education display” - but had animals locked inside cages for years on-end.  Sitting day after day on concrete floors scattered with wood chips and bark in order to make them seem “natural” and with no sunlight or fresh air to be had, these animals were being forced to exist in one of the most unnatural environments possible.  Now, these Fox live in a large habitat where they can run and play freely for the first time in their lives.

 

Cali:  Owner Surrender - Female Tree Fox, Cali, was dumped in the night drop-off section at a Denver-area humane society by a man who had tried to keep her as a pet.  Most likely fearing running afoul of Colorado's strict laws against keeping exotic animals as pets, the man left no information about himself or the young vixen.  The Sanctuary's veterinarians believed Cali to be about 12-weeks old when rescued and that she had grown large enough to become difficult to keep in a house.  Now that Cali has a proper home she will enjoy living with the Sanctuary's other rescued Foxes.

 

Sage:  Wyoming Game and Fish Department Confiscation - Female Tree Fox, Sage, began her life at a breeding facility where she was sold to a private owner in Gillette, Wyoming who wanted to keep her as a ‘pet’—and even went so far as to place a dog collar around her neck.  She became too much to handle and was relegated to a small wire cage in a shed where she spent her days.  Eventually she was confiscated by state wildlife authorities who contacted the Sanctuary about giving her a home.  The Sanctuary was only too happy to offer a more appropriate, forever home to this beautiful vixen who now enjoys lots of room, enrichment and shares her life with the Sanctuary’s many other Fox.

Foxy:  Animal Welfare Organization Placement--Male Red Fox, Foxy, began his life in an illegal, private owner situation in Beirut, Lebanon.  An animal welfare organization, Animals Lebanon, took in the kit and looked far and wide to find him an appropriate home, but nothing could be found in Europe or the Middle East that offered anything other than traditional caging.  Serendipitously, the executive team of Animals Lebanon discovered the  Sanctuary and its large, natural habitats and asked if Foxy could live here.  The Sanctuary was only too happy to offer a forever home to this very handsome Fox who now enjoys lots of room, enrichment and shares his life with the Sanctuary’s many other Fox.

Noctis:  Owner Surrender--Male black and silver Red Fox, Noctis, spent the first five years of his life owned by a private owner in the state of Texas.  Upon moving to Colorado, this incredibly handsome Fox’s owner discovered that possessing a Fox in the state is illegal.  Like any number of people before him, he reached out to The Wild Animal Sanctuary asking if the Sanctuary could give Noctis a life-long home.  Naturally, the Sanctuary whole-heartedly agreed and now Noctis is happily  living with other Fox in a stimulating, multi-acre natural habitat—finally discovering what life as a Fox was meant to be.

 

OSTRICHES

Lucy:  Owner Surrender - Female Ostrich, Lucy and her sister, Ethel, were purchased as babies by a business man in New Mexico.   Lucy and Ethel lived for years behind a commercial building in a concrete trash dumpster space.  An employee of the business man finally convinced him that this was not a good life for the Ostriches and called our Sanctuary.  The Sanctuary drove to New Mexico to rescue both Lucy and Ethel and now they both are very happy living in a large acreage habitat with other animal friends, including a number of Emu.

 

EMUS

Barney: Owner Surrender—Male Emu, Barney, was brought to the Sanctuary after his owners couldn't keep him anymore.  He is a very gentle Emu and he is very happy living in a large acreage habitat with other Emu, Ostriches and various hoof stock.

Madame “E”:  Wandering as a Stray in Colorado – Found wandering alone on a Colorado county road, this Emu was corralled by a Good Samaritan.  Knowing from where she came, the Good Samaritan approached the owners who refused her return.  Thus, the Sanctuary was contacted and agreed to give this beautiful bird a great home with others of its kind.

 

CAMELS

Morrison:  Private Surrender —Morrison the Camel was rescued from a horse boarding facility in Colorado that was closing its doors.  The owners of horses being boarded at the place did not want Morrison to be homeless, or worse, euthanized, so they raised the $3,000 required by the owner of the facility to “give” him to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.  After his arrival at the sanctuary, Morrison quickly became a favorite of everyone.  His friendly ways, and quirky running gait are always fondly remembered by everyone who knows him.

Ginger:  Mandated Owner-Relinquishment--Female Bactrian Camel, Ginger, along with a menagerie of dozens of other animals—both exotic and domestic, were being kept by a couple in what had become a neglectful and legally-suspect hoarding situation in rural Colorado.  Of all the hoof-stock being kept there, Ginger was suffering the most from inadequate care and nutrition for a young and growing Camel.  At less than a year old, Ginger was already suffering from extreme lameness in her front legs and hooves.  Now living at the Sanctuary with first-rate care, great food and acres to roam—as well as with companion dromedary Camel, Morrison, Ginger is in the place that will best allow her to live life to the maximum with her infirmity.

 

HORSES

Buckshot:  Mandated Owner-Relinquishment--Male Mini-Horse, Buckshot, along with a menagerie of dozens of other animals—both exotic and domestic, were being kept by a couple in what had become a neglectful and legally-suspect hoarding situation in rural Colorado.  Of all the hoof-stock removed from the facility, Buckshot and a Bactrian Camel were suffering the most from inadequate care and nutrition.  Buckshot had an extreme case of overgrown hooves and could hardly walk.  Now living at the Sanctuary, his hooves are like new again and he receives first-rate care, great food and has acres on which to roam.  This fortunate little Horse will never have to suffer such neglect again.

Roanie:  Private Surrender – Roanie is a roan-colored mare that was rescued when the Sanctuary was called in to rescue a Bengal Tiger off of an 83 year old woman’s back porch.  The lady had kept the Tiger, as well as Roanie, at her house for years, but could no longer care for them.  The Oregon State Fish & Game department asked the Sanctuary to rescue the pair after the Tiger had escaped a number of times.  Today, Roanie enjoys living with the Sanctuary’s other rescued horses, as well as with Mo Mo the rescued Camel.

 

ALPACAS

Alpacas:  Private Surrender - 50 Alpacas were rescued by the Sanctuary when their owner realized he could no longer afford to care for them anymore.  Their previous owner said hay prices had escalated to the level where he needed to get rid of them, and he thought we should “feed them to the Tigers”.  Of course, being a Sanctuary, there was no way we would ever sacrifice one animal for another – so the Sanctuary decided to take in the Alpacas and give them a wonderful home.  Today, the Alpacas roam freely on hundreds of acres at the Refuge.

 

YAK

Snowy:  Owner Surrender--Male Yak, Snowy, was one of nine Yaks being kept by a private owner on her ranch in western Colorado.  Upon selling the property and nearing the deadline to move, the owner contacted the Sanctuary desperately looking for a safe home for these shaggy bovines which she considered to be more a part of the family rather than a livestock commodity.  Prior attempts to find a home for the small herd was only met with offers to use the animals for food!    The Sanctuary agreed to give them a permanent home where Snowy and his herd-mates will never have to worry about becoming food and can look forward to a long life living on hundreds of acres of natural land at the Refuge replete with meadows, hills and rocks like their native Tibet and first-rate care.

 

KANGAROO

Jo Jo:  Mandated Owner Relinquishment--Male Kangaroo, Jo Jo, along with a menagerie of dozens of other animals—both exotic and domestic, were being kept by a couple in what had become a neglectful and legally-suspect hoarding situation in rural Colorado.  Jo Jo is just one of nearly a dozen marsupials that were rescued, including other Kangaroos and some Wallabies and Wallaroos.  Now living at the Sanctuary with first-rate care, great food and acres on which to hop to his heart’s content, Jo Jo and his companions could not ask for a better place to live.

* Note - We strive to keep our rescue stories up to date, but with new animals arriving all the time from recent rescue missions... and older animals passing on when their time comes... this list is never 100% accurate, and should be used more as a guide to the unique stories and challenging situations our animals have come from.

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