A couple weekends ago, my little sister came to stay with us and we headed over to The Wild Animal Sanctuary. It had been years, probably 2007 or so, since Ryan and I last went and since it’s right down the road from our new house we decided we couldn’t wait any longer to go. We remembered the heart of this sanctuary from when we went before which made us want to go back again, and I know this visit will not be our last. This sanctuary’s heart can truly be seen by just walking through the sanctuary. There is 750 acres filled with over 350 rescued animals that came from horrible situation of abuse, neglect and situations they needed confiscated. The mile long elevated walk-way is one way that you can see their heart for the animals. Knowing that these carnivores can become stressed with people walking around their habitats, they created an elevated viewing path that allows spectators to look over from above the wide open enclosures. This set up alleviates the stress on the animals feeling like they have to be protective of their spaces because the sky isn’t something they consider their territory. The Sanctuary is so diligent in their desire to make sure the animals aren’t stressed, we heard them tell visitors many times they couldn’t walk between the parking lots because of the enclosures and that they would have to walk up and around on the sky walk. It was great seeing the rules set into place keeping the animals happy and stress free.The spaces these animals now call their home aren’t small enclosures or confined spaces, but rather wide open areas that allow them to roam free among themselves with vast wide space to call their own. It’s unlike any other place we have been – it’s open and spacious. Throughout the habitats you can read signs filled with rescue stories. Stories of these large animals trying to be kept as pets, or “spectator events” so to speak. In one area of the sanctuary, the Education Center, you can go inside and watch videos of the rescues and more of what goes on behind the scenes.
The entire sanctuary is ran off of entry fees (which are tax deductible), donations and volunteers. There is a lot of heart and compassion that goes into this place. It’s well kept and the volunteers were all friendly. During our visit, we even saw the founder, Pat Craig, sitting at a table visiting with some guests along with a few sanctuary rescue dogs.
Overall, all of us enjoyed seeing the heart of this place and the animals that are now in such good care. A was a trooper and walked the whole one-mile walk one direction, which led to napping on mama the rest of the way back because it’s quite a walk. But wow, what a great experience. You can see things well and it’s well worth the admission fee to go in and see the animals.