If you’re thinking of buying real estate in Douglas County, CO, you probably already know that the close proximity of the mountains provides unparalleled outdoor adventures and activities. Well, so do the small towns and cities located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Colorado is filled with so many wonderful things to see and do! If you are looking for a fun, educational, entertaining, and unique activity, how about a visit to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado?
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the world’s largest facility for rescued carnivores – including lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and other large meat-eating animals. The facility covers more than 720 acres, and it is an amazing sight for visitors of all ages.
FREE Admission on “Wild” Earth Day – Saturday, April 22
The sanctuary is hosting a “Wild” Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Anyone who brings a potted plant, tree, or bush/shrub will receive FREE admission! The donated foliage will be used to embellish the animal habitats to create a more natural-looking landscape.
If you are wondering which type of plants to donate, The Wild Animal Sanctuary suggests the following:
• Cottonwood Trees
• Eastern Red Cedar (Evergreen)
• Lilac Bushes
• Sand Cherries
While there, visitors are welcomed and encouraged to help with planting the donations. Free Earth Day T-shirts will be distributed to visitors. Also, vendors will be on-site, selling food, arts and crafts, and other items.
Wheels for Wildlife – The Wildest Vehicle Show & Festival
Also, check out the The Wildest Vehicle Show & Festival on July 22nd featuring all day bands, vendors and prizes. Bring your wild ride and make a day of it!
A Few Qs & As about The Wild Animal Sanctuary:
What is the mission of The Wild Animal Sanctuary?
The sanctuary’s mission is to rescue and care for mistreated, abused, and injured wild animals – and to educate the public about these animals and the crises that wildlife is currently facing.
Everywhere around the world, exotic and endangered animals are being kept in abusive conditions or abandoned by owners and businesses that no longer have a use for them. Without the necessary skills to survive in the wild environments where they would have thrived, these mistreated animals are stripped of their dignity and used by people for profit.
The exotic animal trade is one of the largest sources of income on the black market today. About 30,000 large carnivores are held captive in the U.S. outside of the zoo system including tigers, lions, bears, and wolves. Many are kept as pets in private homes. Others are used for human entertainment in circuses, magic acts, and shows while still more are abandoned, suffering abuse, or neglected leading to their early deaths.
How long has the sanctuary been open?
The sanctuary was established in 1980. It’s currently the largest wild animal sanctuary of its type in the United States. Established by Executive Director Pat Craig in 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a state and federally licensed zoological facility and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Pat Craig started the Wild Animal Sanctuary in 1980, keeping the animals on his family’s farm outside of Boulder. Now, TWAS has 27 large animal habitats situated on 720 acres in Keenesburg, CO. The largest and oldest organization of its kind, the Wild Animal Sanctuary provides a home for over 450 rescued animals including mountain lions, wolves, leopards, lions, bears, lynx, and other large carnivores. At TWAS these formally mistreated animals are given rehabilitation, medical treatment, rehabilitation, excellent diets, and large open spaces designed specifically to imitate the natural habitats of each species in which they can roam, explore, and live their lives to the fullest.
Over the past 35 years, Pat has worked with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the USDA, and the Fish and Wildlife Service as well as agencies and individuals in Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, Panama, and Peru, to rescue animals being kept in terrible, inhumane conditions.
How many wild animals live at the sanctuary?
There are currently more than 450 animals living there.
Where is it located?
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is located at 1946 County Road 53, Keenesburg, CO 80643. It’s about 30 miles northeast of Denver. The easiest way to get there from your Castle Rock home and those living in Castle Pines is I-25 North to I-76 East. From homes in Parker, CO take E-470 N to I-76 E to Hwy 52 E. The sanctuary recommends that visitors not rely on GPS for directions. Instead, visit the sanctuary’s website for specific instructions on the best route.
How do visitors observe the animals?
Visitors walk along elevated platforms to see the animals. This allows people to have a unique view of the animals from above. The walkway includes signs with an abundance of information about the animals that are located below – in the viewable habitats.
Please note: This is not a zoo. The animals are roaming freely on open land. You will need to bring a pair of binoculars with you to get the most out of your visit.
Is there a way to learn more about the animals?
The sanctuary offers special guided tours for private groups, school groups, and individuals. Also, this short video from 60 minutes gives a good overview about what TWAS does.
Besides visiting the sanctuary, how can I help?
There are so many ways to support this great work of restoring dignity and freedom to these majestic animals. From making a cash donation to volunteering your time, the sanctuary appreciates all contributions. Here are just a few:
- Visit the sanctuary,
- Donate online or in person,
- “Adopt” an animal of your choosing,
- Join a team of more than 130 committed volunteers,
- Buy gifts from the online shop,
- Donate animal food or office supplies from the wish list,
- Host a fundraiser,
- Donate a car,
- Shop on Amazon using the Smiles Program.
Please visit Ways to Help to learn more about participating in this lifesaving organization.
There are many exceptional things to see and do in Colorado, and a visit to The Wild Animal Sanctuary is one of them. Residents of Colorado are lucky to live near an abundance of attractions that are appropriate and entertaining for visitors of all ages.
If you are relocating to Colorado to live or to open a business, make sure to contact an experienced real estate agent for help finding a perfect location to purchase a residential or commercial property.