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The Wild Animal Sanctuary rescues Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivores from illegal and abusive situations, and educates the public on issues concerning the Captive Wildlife Crisis in America today.

The 240 acre sanctuary is located just outside of Denver, CO and specializes in providing large acreage habitats for its rescued and rehabilitated animals.


The mission of The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) is to rescue and provide life-long homes for captive great cats, bears, wolves and other large carnivores, which have been abused, abandoned, exploited and illegally kept and to educate the public about causes and solutions to the dramatic plight of thousands of captive wildlife in the United States.


Founded in 1980 when the need for exotic animal rescue began - as a result of zoos purging their surplus in the private sector - the Sanctuary focused on saving large carnivores due to the inability of humane societies to take them in.


Wild Animal Care Program: Goal: - The goal of the Wild Animal Care Program is to provide care and feeding for 150 captive wild animals at The Wild Animal Sanctuary. Objectives: - To provide food, care and shelter for abused abandoned confiscated and surplus wildlife. - To continue to expand the facilities at The Wild Animal Sanctuary to provide more natural habitat for the wild animals.

Wild Animal Education Program: Goal: - The goal of the Wild Animal Education Program is to promote education about the past, current, and future situations of captive wildlife and solutions to the captive wildlife crisis. Objectives: - To provide education and educational tools in the form of, wildlife posters, flyers, DVD?s and other materials given to educate the public about actions that they can take as individuals. - To provide interactive presentations given to grammar, middle and high Schools, universities, conservation fairs, and other organizations, used to educate people about the captive wildlife crisis, The Wild Animal Sanctuary and the wild animals. - To promote the visitor education center that houses educational information for visitors to learn more about the captive wildlife crisis and the captive wild animals at The Wild Animal Sanctuary. - To provide a web-site that serves to educate the public about The Wild Animal Sanctuary, wild animals and the captive wildlife crisis.

Captive Wildlife Rescue Program: Goal: - The goal of the Captive Wildlife Rescue Program is to work with local, state, national, and international law enforcement agencies, as well as other wildlife organizations, and government regulators, and private individuals to help them with confiscated, abused and surplus wild animals. Objectives: - To provide expertise, equipment, and manpower to enact wild animal rescues - To provide critical short-term foster care (during pending court action) - To provide permanent guardianship (after legal custody is obtained) - To provide refuge for abandoned captive wild animals that come from individuals, zoos and closed wild animal facilities from all across the country.


The Wild Animal Sanctuary is one of only a few true sanctuaries located in the United States. We have received a special award from The American Humane Association and American Veterinary Associations for helping rescue abused wildlife. We do not receive any government support and all funding is through public and corporate donations, or grants and foundation support.


Build additional facilities to accommodate the ever growing number of animals needing rescue. New state laws are forcing breeders out of business, so more animals are being abandoned and confiscated. Sanctuary space is at a premium.

Increase our sources for operational funding in order to alleviate major losses in funding during natural disasters.

Continue working on the construction on our new 3,750 Sq. Ft. Specialized Animal Hospital.


Pat Craig began saving captive wildlife at age 19, while still a college student. From his first animal, a Jaguar cub, which he kept in a small licensed compound on his family farm outside Boulder, CO, Mr. Craig's vision has led, 28 years later, to the oldest and largest nonprofit sanctuary in North America for exotic Great cats and bears who have been abused, abandoned, exploited or illegally kept. Today The Wild Animal Sanctuary houses 150 Tigers, Lions, Grizzly and Black Bears, Leopards, Mountain Lions, Wolves, Servals, Bobcats and Coati Mundi. An innovator in providing exceptional care for captive great cats and bears (including designing one of four USDA-approved diets for large carnivores, and in developing large acreage species-specific habitats), Mr. Craig is a recognized expert in large carnivore behavior and management. He has participated as a member in The Association of Sanctuaries, and the American Sanctuary Association, on whose board he served. Mr. Craig has also lectured regionally and nationally on subjects as diverse as captive wildlife rescue and transportation, great cat behaviors and diets, and has addressed and developed related public policy and legislative issues. He has worked successfully with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA is the regulatory and licensing body for all exotic animal species), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and many other state and national organizations, as well as Universities across the country. Mr. Craig consults with other sanctuaries and animal welfare organizations, and is currently working with GEPDA (Gente por la Defensa Animalia) in Mexico City, to develop a national sanctuary in that country.


Antonina Scalera Secretary, Treasurer
Carroll Loyer Director Medical Services
Patrick Craig Chair
George Ellis Vice Chair
Judy Wilson President
Rebecca Miceli Director Educational Programs


Canada, Mexico, United States


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, Virgin Islands of the U.S.


1946 WCR 53

KEENESBURG, CO 80643-0000

Phone: (303) 536-0118

EIN: 84-1351483

A Gift Card


Provide habitat

Help purchase land

Your gift will enable the Sanctuary to continue building large acreage habitats for rescued animals to live in. Animals that once lived in tiny cages, horse trailers, garages or concrete pits will finally be free - as they should be - and also be able to enjoy the companionship of others of their own kind. Your gift will make all the difference, as we believe:...


Help Rescue a Tiger

Transportation & Food

Your gift will help the sanctuary to provide this much needed service, and will help save the life of one of these magnificent creatures.