KEENESBURG, Colo., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) traveled over 3,300 miles in less than four days to rescue three more animals that were in dire need of a lifelong home.
The first stop on the extensive rescue trip was in Ontario, Canada at a wildlife rehabilitation center where a 12-year-old African Lioness named Subira was being held after being confiscated by someone who was illegally keeping her as a pet. Zoocheck Canada, an animal welfare organization based in Toronto, had been following Subira's story and contacted The Wild Animal Sanctuary to find a permanent home for the Lionesses. Through their research, Zoocheck Canada chose TWAS since it was the only Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere where she could be paired with other Lions and be able to roam freely.
"Lions have an innate desire to live with other Lions in a pride-like system so it is an injustice to make naturally social animals live by themselves. We commend Zoocheck and the rehabilitation center for recognizing that the Lionesses deserved a life with other Lions and decided to contact us, said Executive Director, Pat Craig. The Lioness is currently living in our state of the art Bolivian Lion House while she goes through the rehabilitation process. Once she becomes acclimated to her new environment, she will join a pride at TWAS."
The 720 acre Sanctuary currently has six African Lion prides and plans to create new ones as more Lions are rescued and more habitats are developed.
This is the third international Lion rescue TWAS has successfully completed within the last year. In February 2011, 25 African Lions were rescued in conjunction with Animal Defenders International from eight different circuses throughout Bolivia after the government banned the use of animals in circus acts. Seven months later, in September 2011, TWAS rescued three extremely malnourished Lionesses from Panama that had spent their entire lives in a tiny concrete and steel cage on a fairground outside of Chorrera. All of the Lions have since gone through the Sanctuary's rehabilitation process and are living on 80 acres of natural habitats.
On the way back from Canada, TWAS rescued two Wolves in Ohio that were also temporarily living at a Husky rescue center while they waited for a permanent home. Fidget, a young white Arctic Wolf, came from a facility where the owner suddenly died and no one was able to care for the animals. TWAS already rescued three Black Bears from the same facility several months ago, and they are all now roaming freely in a large acreage habitat with other Bears. The second Wolf, a young Timber Wolf named Aztec, was confiscated after being illegally kept as a pet and was then brought to the center. TWAS agreed to rescue the pair of Wolves because they had bonded and did not want to separate them.
While the Wolves get accustomed to their new home, they are living in an enclosure on the western end of the Sanctuary. Wolves also thrive in social groupings, so Aztec and Fidget will eventually join one of the Sanctuary's existing wolf packs in a large acreage habitat where they will live for the rest of their lives.
The Sanctuary is one of the only facilities in the country that has the capabilities to rescue and transport Large Carnivores, as it has a fleet of specialized vehicles outfitted with climate controls and other amenities for transporting animals. Both of the rescues were filmed by a National Geographic Crew and will air with other international rescues in three one hour specials.
About The Wild Animal Sanctuary:
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center, Inc., DBA The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a 720 acre refuge for large carnivores that have been confiscated from illegal or abusive situations. The Sanctuary is located 30 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado near the town of Keenesburg. The non-profit organization currently cares for nearly 300 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivores and provides lifelong care for its rescued animals. The Sanctuary is the oldest and largest carnivore sanctuary in existence, having been in operation since 1980. The facility is distinctive among others in that it provides large acreage natural habitats for its rescued animals to live in and roam freely. The Sanctuary is open daily to the public for educational purposes and features a mile long elevated walkway that allows visitors to stroll over habitats to see and learn more about the rescued animals.
SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary (Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center)