KEENESBURG, Colo., May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the longest and most unique elevated walkways in the world is now open at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS).
The monumental "Mile Into The Wild" Walkway stretches over 4,800 feet in length and gives visitors unprecedented access to over 290 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other Large Carnivores roaming freely in natural habitats. The walkway connects the Sanctuary's original complex at the south end of the facility to the 4,000 square foot observation deck inside the state of the art Bolivian Lion House that sits on the northern edge of its current habitat system.
After the Bolivian Lion Rescue received extensive media coverage in 2011, TWAS had a record breaking year with close to 100,000 visitors and expects more than 150,000 visitors in 2012. "Education is a crucial aspect of our mission so it was very important to expand our educational capacity as we continue to grow every year. The more people we can educate about the captive wildlife crisis, the greater the likelihood of us putting an end to this tragic plight," said Executive Director, Pat Craig, about the importance of the expansion. With the purchase of an additional 400 acres in 2011, with the help of a generous benefactor, the facility will continue to expand the walkway on the new property as more habitats are developed.
An additional entrance and parking lot have been built on the northern end of the property to accommodate the Sanctuary's growing number of visitors. With the Sanctuary being located in a rural setting, another big improvement has been made with the county road being paved - which gives visitors a comfortable drive to the facility. TWAS also recently launched a wildlife audio tour where visitors use their cell phones to learn more interesting facts and stories about the animals they are viewing from the walkway. "We are very excited to provide our guests with this new feature to enhance their visit. Pat Craig narrated the tour so it feels as if you are getting a private tour from the organizations Founder and Executive Director," said Katie Vandegrift, the Sanctuary's Public Relations Director.
With the remarkable access of the new walkway, TWAS continues to pioneer how Large Carnivores are viewed by the public, as well as how they are cared for. There is no other place in the country where you can see prides of Lions roaming freely, or packs of Wolves living together in large acreage habitats. The facility is a prime example that places do not have to sacrifice an animal's space and comfort in order to be open to the public. TWAS is quickly becoming a world class destination, as people from all over the world are coming to the Sanctuary to experience its wide open spaces and see hundreds of rescued animals.
The non-profit organization implemented a "Mile Into The Wild" funding campaign several years ago to help off-set the enormous costs of the educational project. People continue to help fund the project today by purchasing customized bronze plaques that are mounted on the walkway to commemorate their support. More information on the campaign can be found by going to their web site at www.wildanimalsanctuary.org
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 more than 290 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 unique system of observation decks and walkways that visitors utilize to see the animals in natural habitats.
SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary