KEENESBURG, Colo., Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Wild Animal Sanctuary has announced it is winding-down a five year campaign to significantly reduce the number of Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other captive large carnivores that get euthanized or die from neglect and abuse each year.
"Our goal was to make a major difference in the number of exotic animals that die each year due to illegal or abusive activity by people who try to have a Lion or Tiger as a pet," said Chief Operations Officer Casey Craig. "We set out to save more animals than has ever been done before, and we surpassed every benchmark in existence. Our campaign has been a giant success," adds Craig.
In just under 60 months, the Sanctuary carried out more than 63 separate rescue missions that included 56 within the United States and 7 that were international destinations. Sanctuary rescue teams traveled to 16 different American States, with under-regulated states like Georgia, Ohio and New York being visited numerous times. Teams also traveled to 7 different countries, including Canada, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina and Spain.
All told, the Sanctuary's rescues involved over 170,000 miles of travel and saved the lives of 332 Lions, Tigers, Bears and other large carnivores, as well as the odd Emu, Ostrich and Alpaca on occasion. Being the primary go-to large carnivore rescue organization in the country for law enforcement and animal welfare agencies, the Sanctuary had its hands full each year of the grueling campaign.
Building one large acreage habitat after another, the non-profit organization doubled the size of its operation growing from 320 acres to over 720 within the five year period. Now, with more than sixty habitats on the property, the Sanctuary is able to host an amazing number of fully-functioning African Lion prides (10), as well as 4 large free-roaming Wolf Packs and more than a dozen Bear Clans (totaling 135+ Bruins).
Along with 50+ Tigers and two dozen Mountain Lions and Leopards, the Sanctuary has an impressive collection of carnivores living just 30 miles northeast of the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado.
More than 160 volunteers and 45 paid staff worked diligently during the campaign to rehabilitate all 332 animals so they could be released to roam freely within natural habitats ranging from 5 to 25 acres.
"We are not a typical sanctuary that just rescues animals and then houses them in small cages," says Animal Care Director, Becca Miceli. "We specialize in rehabilitating each rescued animal so they can live freely with others of their own kind, and enjoy a more natural life."
The Sanctuary is now looking toward the next half-decade and has vowed to continue fighting the Captive Wildlife Crisis. With no lack of animals suffering in the world, Sanctuary officials say they expect to keep rescuing more animals, both within the United States, and abroad, and already have new rescues scheduled to take place in Armenia, Africa, Kuwait, and South America.
SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary