To get a break from work, school, and obsessing over my non-sales on Etsy, our family took a little trip to The Wild Animal Sanctuary located near Keenesburg, CO yesterday.
What is it?
quoting from the brochure we were given:
"Take a walk on wild side as you stroll over 350 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves, and other large Carnivores on one of the longest and most unique elevated pedestrian walkways in the world. The Wild Animal Sanctuary, located 30 miles northeast of Denver, recently completed construction on its monumental "Mile into the Wild" walkway."
The young woman who gave us the intro to the facility told us that there are currently 400 animals living there. All of the animals at the facility have been rescued from situations where they were kept by people under the most deplorable conditions. One wonders what kind of person would keep an exotic animal chained up in their backyard? Or there was the story of animals living on the back of a pick-up or others living in small crates. It was hard listening to these stories of terrible abuse and suffering. How could people do these things to such beautiful creatures?
We walked above the fenced in areas where the animals live now. Usually they start out in smaller fenced in spaces and cages, that are more like what they are used to in their previous life. All of the animals were born in captivity so they don't know about hunting. It was kind of amusing to see herds of bunnies hopping around among the lions and tigers who couldn't care less about them. The rescued animals are circus animals, zoo animals, or many of them were held as pets. As the animals recover and grow acclimated they get moved to bigger habitats where they learn to live together in groups.
It took us about an hour and a half to walk the whole distance of the elevated walkway. We stopped many times to look, listen, and marvel at the beauty of what we saw. At one point the lions in one of the larger fenced in areas started calling to one another. I think there were 3 different prides living together in that particular enclosed area. One male started roaring and then another male lion responded to his call saying something back. Soon enough a third guy chimed in with a message to the others. And all of a sudden it was like a concert of lions their sounds reverberating around us. I have no words to describe that moment. Amazing and wonderful don't cut it. If you are ever in the vicinity or if you live in Colorado you MUST visit The Wild Animal Sanctuary. I am not too fond of zoos and caged animals. But this place is different. It's a happy place. A peaceful place. And I find if kind of funny how all these wild animals have found paradise on the Prairie.
Maybe some day the handmade artists on Etsy will find a new home like those lions and tigers did. Dear Etsy, I am sorry if my blog post bites you, but you have not kept the promise from when I first joined the site, and I know a bunch of artists who would make a run for it if someone started a sanctuary for us.