Denver’s Wildlife Sanctuaries

The Wild Animal Sanctuary

Less than 50 miles from the city of Denver is a place called The Wild Animal Sanctuary. This sanctuary hosts over 400 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and other large carnivores. The animals housed in the sanctuary were rescued from people who kept them illegally, imported them illegally to keep as pets or were displaced and possibly abused by previous owners. The predators here are rehabilitated and given large acreage to roam freely on.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary operates on a 720 acre area of open plains Northeast of Denver. The animals that are rescued were mostly born in captivity or displaced by urban growth. Once the animals have been rehabilitated they are released to live with others of their own kind. Once the animals have grown comfortable with their new family unit and surroundings, the change in their demeanor and personality is drastic. The animals are finally able to be happy and free, all while being protected by the sanctuary.

Visitors are welcome at the sanctuary and are able to view the animals safely by utilizing the elevated catwalk system and observation decks. This system ensures the safety of the patrons as well as the animals. By using elevated catwalks and decks, the animals are able to retain their territories and freedom, all while giving patrons an amazing inside look at how they live in the wild together.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary provides an amazing experience for guests by not only giving them a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the animals in the wild, but by providing rescue stories and educational information on the animals and what the sanctuary is all about. Supporters of the sanctuary are able to donate funds to help keep it up and running, and supporters are also able to be a part of the rehabilitation process, offering an even closer look into the minds and lives of these beautiful carnivorous animals.

Denver Zoo

denver zooAnother wildlife attraction in the Denver area is the Denver zoo. While it is not an open sanctuary or refuge like the other popular wildlife attractions, it is still a very nice, safe place for animals, and to see animals. The Denver zoo offers up close animal encounters with multiple animals and exhibits, which is not something that you see everywhere. During these animal encounters, patrons have the opportunity to get face to face with penguins, sea lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos, orangutans, rhinos, colorful lorikeets, and even tropical snakes, lizards and frogs. Patrons are even able to live a day as a zookeeper with the animal care and training experience. That is definitely something you won’t get anywhere else.

The Denver zoo also boasts many special exhibits such as the Benson Predator Ridge, where guests can feel as if they are in Africa. Guests get the chance to walk through outcroppings, native plants and rotating exhibits through which the safari animals have the freedom to migrate and roam. Lions, hyenas and African wild dogs are some of the carnivores in Predator Ridge. The Northern Shores exhibit lets guests enjoy sea lions, river otters, arctic foxes and even polar bears. The Tropical Discovery exhibit immerses guests in the jungle and the coral reef. Reptiles of all kinds can be found here, from tropical fish, to snakes and large lizards. The Toyota Elephant Passage boasts 2 miles of connected trails and 10 acres in which the elephants roam and play. After guests walk the trails they have the chance to get up close and personal with the elephants in the elephant meet and greet. The Denver zoo is a wonderful place for the whole family. If you are ever in the area it is one of the must see wildlife stops that Denver has to offer.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

colorado mountainsJust ten minutes from downtown Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 330 species of wildlife including bison, bald eagles, deer, songbirds, water birds, and owls. The Visitor Center exhibits display Refuge wildlife and history. Visitors have the opportunity to participate in nature programs, 2 hour guided wildlife viewing tours, catch and release fishing, wildlife photography opportunities, and hiking on more than 9 miles of nature trails. The Wildlife Drive allows visitors to see the refuge and animals at their own pace as well.

Denver, Colorado is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the country to visit. Those who get to live there are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so much wildlife, and so many different places to experience it. The beautiful, mild climate is a dream for the animals that reside around the area. It allows the wild animals as well as the ones in sanctuaries, refuges and zoos to live comfortably, happily and freely with others of their own kind and with wide open spaces to roam, hunt and play. Of course, some of the natural wildlife in Denver can be a bit daunting, annoying, and even scary sometimes, but it is important to remember that by building our homes, neighborhoods, shopping centers and roads. we are the ones who have infringed upon their territories and taken away their homes. Because of this we need to try our hardest to save as much of the wildlife as possible. We should all try our best to live in harmony with the wildlife and with nature around us. The city of Denver has taken many of these steps already by rescuing and preserving wildlife and land for them to live happily and freely for the rest of their days, just like we hope to do.