Awarding TWAS – The Wild Animal Sanctuary

First legalizing the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, and now having a wildlife welfare organization that has been named the top 5 in the world, Colorado is fast becoming a popular, down-to-earth, natural state.

(Photo Via:

(Photo Via:

The CLASSY Awards came and went on May 2nd and 3rd, and the results are in. Celebrating the achievements of social impact in our society, the CLASSY Awards honor those who help make our world a better place. With 8 different award categories, and each category having sub-categories within them, “Animal Wildlife and Welfare” is one category recognized among others such as “Education Advancement”, “Environmental Protection”, and “Human Rights & Social Justice Services”.

At this year’s 5th Annual CLASSY Awards, The Wild Animal Sanctuary of Keenesburg, Colorado – 30 minutes outside of Denver – was selected as one of the top 5 nonprofit animal and wildlife welfare groups in the world, being recognized in the sub-category of “Captive Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation, & Education”. This Colorado sanctuary was named along with 4 other nonprofit animal welfare groups, including PETA, Best Friends Animal Society, Hilafax Humane Society, and World Vets.

Established in 1980 and being the oldest and largest nonprofit animal sanctuary in the United States, The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) rescues captive exotic and endangered large carnivores, giving them a forever home that closely mimics the animals’ natural habitat. Boasting 720 acres, this Colorado animal sanctuary is home to more than 290 lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and other exotic carnivorous mammals.

The preservation of these animals is not the only thing TWAS does to help. They also offer an extensive education program, focusing on the “Captive Wildlife Crisis”. According to the sanctuary’s website:

“There are estimates as high as 30,000 captive Great Cats, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivores living in substandard conditions throughout the US. In fact, after illegal drugs and weapons, the exotic animal trade is the third largest source of illicit profits in America…and in the world…today!”

“Our goal for the animals we rescue is to give them a life of dignity and respect, and make their life like it would be if they could choose. TWAS also works tirelessly to educate about the causes of…and solutions to…the Captive Wildlife Crisis.”

By providing this education, the public is able to learn about the plight of these exotic and endangered creatures, along with seeing the animals in what closely resembles their natural habitat. Building an elevated, almost 15,000 feet long walkway, the sanctuary allows visitors to view the animals in a way that does not disturb the habitat or the carnivores themselves.

Dubbed the "Mile Into the Wild Walkway", this bridge spans almost 3 miles, allowing visitors to view the sanctuary's animals. (Photo Via:

Dubbed the “Mile Into the Wild Walkway”, this bridge spans almost 3 miles, allowing visitors to view the sanctuary’s animals.
(Photo Via:

Changing the way the general public views these exotic large mammals, The Wild Animal Sanctuary has created a place that focuses on the needs and welfare of the animals. Their work and progress has been rightly honored, and their cause has definitely made a positive social impact.

If you’re planning a family vacation, or just looking to support a good cause, visiting The Wild Animal Sanctuary can help benefit these exotic animals that are often looked at as performers and profits.

*Note: The above article was written by © Kalie Lyn, 2014*

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