Colorado is rich in natural resources and biodiversity, attracting visitors and residents from around the globe. Boulder residents needn’t travel far to experience and learn about our state’s diverse wildlife. Soak up the last of summer’s warm weather and visit these acclaimed animal sanctuaries around the Front Range.
Where: Keenesburg, Colorado
This rescue occupies a sprawling 789 acres and is home to over 500 lions, tigers, wolves, bears, and other wild animals. Its mission involves rescuing animals from captivity and abusive conditions on a national and international level. Since 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary has provided a safe haven for exotic animals imported and kept in backyards and basements around the U.S. It also conducts rescue and relief operations that rehabilitate wildlife seized from foreign traveling zoos and circuses.
A 1.5 mile long walkway takes visitors around the sanctuary. Pass by a pride of lions lounging in the sun. Watch enormous grizzlies splash in their play pools. Listen for the wondrous howl of the sanctuary’s wolf packs as they communicate with each other from across the rolling landscape. Not only will visitors have the chance to view animals in a natural, peaceful setting, their entry fee and optional donation will help end the captive wildlife crisis.
Where: Divide, Colorado
Just a short thirty minute drive west of Colorado Springs lies the picturesque Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. This sanctuary offers full moon tours, sunrise wolf yoga, holiday events, and more. What started as wolf-dog rescue now offers rehabilitation and sanctuary for wolves, foxes, and coyotes.
Interactive tours come with a specific set of rules that protect guests, volunteers, and the sanctuary’s animal residents. These inspiring tours allow participants to get up close and personal with wolves. Standard tours offer a less hands-on experience that focus on education and enrichment. Learn about this intriguing and endangered species while supporting a worthwhile cause.
Where: Commerce City, Colorado
As one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the nation, this is a must-see safe haven for Colorado’s unique animal inhabitants. The refuge covers over 15,000 acres and is home to over 350 mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds. Visitors will delight in watching residents of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge interact, play, and flourish so close to the Denver metro area.
Experience the sanctuary by driving along its scenic roads with a self-guided audio tour. If you prefer hiking, take in the picturesque, birds-eye views of two pristine lakes accessed by way of an elevated walkway. Expand your knowledge of endangered and at-risk species via the interactive exhibit hall inside the visitor center.
These animal sanctuaries make for the perfect day trip from Boulder; visitors will leave feeling inspired and informed. Plan your next Colorado adventure to any of these wildlife rescues and take heart in the fact that visiting these sanctuaries and learning about their animals will help foster a healthier, happier planet.