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An animal sanctuary is a facility where rescued animals are brought to live and be protected for the rest of their lives.
Unlike animal shelters, sanctuaries do not seek to place animals with individuals or groups, instead, animals are provided for and loved until they cross the rainbow bridge. In some cases, an establishment may have characteristics of both a sanctuary and a rehabilitation center. For instance, some animals may be in residence temporarily (like rehabilitation) until they are released into the wild and others may be permanent residents (captive born animals that cannot legally be released back into the wild).
The mission of sanctuaries is generally to be safe havens, where the animals receive the best care that the sanctuaries can provide. Animals are not bred, bought, sold, or traded, nor are they used for animal testing. The resident animals are given the opportunity to behave as naturally as possible in a protective environment.
What distinguishes a sanctuary from other institutions is the philosophy that the residents come first. In a sanctuary, every action is scrutinized for any trace of human benefit at the expense of non-human residents. Sanctuaries act on behalf of the animals, and the caregivers work under the notion that all animals in the sanctuary, human and non-human, are of equal importance.
One of the most important missions of sanctuaries, beyond caring for the animals, is educating the public. The ultimate goal of a sanctuary should be to change the way that humans think of, and treat, animals. Because most of our animals are rescued exotics we want to encourage people not to keep these creatures as pets, but to preserve their species in the wild.
There are several national and international organizations that have taken the responsibility of supervising numerous systems of non-profit animal sanctuaries in order to provide a general system for sanctuaries to follow. Among them, The American Sanctuary Association, which monitors and aids in various facilities to care for exotic wildlife. Their accredited facilities conform to the highest standards and rigid application processes to ensure that the animals under their care are enthusiastically cared for and maintained. We also undergo numerous inspections throughout the year done by USDA and US Fish & Wildlife to ensure we a providing the upmost care for our animals.
Many of the resident animals have been rescues from private owners or other facilities that could not care for them. Each animal has a biography on our web site that explains how the animal came to live at Forever Wild. If you have any other questions about a certain animal please feel free to contact.
On Certain occasions, we do have a few animals that we allow the public to touch on guided tours with supervision from a keeper. However, on a normal basis we are a hands-off facility. We never allow hands-on interactions with our bigger animals including our big cats and bears. Although our animals are all captive born rescues, and are accommodated to humans, they are still wild animals at heart and must be respect for who they are.
Forever Wild has a very small staff of trained animal handlers, while there are no employment opportunities available at this time, we do have a volunteer program... see next question.
Glad you asked! Yes we do. In order to join our team you must be 18+ years old and going to school to make the animal field a career or completed school with an animal related degree. An interview must be scheduled for all that are interested. Our volunteers work very hard to give the animals a safe loving home and in turn get closer to their dreams and goals. For more information on becoming a volunteer please contact the office at (760) 868-2755
Yes. The inside gift store and restrooms are handicapped accessible. The new dirt paths are accessible to wheelchairs, motor chairs, walkers and strollers.
Si disponemos de personal de habla hispana, por favor pregunte si necesita ayuda.
Forever Wild is located 1.3 miles up a dirt road. Our facility may close without notice due to inclement weather. Please be sure to call ahead and make a appointment for your tours.