In 1980, 19-year-old Pat Craig received a name from a North Carolina zoo in response to one of many many letters he despatched across the nation. He had provided himself and his household’s Boulder County farm as a protected harbor for “surplus” animals certain for euthanasia.
A child jaguar wanted a house. Drawback was Craig wanted to fly again to Colorado with it.
“What do you could have?” he recalled an airline attendant asking, throughout an interview with The Gazette final yr.
“Crap,” he remembered pondering.
“I informed her it’s only a kitten. I opened up my bag and it’s noticed with spherical ears as a substitute of pointed. … She goes, ‘OK.’”
He named the jaguar Freckles. So started “a 40-year journey to fight the rising disaster of unique animal captivity, abuse, and trafficking — one rescue at a time,” reads a brand new e book concerning the Wild Animal Sanctuary.
Now as a substitute of flying, Craig and his employees drive air-conditioned trailers across the nation on the request of regulation officers and activists. The 789 acres on the Keenesburg prairie northeast of Denver have turn out to be famend, housing a whole lot of lions, tigers, bears and others like Freckles that by no means received to know their native habitats.
The brand new e book, “Eternally Wild, Eternally House,” is billed as an unprecedented have a look at how the nonprofit sanctuary got here to be and the way it continues as we speak. It’s authored by Melanie and Mark Shellenbarger, among the many group’s legion of volunteers.
The Shellenbargers thought of themselves “modified without end” three years in the past after they laid eyes on the sanctuary’s “huge habitats” — enclosures ranging between 5 to twenty acres — and realized of the captive wildlife disaster.
“Our hope is that this e book will supply an accessible however deeper look into the the Aristocracy of the animals that decision the Sanctuary dwelling and the heroic labors of those that look after them,” they stated in a press release.
A information launch known as the e book a “behind-the-scenes have a look at what it’s actually wish to rescue, rehabilitate and supply lifelong look after these magnificent survivors.”
Freckles lived to be 24, lengthy sufficient to see Craig’s transfer from the household farm to those Weld County plains in 2002. He established the 501©(3) round that point, realizing he wanted a big workforce and monetary help to hold on his mission. “As one individual, you possibly can solely save so many animals,” he beforehand informed The Gazette.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary has operated on a $23 million annual price range, fueled by admission charges from about 150,000 guests yearly and donations from an enormous fanbase.
Extra consideration got here final yr, when it grew to become identified the sanctuary took in troubled tigers bred by the zany zookeeper generally known as Joe Unique, the imprisoned “Tiger King” of the hit Netflix documentary collection. A captivated viewers watched as finish credit addressed the state of animal cruelty in America.
Schooling is the said purpose of “Eternally Wild, Eternally House.”
The vast majority of proceeds from e book gross sales are stated to be going again to the nonprofit.