About The Wild Animal Sanctuary

The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) is the oldest and largest nonprofit Sanctuary in the world dedicated exclusively to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores, providing them with a wonderful life for as long as they live, and educating about the tragic plight faced by an estimated 30,000 such animals in America today.

Established in 1980, TWAS, is a state and federally licensed zoological facility and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Originally started outside Boulder, CO, TWAS soon moved to Lyons, CO, where there was more room for the animals, and to provide for future expansion. After eight years in that location, TWAS was forced to move again due to a limestone quarry moving in next door. The Sanctuary currently sits on 720 acres 50 miles east of Boulder. There is plenty of space for the animals’ 67 large acreage habitats, along with room to grow while still maintaining large grassland buffers.

TWAS is now located near Keenesburg, Colorado, and we are open for supporters to visit year round, daily, 9:00 am to Sunset, except major Holidays and bad weather. 

The Sanctuary is located on rural, rolling grasslands northeast of the Denver Metro area. Comprising 720 acres and sheltering more than 430 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Leopards, Mountain Lions, Wolves and other large carnivores, it is the first sanctuary of its kind to create large acreage species-specific habitats for its rescued animals.

Since January, 1980, TWAS has responded to nearly 1,000 requests from private citizens and government agencies to rescue animals from across the United States and around the world. Our furry residents were abused, abandoned, illegally kept, or were victims of other terrible situations.

At TWAS, the animals come first! Providing expert care and rehabilitation, exceptional diets and enrichment, and large spaces in which to roam make life for our rescued animals the kind of life they would have if they could choose it.

Education about the Captive Wildlife Crisis…its causes and solutions…is critical to changing social consciousness today, in order to provide a better future for captive wild animals. TWAS welcomes supporters, school groups and organizations to our Education Center at the Sanctuary, and also has a Speakers Bureau whose members do presentations for a variety of businesses, universities and other organizations.