Forever Wild, Forever Home: The Story of The Wild Animal Sanctuary of Colorado
by Melanie and Mark Shellenbarger
Pyree Square Publishing

"Here, above all else, the animals set their own agenda. And that is the difference between a zoo and a true animal sanctuary."

This book covers the miraculous efforts of Pat Craig, the founder of Colorado's The Wild Animal Sanctuary—a place where more than 500 wild animals call home. The story begins after Craig rescues a baby jaguar, Freckles, and continues through forty years of environmental and conservation awareness. It examines the rise in popularity of shows like Tiger King and the United States' lack of federal oversight regarding large animal ownership. It introduces readers to the sanctuary's "ground-breaking, species-driven, and carefully tailored animal rehabilitation programs." Readers become friends with Clay the tiger, Ricki the black bear, and Gala the lioness—animals whose successful recovery stories are highlighted in this book. Readers also learn about the captive wildlife crisis permeating America and vicariously travel through decades of hard work, well-earned patience, and the continued and recent expansion of the sanctuary in a new Texas installation.

Thoroughly documented with research, interviews, firsthand accounts, and photographs, this book engages readers with its conversational but informative tone. They will feel as though they have been involved with the sanctuary themselves for its four decades of existence. And by the book's end, they are also likely to be motivated to help the sanctuary continue its unique mission. As the United States struggles to truly understand the gravity of the captive wildlife crisis—which finds 15,000 to 25,000 big cats, bears, and other small animals held captive as "pets"—this book brings the situation's severity to light. Wildlife and large animal enthusiasts, environmentalists, and seasoned and amateur conservationists alike will find this book an engaging, necessary read, a needed voice in current discussions centering around wildlife preservation and the consequences of human encroachment on natural environments.

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