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Sanctuaries for Wild/Exotic Animals

Sanctuaries for Wild/Exotic Animals

The few reputable sanctuaries in the United States which house wild/exotic animals, including monkeys and apes, are exploding at the seams.

"Reputable" meaning the sanctuaries which provide a permanent life-time home for the animals they take in and which do not buy, sell, trade, barter, loan, breed, nor exploit animals for commercial gain or what some call "edutainment".

Above-board sanctuaries rely solely on donations because they are not breeding/selling animals nor are they making money from commercial exploitation (e.g., photo ops and traveling exhibits).

There are countless "scamtuaries" -- pseudo-sanctuaries which claim to be sanctuaries or refuges but which do breed and sell animals and/or which profit from displaying animals, having hands-on photo shoots, etc. These activities are disguised as "conservation" or "conservation education". [Click here to read 'The Captive Breeding Myth']. These facilities are especially problematic because they suffice to take funding away from legitimate sanctuaries [typically, Jane and Joe Q. Donor do not know how to differentiate between scamtuaries and sanctuaries] and in the meantime, the problems are compounded because of the breeding and selling.

Another scenario is sanctuaries which meet all the basic criteria for being reputable but which have 'we never say "No"' philosophies. Though the proprietors may be well-intended, this is detrimental as the practice of never refusing any animals most often results in over-saturation, housing the animals in sub-standard enclosures and financial insolvability. Many of these sanctuaries collapse and despite the best intentions, ultimately, more harm has been done than good.


The Captive Wildlife Epidemic in the U.S. (PowerPoint presentation)

Captive Wild/Exotic Animals in the U.S. - Trade Flow Chart (.pdf)


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