The Wild Animal Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Refuge in Colorado are Accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

December 6, 2019 (Keenesburg, CO) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Accredited status to The Wild Animal Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Refuge as of December 3, 2019. Together both sanctuaries provide lifelong care to more than 500 animals that have been abused, abandoned, displaced or neglected.

Achieving GFAS Accreditation means that The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) and its extension facility, The Wild Animal Refuge (TWAR) meet the criteria of true sanctuaries and are providing humane and responsible care for the animals. To be awarded Accreditation status, an organization must meet GFAS’s rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards and also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles. The accreditation status provides a clear and trusted means for the public, donors and grantors to recognize TWAS and TWAR as exceptional sanctuaries.

“We are very proud to announce the recent Accreditation of these two affiliated sanctuaries,” said Daryl Tropea, Ph.D., GFAS Program Director. “The Wild Animal Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Refuge provide exceptional care for many animals, including many lions, tigers and bears, that have been rescued from horrific captive situations. The two sanctuaries together are possibly the largest in the world, providing over 10,000 acres of natural habitats comprised of hills, canyons, springs, and caves for animals to rehabilitate and roam freely. Also, Pat and his excellent team provide comprehensive education regarding the welfare and plight of captive wildlife and are dedicated to helping animals-in-need worldwide.”

“As the Executive Director of The Wild Animal Sanctuary, I would like to say how grateful we are to be accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS),” said Pat Craig, ED of Wild Animal Sanctuary.  “Their extensive efforts to identify and accredit world class facilities is unparalleled, and generously enables public confidence when looking toward the safety and wellbeing of rescued animals around the world.”

About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting these animal care facilities is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. While the board includes those in top leadership at The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries.

About The Wild Animal Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Refuge

Established in 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a state and federally licensed zoological facility and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our educational facility is located outside of Keenesburg, Colorado, 30 miles northeast of Denver, on 789 acres of rural, rolling grasslands, sheltering more than 500 large carnivores!  Our Refuge facility is a 9,684-acre property located in southern Colorado near the town of Springfield, CO.  This facility is not open to the public and hosts rescued animals in amazingly natural habitats ranging upwards in size of 100 -1,000 acres in size.  TWAS is the largest and oldest sanctuary of its kind in the World.

For the past 39 years, TWAS has responded to more than 1,000 requests from private citizens and government agencies to rescue animals from across the United States and other countries. Our resident animals were abandoned, abused, kept illegally or were victims or other terrible situations. Most were the pets of private citizens but were confiscated by law enforcement officials for being in illegal or abusive situations. Others were surplus animals from zoos and other wildlife facilities, where they faced euthanasia due to over-breeding, overcrowding or closure due to inadequate finances. Our 500+ residents include tigers, African lions, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, leopards, wolves, servals, bobcats, foxes, lynx, coyote, coati mundi, raccoon, porcupine, tortoise, ostrich, emu, camels, alpacas, yaks, horses, donkeys and rescued dogs and cats. For more information, visit

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