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Top Nine Wildlife Sanctuaries Around The World

Updated on February 11, 2016

Sanctuaries offer a chance to see animals in their natural habitat. Here, they are brought to live and be protected for the rest of their lives.

Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, Borneo


Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Brisbane Is The World's First Largest And Oldest Koala Sanctuary


Top Nine Wildlife Sanctuaries Around The World

  1. The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Utah, USA: An American non-profit animal welfare organization that works nationwide to promote pet adoption services, this sanctuary is located in 33,000 acres of an exceptionally beautiful landscape. It houses a large number of displaced and domestic animals, that include among others, dogs, and pot-bellied pigs. The group publishes Best Friends, a bimonthly magazine about animals, animal welfare, news, events and activities at the sanctuary.
  2. The Vervet Monkey Foundation, South Africa: A registered non-profit organization and one of the biggest primate rehab centers of South Africa, it is a home to nearly 700 vervet monkeys, some of which are ex-laboratory animals, or unwanted and neglected stray animals. It is located on a more than 20 hectares stretch of land near the town Tzaneen, in South Africa. A member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, it has been helping injured primates to be re-introduced to the natural areas. The foundation also serves as a research center for students in the field of parasitology and primatology.
  3. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Australia: Officially recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records, Lone Pine is the world's first largest and oldest koala sanctuary. It is an 18-hectare patch of parkland beside the Brisbane river, about 12 km south of the city center, located in the suburb of Fig Tree Pocket in Queensland, Australia. Founded in 1927, it is home to 130 or so koalas, plus kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, possums, wombats, birds, and platypus. There are many colorful Australian parrots and cockatoos, as well as Australian birds such as emus, rainbow lorikeets, and the cassowary, among others. Here the visitors are allowed to hold the koalas. They are fed mid-morning and mid-afternoon on fresh gum leaves.
  4. Noah Ark, Georgia, USA: Founded by Jama and Charles Hedgecoth, it operates as a non-profit animal sanctuary. Spread over a stretch of 250 acres land in Locust Groove, Georgia, it houses over 1500 animals, that include numerous parrots, cougars, bison, deer, and monkeys. The center is known for its "the Clubhouse" exhibit, in which a lion, a tiger, and a bear live together.
  5. The Donkey Sanctuary, Devon, UK: This British charitable organization devoted to the welfare of donkeys is based near Sidmouth in the picturesque Devon countryside in England. Founded by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, it is one of the largest equine sanctuaries in the world that provides a home to more than 4000 neglected and abused donkeys.
  6. Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, Borneo: This site is a 43 of protected land located in the Sabah district of north Borneo in Malaysia. Founded in 1964, the facility provides shelter to around 60 to 80 orangutans and dozens of other wildlife species, that include sun bears, gibbons, elephants, and Sumatran rhinos. It also provides medical care to the confiscated animals. Visitors are restricted to the walkways and not allowed to approach or handle the apes. The creation of this reserved area has minimized the impact of deforestation and illegal trade on orangutans and other endangered species. In this large virgin rainforest reserve, the orangutans are trained to survive in the wild, and released as soon as they are ready.
  7. Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary, Thailand: Founded by Katherine Conner, this sanctuary is located in Sukhothai, Northern Thailand. It provides a home to a large number of elephants, most of whom have been rescued from abuse or mistreatment.
  8. Chengdu Moon Bear Rescue Center, China: This center has bamboo forest enclosures designed to provide a secure and stimulating environment to the bears. It has 11 bear houses and 15 natural and semi-natural enclosures. The sanctuary is fully equipped with a veterinary hospital, a sheltered quarantined area, an administrative block, a bear kitchen, a herb garden, and a macaque enclosure that is home to two confiscated macaques. It's specially created viewing areas around three bear houses enable the staff and visitors to observe the bears in close-up in their semi-naturalistic homes. This sanctuary is a safe haven to more than 140 bears.
  9. Sanwild Wildlife Sanctuary South Africa: It is a 4000 hectares wildlife rehab center and reserve in South Africa's Limpopo province located a few km south of Lydsdorp. This area is home to many small and large predators, that include the Transvaal lion, South African cheetah, African leopard, impala, nyala, warthog, southern rhino, aardvark, pangolin, hippo, and African bush elephant.

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    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I would love to take a trip to Best Friends. I read about it and it sounds very interesting. It is terrible to hear about abused animals. Nice hub.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      I love wildlife sanctuaries too. It's interesting to read of so many and good to know the animals are safe whilst still in their own habitat. I'd love to visit the donkey sanctuary - always wanted one of my own.

      It's disturbing to realise how many of these animals have been abused, can hardly bear to think about it. All beautiful creatures.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I love wildlife sanctuaries. Great read!