Lions, bears from Ohio farm get new home in Colorado

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KEENESBURG, Colo. -- The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg continues to rescue lions, tigers and bears from around the world. The newest additions coming from Zanesville, Ohio, in the aftermath of the mass killing of animals from Terry Thompson’s collection.

You may remember, he set 50 exotic animals free that he kept on his farm before he committed suicide a year ago.

“These eight animals had been moved to a neighbor’s farm by Thompson, because of limited space,” said Katie Vandegrift of the Sanctuary.

“They are so small for their size, all of them had been living in make-shift cages made out of plywood and chain link fencing. In less than a week, they have been able to clean themselves up—they had been living in their own waste—and are gaining weight.”

The bears are about three or four years old but are only the size of 1-year-old cubs. The lions will grow as well now that they are getting the kind of nutrition they need.

Visitors had heard about the new animals on the block, and were anxious to get a look at them.

“It’s just so wonderful they were able to rescue them, they are so beautiful,” said Suzanne Kisner.

Her daughter, Ashley adding, “I just want to get in there and hug them!” But she knows she can’t.

The message to the public is these are wild animals that need to be in the wild or a setting such as this one on the eastern plains. The good thing about TWAS is that they build habitat to fit the needs of the animals living there. If you haven’t been there, it is a wonderful way to see some of nature’s finest critters.

To donate—the whole program is run on donations—just visit www.  To get to the facility take I-76 to the Hudson exit.  Go east for about three miles then head south. It’s a trip worth taking if you love animals.