Volunteers, Fences, & Bears—Oh, My!
By Czarina Nafarrate, Program & Content Coordinator
In the United States alone there are over 3,000 bears living in illegal or abusive situations. Many of them are part of unsafe roadside zoos or used as traveling animal acts. Other bears are kept in breeding facilities held by single private owners. Unfortunately, due to their upbringing, the majority of these bears wouldn’t survive if let back into the wild. They need protective, wide open spaces to live out the rest of their lives.
Thanks to your donations and the help of local volunteers, our Rescue Rebuild team was able to help The Wild Animal Sanctuary build a 300-acre enclosure for these bears at its sister property called “The Refuge” in southeastern Colorado. The Refuge spans more than 9,000 acres and will be able to give thousands of abused and neglected animals a permanent home. The Rescue Rebuild-specific enclosure will be able to hold up to 200 neglected and abused bears.
After a call for volunteers, Colorado residents responded with overwhelming support. With their help, the Rescue Rebuild team was able to dig holes, put posts in and take three miles of fencing and stretch it all the way around—all by hand.
Sleeping in tents, over two miles of fencing and hot wire laid out and installed, close to 15,000 staples stapled, and three hail storms—it was an adventure the team will never forget!