Rocky Mountain Wildlife sanctuary struggles on–for now

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2006:
KEENESBURG, Colorado–The Rocky Mountain Wildlife
Conservation Center “has received donations and pledges that will
help to keep it operating for now,” the sanctuary management
announced in a September 2, 2006 web posting, but closed to public
visits “for an undetermined period of time,” the web page said,
“so that the board of directors will have time to evaluate the entire
“The animals are in no danger,” the posting added. “It is
the desire of the board that the animals remain at their current
location…If no solution to keeping the sanctuary operating is
found, the board will proceed with closure and the placement of as
many animals as possible.”

Rocky Mountain Wildlfe founder Pat Craig and director of
public affairs Toni Scalera announced on August 15, 2006 that the
140-acre facility would close in two weeks due to lack of funding.
Of the 150 resident animals, including 75 tigers and 30 bears,
Craig said, “As long as I can afford to feed them, I’ll try to find
homes for them.”
“Craig was almost $200,000 in debt and faced the same crisis
in December 2005,” wrote Dan England of the Greeley Tribune,
“Donations gave him enough breathing room to organize a plan to stay
open. But that plan was contingent on at least one $250,000 gift
promised to him. Craig recently found out that the gift wasn’t going
to come through.”
The Rocky Mountain Wildlife shutdown, announced three days
after the sudden death of Big Cats of Serenity Springs cofounder
Karen Sculac, 47, threw into uncertainty the fate of about 250
animals altogether. A third Colorado sanctuary, Prairie Wind, was
reportedly already relocating animals due to financial trouble. The
American Sanctuary Association and Association of Sanctuaries have
often placed animals from failing sanctuaries, but never before on
such a large scale.
Craig started Rocky Mountain Wildlife in 1980. The sanctuary
moved three times as it grew.

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