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In the upcoming month, we will be having the opportunity to visit a wildlife park known as “Out of Africa” located in Camp Verde, Arizona. This wildlife park is fun for all ages–it boasts a safari, animal shows and even opportunities to get up close and personal with various animal ambassadors! We are looking forward to the opportunity to check out some of these fabulous and awe-inspiring animals up close and in person. In light of this upcoming excursion, today’s blog is about wildlife preservation and animal rescues!

“Exotic animals” such as the lion, giraffe, and rhinoceros. . . even certain kinds of parrots have captured the hearts and imaginations of people for centuries. In ancient times, kings or ambassadors  would send “exotic animals” along with gifts of precious gems or other trade items to other kings or countries. These animals were then placed into menageries where the wealthy king or nobles would be able to visit.

What makes exotic animals, exotic is that these animals are from a vastly different environment and

ecosystem than the surrounding ecosystem. Sometimes “exotic animals” can survive and thrive in a new environment (sometimes becoming invasive species) and other times they struggle to survive and may require incredible amounts of care and money to keep alive and comfortable. This is true even today. Many zoos and sanctuaries provide incredible environments and care for these “exotic animals.” Many go the extra mile to have their space reflect their original environment.

However, sometimes people may purchase or smuggle exotic animals out of their natural habitats without regard to their ultimate health and well-being. Rescues such as “The Roar Foundation” Tippi

Hedren’s Shambala Preserve in Acton, California (which rescues exotic animals that have been mistreated) offer rehabilitation and sanctuary for the big cats (leopards, lions, panthers, tigers and so on).

Ultimately it is up to us to learn and understand the world around us–but it is also important for us to use that knowledge to respect and care for the animals that we share it with. Animal Rescues and Sanctuaries provide a very valuable service in both care-taking and education of the public.

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