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Given the abundance of wildlife and open land across our beautiful state, it is unsurprising that Colorado has some of the best and most well taken care of wildlife reserves in the nation. Rescued exotic animals and native Colorado fauna find protection in the following five reserves scattered throughout the Centennial State. For animal lovers and wildlife fans alike, there are few better places to visit than our list of the best of Colorado’s wildlife reserves.

1. Indigo Mountain Nature Center — Lake George, Colorado

The Indigo Mountain Nature Center located in downtown Lake George takes in animals that were held in captivity but belong in the wild. These animals include wolf-dogs, Bengal cats, and hedgehogs. As these animals cannot be kept as pets and could no longer survive in the wild, the animals here are kept in a natural reserve and taken care of by volunteers. NOTE: Indigo Mountain Nature Center does not currently allow the public to visit, but you can take a ‘virtual photo tour’ of the property here.

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2. Mission: Wolf — Westcliffe, Colorado

Located on the east side of the Sangre de Cristos mountain range between Westcliffe and Gardner, Mission Wolf has been raising wolves and wolf hybrids for over 20 years. This incredible wolf refuge also offers refuge to horses. This nonprofit is sustained by interns and volunteers and is always looking for additional assistance to assist in the effort to reintroduce wolves to Colorado’s wilderness.

3. Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Sanctuary — Divide, Colorado

West of Colorado Springs, wolves, foxes, and other natural wildlife are scattered across this large sanctuary. The most unique thing about this sanctuary is its nighttime tours during the full moon to hear the wolves howl.

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4. Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary — Longmont, Colorado

This nonprofit organization assists some of the smaller wildlife in Colorado in their transition from injury or domestication to the wild. Visitors and volunteers can work with foxes, ducks, bunnies, and a wide variety of small critters.

5. Wild Animal Sanctuary — Keenesburg, Colorado

In Eastern Colorado, one of Colorado’s largest animal sanctuaries contains a collection of some of the largest African wildlife present in Colorado. Visitors can find lions, tigers, bears, leopards, and a whole variety of animals. The animals that reside at the sanctuary are typically rescued from circuses or other situations.

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We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More