Readers Invited to Discover Life-Changing Magic of the Sanctuary in Forever Wild, Forever Home

Press Release

updated: Jan 29, 2021

Less than an hour north of Denver roam more than 500 large carnivores – including over 200 bears, 70 African lions, and 70 tigers. Now living at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, these wild animals and the stories of their rescue, often from heartbreaking conditions, are the focal point of the newly released and groundbreaking book Forever Wild, Forever Home: The Story of The Wild Animal Sanctuary of Colorado.

“We’ve all been waiting 40 years for this book, and are so grateful to Melanie and Mark [Shellenbarger] for the tremendous amount of work they put into it,” said Pat Craig, Founder and Executive Director of The Wild Animal Sanctuary. “Mixed with humor and occasional tugs at the heartstrings, it details the incredible journey from our humble beginnings in Boulder to being the largest and oldest sanctuary in the world devoted to large carnivores.”

With over 100 color photos, Forever Wild, Forever Home is an absorbing, thoughtful, and timely story from the Sanctuary’s founding to the present day. It offers a heartwarming and humorous behind-the-scenes look at what it is really like to rescue, rehabilitate and provide lifelong care for these magnificent survivors.

Describing what led them to undertake such a project, local Denver authors Melanie and Mark Shellenbarger said, “When we first saw the enormous habitats of the Sanctuary in 2018 and personally learned about the Captive Wildlife Crisis, our lives were changed forever. Our hope is this book will offer an accessible but deeper look into the nobility of the animals that call the Sanctuary home and the heroic labors of those who care for them.”

Forever Wild, Forever Home is available online on the Sanctuary website and is also available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others in hardcover, paperback and e-book formats.

About the authors

A retired university faculty member and a retired business executive, the authors began volunteering at the Sanctuary in 2019 and were given unprecedented access to staff and volunteers in researching and writing about the animals who call the Sanctuary home. Melanie can be reached at [email protected] and Mark at [email protected]

About The Wild Animal Sanctuary

The Sanctuary operates three locations in both Colorado and Texas with more than 10,000 acres for over 600 abused, abandoned and confiscated large carnivores. More information is available at

Source: The Wild Animal Sanctuary

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