The Most Glamorous Animal Sanctuaries in the World

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Why You Should Visit Sacred Wildlife Preserves

If you love animals, there’s no better place to spend your time than at an animal sanctuary. Devoted to the wellbeing of all kinds of critters, these pristine environments do wonderful things for the planet at large. The sanctuaries are protecting animals in dissolving habitats that might normally wind up extinct. A visit to these animal sanctuaries makes a great excuse to take a vacation, but it also helps support these critical institutions when they need it most. You can learn about what’s at stake for these critically endangered species as well as how you can get involved on a regular basis. Take a moment to learn about these amazing wildlife preserves, and start planning your trip today!

Elephant Nature Park – Thailand

Welcome to elephant lover’s paradise, a gorgeous retreat in rural Thailand that’s dedicated to all things elephant. Multiple industries in the country have been mistreating elephants for decades, milking them for their ivory tusks and putting them on display for unruly tourists. That’s where the Elephant Nature Park comes into play. The staff spends years rehabilitating elephants with numerous injuries. Elephants with broken limps and damaged tusks tend to take shelter here. Many of them come bouncing back to life, free to roam around as they see fit.

Schedule a visit where you can help feed the elephants or give them a fresh bath in the mud. The experts on hand know their stuff. You can quickly learn about the history of every elephant, its interests, and its relationships with the park’s other tenants.

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Sloth Sanctuary – Costa Rica

In case you haven’t heard, the sloth population in Costa Rica hasn’t been doing so well as of late. The nation is home to two types of sloths, one with two fingers and one with three fingers. Deforestation and poaching has taken a toll on these furry, adorable creatures. With the animal’s habitat slowly eroding, local environmentalists have created the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, a place where sloths are free to be themselves in the wild.

As cute and cuddly as they may seem, sloths are also extremely vulnerable to changes in the environment, including new pathogens and bacteria. As a guest, you can admire the sloths up close, but you’re not allowed to physically interact with them. A sloth could literally die from a stranger holding it. Talk about sensitive! You can also canoe through the rainforest to see these guys lounging in their natural habitat. It’s a truly wonderful sight.

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Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary – Ghana

Located on the Black Volta River in the Upper West Region of Ghana in Africa, the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary is one of the world’s only two safe spots for hippos. Miles and miles of murky brown water have been reserved since 1999 for these massive mammals. Hippos have been at odds with the local African population since the beginning of time. They tend to hide in plain sight, just below the surface in opaque waters. When a human crosses their path, it’s generally a fatal mistake. Hippos can do a lot of harm to humans without batting an eye. This has led to some less-than-friendly encounters over the years, with both humans and hippos being quick to overreact. The Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary is looking to change all of that by providing a safe haven for hippos while simultaneously educating the public about their dire state. You can admire the hippos from afar and get great pictures of dozens of other remarkable species.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia

A magnificent combination of all kinds of creatures, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge offers a unique experience unlike anything else in the world. They work to preserve dozens of different species, most notably the Chincoteague ponies that run wild throughout one of the refuge’s islands. This is one of the only places in the world that you can observe wild ponies in their natural habitat. Overall, the refuge extends across thousands of miles of beaches, marshes, and forests. You’ll fall in love with the piping plover, an adorable seaside bird, and the Delmarva Fox Squirrel. As one of the most visited wildlife refuges in the U.S., this is a must-see destination for any conservationist.

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