While you would think a place named an “animal sanctuary” operates as a safe haven for animals, this is not always the case. There are many amazing animal sanctuaries for formerly abused farm, exotic and domestic animals, but sadly there are too facilities that operate under the “sanctuary” guise that exist with the sole purpose of exploiting animals. These false sanctuaries display wild animals and often charge visitors to interact with them. On the surface, they may seem like “fun” but more often than not the animals are starved, abused or drugged in order to render them docile enough to interact with paying customers.

Unlike these abusive establishments, Big Cat Rescue and the Center for Great Apes are real sanctuaries for animals. All of the big cats and chimps who live at these sanctuaries have been rescued from deplorable former lives and are now allowed to live free from any type of exploitation.


These are the sort of reputable sanctuaries you should consider when deciding to visit an animal sanctuary — and always do your research to ensure you’re not supporting cruel animal facilities.