Saturday, August 22, 2009
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
One of our every-year visits when we are at the cottage is the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is the work of Audrey Tourenay, a retired school teacher who moved up to Aspen Valley in 1972. She has always loved animals and has worked all of her life to teach others about them. Today Audrey spends all of her time as the director of the sanctuary. Each year the sanctuary rehabilitates over 1000 wild animals, most of whom are then released back into the wild. Those animals who cannot be released are kept at the sanctuary to live out the rest of their lives. Since Audrey began caring for the animals 27 years ago, not a single animal has been turned away. The sanctuary houses lynx, raccoons, wolves, coyotes, deer, beavers, squirrels, hawks, bears, and even a lion that some fool tried to raise as a house pet. In particular, there are often bear cubs who have been orphaned, often as a result of car accidnets. The cubs are raised carefully and with as little human contact as possible so that they can later be safely released. There were 2 cubs at the sanctuary when we visited this year which we could peek at from a distance, but last year there happened to be 12 on the day that we visited. The Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is non-profit and no-government funded, and relies solely on private donations to cover its costs.