a wolf sleeping peacefully, representing The Wild Animal Sanctuary's nonprofit digital storytelling

Storymakers: The Wild Animal Sanctuary

Just outside Denver, Colorado, there's an area teeming with lion, tigers, and bears — and open to the public. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a nonprofit dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals and rescuing large and exotic endangered species being held captive across the world. Established in 1980, the Wild Animal Sanctuary now operates 720 acres of rural grassland that's home to more than 450 large carnivores.

The Colorado-based nonprofit received the Shifting the Future Award in TechSoup's 2017 Storymakers contest. The contest brought together hundreds of social benefit organizations for one purpose: to share their mission through the power of video storytelling.

Take a moment to check out The Wild Animal Sanctuary's video, Anatomy of a Rescue, below, made using Adobe Premiere.

According to the Wild Animal Sanctuary, the black market for exotic animals is the third largest illicit economy in both the U.S. and the world (after weapons and illegal drugs). As many as 30,000 exotic animals live outside of zoos in America, and over its 38 years in operation, the Wild Animal Sanctuary has responded to more than 1,000 rescue requests.

Beyond its important work in the global fight against animal cruelty, the organization serves as a unique educational resource. Visitors to its facility can see the rescued animals in a pristine natural environment via a system of elevated walkways that totals over three miles long.


The Wild Animal Sanctuary reminds us of the courage that's sometimes necessary to do more good — for people and animals alike.

Additional Resources: Digital Storytelling for Nonprofits