Keepers Of The Wild Nature Park | A 170-acre desert park and exotic animal rescue sanctuary located on Route 66 in Valentine, Arizona.
This nonprofit sanctuary is dedicated to the care and protection of abused, abandoned, and retired captive wildlife including lions, tigers, wolves, deer, birds, reptiles, alpacas, llamas, raccoons, monkeys, and even a grizzly bear.
The park also promotes awareness of how wild animals suffer during their exploitation in show business and offers an animal care program that provides medical treatment for injured animals that can be released back into the wild.
HOURS & ADMISSION
Wednesday – Monday
9:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving & Christmas
Adults | $20
Children 3-12 years | $12
Children 2 years & under | Free
Military & Seniors | $15
Guided Safari Tours
$10.00 per person
Available at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, & 3:30 pm
DIRECTIONS & PARKING
13441 East Highway 66
Valentine, AZ 86437
Parking | Free
The sanctuary is located in a remote desert 29 miles east of Kingman, AZ on Historic Route 66 at milepost 87.
Founder Johnathan Kraft originally was a magician and worked with wild animals in movies, TV shows, commercials, and a variety of exhibits. He began to witness the abuse many of the animal performers suffered and began to rescue them. In 1995 he established Keepers Of The Wild, a non-profit animal sanctuary on a 3-acre site in Las Vegas, NV. The sanctuary has since expanded and relocated twice, today the park is situated in a remote desert in Valentine, Arizona providing more permanent homes for animals in need.
The park is home to over 150 animals that were either rescued from awful conditions, surrendered by an owner, retired from show business, or relocated by animal welfare agencies. The strict no breeding program allows the staff to provide the best care for the animals currently living there, most which would have been euthanized or sold for trophy kills.
After a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas, we paid the entrance fee, grabbed a map, and set out on a self-guided walking tour around the park. The animals were confined (alone or with their siblings) in large fenced areas with rock formations, natural vegetation, shady trees, and plenty of space to roam.
GUIDED BUS TOUR
For an additional $10 more a guided bus tour is offered at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm & 3:30 pm. The tour lasts approximately one hour in a large safari vehicle through the park with a tour guide. During the tour, you will learn fun facts about the different species and will hear stories of their past lives and how they came to live there.
The 3:30 pm tour goes out during feeding time and is an incredible way to see the animals up close and witness the different personalities that come out when they know food is coming! Take my advice & book this tour if you can, it was the highlight of the day!
Bam Bam arrived in August 2014 after her owner failed to find her a home. She was saved days before her euthanization after the Keepers of the Wild were notified of her fate.
BIRDS & REPTILES
The sanctuary is home to various birds & reptiles including owls, vultures, ravens, parrots, iguanas, emus, and ostriches. These are animals that have been permanently injured, blind, missing body parts or have been imprinted so they would not survive if released back into the wild.
The majority of the park belongs a multitude of large and small cats including Bengal & Siberian tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, and a lynx.
Once a “photo opportunity” tiger or lion reaches a certain age or weight authorities deem them too dangerous for the public. They are then either sold as pets, euthanized, or auctioned off for “canned hunts” or trophy kills.
Kaos’s (a royal white tiger) coloring is caused by a recessive gene called “heterozygous,” a gene that both parents had to possess in order to have a white offspring.
PJ, Mattie, Marilyn, Malachi, Moses and Millie were rescued at 4 months old when they got ringworm and could not be used for photo opportunities.
The park is home to a variety of hoof stock including deer, goats, llamas, alpacas, and pigs who also suffered permanent injuries or were donated by previous owners who no longer had the needs to care for them.
Monkey Village is made up of various old & new world primates including macaques, baboons and a ring-tailed lemur. These animals were mostly pets that were living in private homes that were neglected or surrendered by the owners. Some of them were putting on quite a show when they noticed a crowd!
WOLVES & COYOTES
Known as the “Miracle Wolves of the Butte Fire” Banyanita and her 3 arctic wolf pups survived a blazing fire by digging a 15-foot underground tunnel.
The park is also home to multiple coyotes who have permanent injuries or were abandoned when they were small and not able to survive on their own.
We had an amazing time at the Keepers Of The Wild Nature Park! The 3:30 guided tour during feeding time is a definite must do! And don’t forget your camera!
OTHER THINGS TO DO
The gift shop offers wild & exotic animal-themed merchandise including clothing, stuffed animals, jewelry, hats, home decor and more.
The park also offers a coffee & snack bar with a variety of sandwiches, hot dogs, pastries, chips, coffee and ice cream with a large covered patio or picnic tables.
TIPS FOR VISITING KEEPERS OF THE WILD NATURE PARK
All admission fees & gift shop purchases go directly toward food, shelter, and medical care expenses of the animals
In addition to visiting the park, you can also help by donating, volunteering or sponsoring an animal. Click here for more information.
The sanctuary rules ask to protect & respect the park by not teasing or feeding the animals, not climbing or leaning on the fences and not yelling or trying to disturb the animals
Depending on your carrier you will most likely not have cell phone service, plan accordingly
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HAVE YOU VISITED KEEPERS OF THE WILD NATURE PARK? IF SO, WHAT DID YOU ENJOY?