2019 Conference Field Trips

Sunday, October 20, 2019
9:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS)

Option 1: The Wildcat Sanctuary

The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis. Conference attendees will get a special opportunity to visit this 40-acre sanctuary located in rural Sandstone, MN. The sanctuary does not offer public tours and is a quiet oasis where captive wild cats can recover, heal and enjoy life. Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart.

TWS is committed to public education about the captive wildlife problem in order to create a world where animal sanctuaries are no longer needed. As a true sanctuary, TWS does not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals. TWS is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

TWS is a member of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance and recognized as a premier sanctuary by Tigers in America. TWS provides natural sanctuary to over 100 wild cats, including tigers, African lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, African servals, lynx and hybrids. Providing large, free-roaming habitats, each animal can escape extreme weather in a temperature-controlled central animal building.

Every individual has the opportunity, often for the first time in their lives, to choose a path to walk and a place to lie down. 

Host: Bill Nimmo, Tigers in America


Option 2: The Raptor Center and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

The Raptor Center (TRC) at the University of Minnesota, which takes in over 1,000 injured, sick and displaced juvenile raptors each year, will give conference attendees a special tour of its 21,000 square-foot facility that includes both its ambassador animals and clinic. Visitors will learn about the conditions that most commonly impact raptors in this region, as well as TRC’s rehabilitation and public education efforts. Beginning in the early 1970s as a volunteer effort by faculty and students of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, TRC is operated as a center under the oversight of the vet school. TRC is a pioneer in raptor rehabilitation and reintroduction, having innovated various surgical, treatment and rehabilitation techniques, as well as helping to restore populations of bald eagles and peregrine falcons.

Over 13,000 sick, injured and displaced animals representing over 200 species arrive at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota each year. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (WRC) will conduct a tour of its 15,000 square-foot facility while helping visitors learn about the organization’s caseload, use of data to inform its treatment plans and the combination of its professional veterinary staff and expert rehabilitation skills, involving the contribution of over 600 volunteers per year. WRC began as a student volunteer club at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979, but became a separate non-profit in 1997 and moved to its facility in 2003. WRC is also a leader in its sector, including being known worldwide for its expertise with trumpeter swans.

Host: Monica Neal, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

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