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Trent and Laura Brandt

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KEEPERS OF THE WILD
September 2, 2014

When you get there they take you on a guided tour, and then you can walk along the paths on your own. I hate guided tours, but these are actually well done. You get to learn about THAT animal, and his or her story. Anyone who thinks they want a wild animal for a pet, should go here and hear their (the animals) side of the story. Go there. Make it possible.

I go to Keepers if I am within a few hundred miles from it, and if I lived within a hundred miles I would volunteer all the time. All the animals where taken care of, and it is cool that they do not kill or breed there. I bought a shirt that said, "Keepers of the Wild: We love, we care, and we protect" Or something like that. I wore it out. Need to get back there and get another one, and see all their new animals and even better habitats.

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public

KEEPERS OF THE WILD
May 12, 2011

I read about Keepers of the Wild in The Smithsonian and so went on a tour of it with my wife over ten years ago. Since then we have volunteered there every couple of years. When you go for a tour you get to see a diverse collection of unwanted animals, ranging from lions to skunks, from a huge African Tortoise to a wolf pack; there are tigers, several monkeys, and even a cow, along with so many other animals. Each has a story: they were almost starved to death, they attacked their owner, they attacked multiple people, or a company just didn't want the tiger anymore. Hearing the stories can sometimes be sad; while others are quite funny or cheerful, like getting to hear of a rescue or event that led to that animal's very happy move to their new home.

Keepers of the Wild has a motto of: We love. We care. We protect. We are Keepers of the Wild. They never abuse the animals and offer a permanent place for them to live out their lives while giving one last performance--and that is to educate people about the dangers of owning such animals--and the dishonor of harming them.

It is worth checking out their website and planning a visit. My major complaint is that they are so far away. Other complaints I had I see have already been, or are being, fixed. Once upon a time the exotic bird habit was not as large, but they have since been working hard on that and they now have a bigger area. I suppose a place like this is a never ending project. Each time we get to go there we see so many new improvements as well as new animals, even though this place is a non-breading facility.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having volunteered many times we have been able to tell the stories of the animals they have, including abuse, but also just how dangerous it is to have hybrid wolves, monkeys, and the likes, as pets. This experience made my passion more valid and has prevented people from acquiring animals that are better left in the wild where they belong.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Only that their message of kindness to animals, and not having wild animals as pets, could reach more people. Perhaps via video or schools this will one day happen.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Straining my brain to think of one ... earplugs for the bird building, perhaps? Some of them are very loud.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I already posted some of this, but yes, in that the people there are great to work with and it is always sad when I have to leave after being there for a week.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It is a topic often mentioned. We alway look forward to going to a few different places, and this is one of them.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I toured it and then loved it so much I volunteered and helped with cleaning, maintenance, and feeding of the animals and their facilities. .