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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Conservators Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Education, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Zoos & Aquariums

Mission: The Conservators Center reconnects people with wildlife by introducing visitors to rare, threatened, and endangered species—up close and personal. The conservancy’s animal residents serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts: You are more likely to become invested in these species after you meet them and learn about their inherent value. Looking a tiger in the eye, hearing lions call to one another, howling with wolves, and meeting a binturong for the first time will forever change your perspective. You protect what you know.

Results: We provide permanent homes to dozens of exotic animals; we also provide an exotic animal husbandry internship for students around the country and the world; we reach thousands of visitors and program recipients each year; we've critically supported overseas conservation programs in Chile and Vietnam.

Target demographics: Wildlife and wildlife professionals

Direct beneficiaries per year: About 80 animals on site, about 16,000 visitors and program recipients, local and national government agencies who need assistance with emergency placements

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Educational tours and events for the general public. Internships for college students. Workshops and activities for wildlife professionals and educators. Collaboration with North Carolina State University Center for Veterinary Medicine's Carnivore Team to provide students with real-world learning experiences. Home for wild animals who need to move from their current situation—this includes retirement/rehoming from zoos and other facilities; owner surrender of a wild animal for which they cannot provide care; and assistance to authorities who have confiscated wild animals from inappropriate homes.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I would rate the Center even higher if I could. Positively MAGICAL! I go every year at least once a year (for my birthday) and shoot for more visits throughout the year. Go for the Twilight Tour-the nocturnal tours provide the opportunity to view most, if not all, of the animals alert and reactive. No tour is the same, the guides are SO knowledgeable (LOVE Kevin and Frank) and just take my word for it...when there's a dusting of stars in the sky, the lions are chuffing, and the wolves begin to howl...there's no place quite like it anywhere on Earth.

1 Julie

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm a veterinary technician as well as a member of our state animal response team. The care that these animals get, everything from natural habit (as close as you can get in NC), medical care, enrichment (toys, scents) and the love of their handlers is evident everytime you visit. Most of these animals have been rescued from horendous situations. I thank god that there is a group like this to help these animals out and to educate the public. Their one on one interaction with the tour groups is phenomenal, everyone from the youngest to the oldest in the tour get their questions answered. There are no stupid questions at CCI.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

Being a veterinary professional and part of the State Animal Response Team as well as the North Carolina Veterinary Response Corp I see a lot of horrors out there, everywhere from dogs and cats to exotics. That is definitely NOT the case at CCI. These animals have been rescued from the worst situations imaginable and have come to animal heaven. No worries, good food, a safe and loving environment and best of all a FOREVER HOME. I have known Mindy all of my life and am well acquainted with her large and loving heart. Doug and Mindy are members of the State Animal Response Team and we know they are always there to help out if we have an exotic situation. A tour of this facility has been long talked about by any one that I have brought out and everyone wants to know when they can go back. To everyone who volunteers their time there thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having volunteered and interned at six other wildlife sanctuaries and zoos, I was very impressed with Censervator's Center Inc.! You could feel the compassion the founders have for their mission and inhabitants just by hearing them talk about the animals and the continuing plans they have for expansion and improvements. Every cage had animals who seemed relaxed, content and used the cage enrichments that had been thoughtfully added to their space. I wish I could help them monetarily, because like most non-profits, financial sources are stretched to their full capacity and there is always a need for more. My experience at the Conservator's Center was amazing because of the care Mindy Stinner took to answer all of my questions, she gave me a comprehensive tour of the facility and is a wealth of of up-to-date information. The Center is one I would want to model my own after. It is a great example of passionate people who are truly contributing to the animal cause and making a difference.