By Jim Harrington Wildlife in Boulder Colorado is a natural part of everyday urban life. Wild animals know the City of Boulder with over 145 miles of recreational trails is surrounded by over 45,000 acres of open space and mountain parks which provide special geologic features and unique animal habitats. In addition the surrounding Boulder County Parks and Open Space has another 100,000 acres of open space including 25,000 acres of active farms and ranches, plus another 115 miles of recreational trails. And at the edges of the county are even more picturesque national forests and parks. Numerous expansive view corridors make Boulder beautiful and also provide migration paths for wild animals to come from the great Colorado outdoors into the normal everyday urban life of the city.
Enjoy the Boulder views and know we are not alone. We share the land with wild animals. We have mountain lions, mule deer and bears to call our very own neighbors. Oh my! Being good neighbors we try to keep a respectful distance. Animals often see us well before we see them. And sometimes we never do.
We assure you Boulder is a pretty tame place. We are not as wild as we report to be. Occasionally we see a moose walk by our red brick Pearl Street mall, or a elk walk through a downtown neighborhood at night or we see a bear falling from a tree on the University 0f Colorado campus. It is a rare occurrence for us but it happens every now and then. Mule deer on the other hand they are seen here every day.
Boulder residents care about animals. We are learning to be better neighbors by keeping our trash to ourselves. We require Boulder neighborhoods to have bear proof trash cans to keep bears out of our organic junk food. We want to help our wild neighbors to thrive and have formed two nonprofits, the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and the Wild Animal Sanctuary to help them when they are ill.
Inspired by a young woman with an infectious passion to rescue injured animals, people in Boulder came together in 1982 to form the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is devoted to the rehabilitation and release of orphaned, injured and sick wildlife. The center is named “Greenwood” after one of the first beloved animals to be rescued, a raccoon who survived a chimney fire. The raccoon survived because green wood doesn’t burn. The Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation is the largest wildlife rehabilitation center of this kind in Colorado, each year treating approximately 2,500 mammals, birds and waterfowl representing nearly 200 different wildlife species. To help support their efforts they run the Greenwood Wildlife Thrift Shop & Consignment Gallery
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the world’s largest carnivore sanctuary with more than 400 rescued lions, tigers, bears, and wolves living and roaming freely on 720 acres. It is the first sanctuary of its kind to create large acreage species-specific habitats for rescued animals.
Established in 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a state and federally licensed zoological facility. Originally started outside Boulder, CO,
they soon moved to nearby Lyons, CO, and have since expanded to 720 acres of high plain grasslands 50 miles east of Boulder. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is open for supporters to visit year round.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary has three main missions, …to rescue captive large carnivores who have been abused, abandoned, illegally kept or exploited…to create for them a wonderful life for as long as they live…and to educate the public about the causes and solutions to the captive wildlife crisis. They have also given tiger and lion manure to local farmers to keep mule deer away from their crops.
Boulder is home to wild animals and the people who love them. Come visit and discover the wild habitats we all share including the special shelters the people of Boulder created to help wildlife flourish.