While zoos are a great place to get an up close look at animals from all over the world. Visiting a wildlife sanctuary provides a different experience, focusing on rehabilitation, preservation and protection of wild animals. The sanctuary in this Southern Indiana town is home to wolves, eagles and so much more!
Red Wolf Sanctuary in Rising Sun is a not-for-profit organization established in 1979 by Paul Strasser. It is dedicated to the “preservation and continued existence of North American wildlife” with a focus on rehabilitation, education and providing care and a place for wildlife unable to live in the wild.
They are open daily and give tours by appointment. Tours typically take 2-3 hours: smaller groups can ride (thank you!), larger groups will walk. It’s a “must see” place for families, kid’s groups, photography buffs and nature/wildlife enthusiasts. One caveat: the kid’s will be howling all the way home!
I live on 12 acres in the woods with a fair amount of wildlife that I love. The resident great horned owl is my fave except when he swoops down on my car in the dark! I visited Red Wolf Sanctuary many years ago but have not visited since they moved to Rising Sun. I called my friend Geri, a former volunteer at Red Wolf Sanctuary, who was happy to show me around and reconnect with her favorite wildlife pals.
It was a busy day when we arrived. Paul was just finishing a tour for a photography group and they had a group of third graders earlier in the day. We hopped into the RTV with Justin, Valerie and a resident owl returning to his enclosure (what FUN!).
There are 452 acres with a variety of habitats to explore – prairie, wetland, woodlands.
The 55 residents live in large enclosures and include grey wolves, coydogs, coyotes, elk, black bears, foxes, bobcats – and birds of prey. Both our guides were very knowledgeable and had a knack for coaxing the residents out of hiding.
I have to confess, I loved Clarence the elk (he’s so handsome) and his mom Clara, the beautiful bobcats, the great horned owls (my soft spot), the little foxes (because they chat & chatter) and the bald eagles.
Red Wolf Sanctuary is easy to find, just a couple of miles west of downtown Rising Sun on SR 262 – watch for the sign.
Red Wolf is funded by donations/grants and operated by a small dedicated staff (primarily volunteers). Tours are $20 for adults (18+), $10 for teens (13-17) and $5 for children. Red Wolf hosts a variety of events throughout the year, check here for all the latest info.
While you’re there, checkout downtown Rising Sun!
Love animals and wildlife? Try Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion.