A passion for animals drives the operators of each of these facilities, all of which are worth visiting. Each has been featured in recent years on CBS4’s travel show Colorado Getaways.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary (credit: CBS)

Wild Animal Sanctuary

1946 County Road 53
Keenesburg, CO 80643

You might think you’re in Africa, but it’s really eastern Colorado. Lions, tigers, bears, mountain lions, wolves and leopards are all around. Pat Craig and his family provide a haven for discarded and otherwise homeless wild animals. In early 2011 the Wild Animal Sanctuary was in the news as 25 lions rescued from Bolivian circuses were brought there. They joined the more than 200 animals that live out their lives at the sanctuary, which also doubled in size in 2011 thanks to a large donation. To get there take I-76 to the Hudson exit and go east on Hwy 52 about 4 miles. Next go south on County Road 53 to the Sanctuary.

Colorado Wolf And Wildlife Center (credit: CBS)

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

4729 Twin Rocks Road
Divide, CO 80814
(719) 687-9742

To get to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center take US Hwy 24 west from Colorado Springs through Woodland Park to Divide. Continue west from Divide a mile and a half and look for the turn off to the Center. Wolves, fox and other wildlife can be found at the sanctuary. Daily tours and specials like moonlight tours are offered.

Mission Wolf (credit: CBS)

Mission: Wolf

13388 County Road 634
Gardner, CO 81040
(719) 859-2157

This remote wolf refuge in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains has been offering sanctuary to wolves and wolf hybrids for more than 20 years. It is located between Westcliffe and Gardner on the east side of the Sangre de Cristos.

Sue Cranston at Indigo Mountain Nature Center (credit: CBS)

Indigo Mountain Nature Center

Lake George, CO 80827
(719) 748-5550

This sanctuary for captive-born wildlife sits in a remote forest not too far from Lake George, Colorado. Resident wildlife includes wolf-dogs, bears, Bengal cats, hedgehogs and other animals who would never survive in the wild on their own. Large, enclosed pens offer a natural habitat for these discarded, abused or neglected animals to live out their lives. The best way to visit is to volunteer with a group to come spend time with the animals.