Forever Wild, Forever Home



BIG BLEND RADIO INTERVIEW: This episode features Kent Drotar, along with authors Mark and Melanie, who discuss The Wild Animal Sanctuary and their book  “Forever Wild, Forever Home.” Listen to the interview here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean or SoundCloud.

Less than an hour north of Denver, roam more than 500 large carnivores – including over 200 bears, 70 African lions, and 70 tigers.  Now living at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, these wild animals and the stories of their rescue, often from heartbreaking conditions, are the focal point of the newly released and groundbreaking book “Forever Wild, Forever Home: The Story of The Wild Animal Sanctuary of Colorado.”

“We’ve all been waiting 40 years for this book, and are so grateful to Melanie and Mark for the tremendous amount of work they put into it,” said Pat Craig, Founder and Executive Director of The Wild Animal Sanctuary. “Mixed with humor and occasional tugs at the heartstrings, it details the incredible journey from our humble beginnings in Boulder to being the largest and oldest sanctuary in the world devoted to large carnivores.”

With over 100 color photos, “Forever Wild, Forever Home” is an absorbing, thoughtful, and timely story from the Sanctuary’s founding to the present day. It offers a heartwarming and humorous behind-the-scenes look at what it is really like to rescue, rehabilitate and provide lifelong care for these magnificent survivors.

Describing what led them to undertake such a project, local Denver authors Melanie and Mark Shellenbarger said, “When we first saw the enormous habitats of the Sanctuary in 2018 and personally learned about the Captive Wildlife Crisis, our lives were changed forever. Our hope is this book will offer an accessible but deeper look into the nobility of the animals that call the Sanctuary home and the heroic labors of those who care for them.”

“Forever Wild, Forever Home” is available online at and is also available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others in hardcover, paperback and e-book formats.




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