Wildlife Waystation

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About Us

Founded by Martine Colette in 1965 and incorporated in 1976, Wildlife Waystation is located on 160 acres in the Angeles National Forest in Southern California. Wildlife Waystation is both nationally and internationally recognized. We have accepted tigers from Ireland, lions from New Zealand and Canada, and both native and exotic animals from across the United States. Every rescue is important and often life-saving.

In addition to our other animal residents, Wildlife Waystation is the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the Western United States. We are home to over 40 chimpanzees almost all of which came from biomedical research labs.

We provide 24-hour care to nearly 500 permanent animal residents. The full-time veterinary staff ensures that each animal receives exceptional healthcare based on the individual animal’s needs including preventative modalities, treatment for infections and diseases, cancer treatment, and geriatric care.

Since 1976, Wildlife Waystation has helped more than 77,000 abused, abandoned, orphaned, and injured animals. These include Siberian and Bengal tigers, lions, leopards, ligers, jaguars, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, camels, primates, hyenas, bears, foxes, reptiles, exotic birds, birds of prey, and more.

Our Mission

  • Rescue and provide exceptional care for animals that were abused, abandoned, orphaned, injured or otherwise unwanted.
  • Educate the public about the importance of wildlife, its protection and preservation.
  • Advocate for the well-being of wild animals.

How we operate

Wildlife Waystation receives no funding from federal, state, or local governments, but is supported solely by private donations, foundation and corporate grants, bequests and animal sponsorships. The sanctuary is staffed 24 hours-a-day, 7 days a week by a professional staff and highly trained and dedicated volunteers.

WW works closely with local animal control, as well as California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and when warranted, animal organizations worldwide.

Booee, who continued to use his sign language skills to make requests for treats or play, and Sammy, who continued to paint, are gone now – as are some of the other chimps who were older when they arrived. But after spending much of their lives in medical research, they were allowed to live out their remaining years nestled in the hills under the warm California sun. Each chimp added something special to our lives and we are so grateful that we had the opportunity to finally provide them with a life of compassionate care – one they so richly deserved.