Gilmer Co. wildlife sanctuary faces closure - CBS46 News

Gilmer Co. wildlife sanctuary faces closure, animals may be euthanized

Posted: Updated:

Leaders at the Ellijay Wildlife Sanctuary fear they will have to close early next year if they do not see a significant jump in donations, on which they rely heavily to maintain daily operations. The sanctuary is home to bears, panthers, and other exotic animals in need of special care.

According to the sanctuary's director, some of the animals may need to be put down if the facility closes.

"The older animals, there's no place to place them, they have to be put down," said Executive Director Tim Grady. "Your intended end is that they live out a long life and pass away of old age. But their end could be that they have to be put down, and that's really painful."

He said the recession of 2008 greatly harmed the rate at which they receive donations, and the financial support from the public has not rebounded in the six years since then.

"95 percent, maybe even 98 percent of our financial support is through individual donations. And you can't operate with no money, you still have to take care of facilities, you still have to feed animals," said Grady.

He remains hopeful people will offer enough in the way of donations to sustain the sanctuary for another year. If you would like to contribute to their cause, visit their website here.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.