Elbert County wild animal sanctuary euthanizes nearly a dozen of lions, tigers and bears

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The Lion’s Gate Wild Animal Sanctuary near Denver, Colorado euthanized all eleven of its animals after the Elbert County commissioners denied the refuge’s repeated request to move the wild animals to an 80 acre plot of land south of Elizabeth. Instead the animals were all killed on April 20 citing recurring flooding on the property deemed the conditions unsafe.

According to the Denver Post, Commissioner Grant Thayer said a unanimous vote denying the special-use permit to move the sanctuary was made because “it was felt the community impact would best be served.” A previous vote to move the facility was denied in 2006. According to local politics,  housing wild animals was not appropriate in a area known for horses. Neighbors complained about lions roaring at night and the possibility of the wild animals escaping. Lion’s Gate owners, Joan Laub and Peter Winney, argued that the animals at the sanctuary were old and posed little risk. In addition they would erect a ten-foot high electrified fence. As to the lions roaring, the owners stated the two lions roared once a day and just for an insignificant amount of time. Still the special permit was denied and all of the animals were killed.

On Wednesday, the executive director of the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota sent out a letter expressing “their hearts break knowing these were senseless deaths of animals that deserved so much more compassion.” The Denver Post reports Tammy Thies, executive director of the organization, stated they had accepted animals from Lion’s Gate in the past and euthanizing these animals this month was a “selfish move” that “had nothing to do with the welfare of the animals.”

(Photos of Elbert County euthanized wildlife via the Denver Post and Lion’s Gate Wild Animal Sanctuary)

Rest in peace; we all regret you had to die.

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21 replies
  1. resqdogz says:

    What – are you FUCKING PETULANT CHILDREN, that you couldn’t/wouldn’t explore relocation options???
    I know (and reside not far from) that Sandstone, MN facility and am convinced THEY would have accepted your animals!!!
    (and FUCK those small-minded commissioners, while you’re at it!)

  2. Debra Hicks says:

    How could anyone be so selfish to destroy the animals without looking for different ways they may have lived .THE towns full of selfish people also

  3. Donna Burns says:

    So the great yuppies who thought I’ll be so cool and take care of exotic animals have rescuers all say how majestic I am then when I don’t get my way ahh what the hell im bored anyway kill them all people make me madder than hell and most are a waste of air

  4. Linda Patton says:

    The murders of all those innocent animals is unspeakable! That place needs to be charged with each murder. They could have moved them to the sanctuary that offered to take them. Their act was selfish and horrific! They had no caring for those animals what so ever, rather then housing them in a safe place they chose murder. They must be shut down forever if they aren’t already. Each human who worked there must be forbidden from ever working with or being around any animals what so ever. Management needs to be criminally charged as does the so called vet who murdered them all. I’m irate over this act! The justice system must take a stand and do what’s right, they all need to serve long prison terms. Beautiful innocent animals murdered for no justifiable reason. I’m just sick!!!

  5. Bunny Peters says:

    Not much of a sanctuary if they killed all their animals……

    Surely there were alternatives…….

    RIP precious lions, tigers and bears…..

  6. Elaine Briden says:

    That place should be charged and shutdown or demolished along with the fuckers that run it or work there. Thats plain sickening…those animals were innocent and shouldn’t have been there in the first place. IGNORANT FUCKING DESPICABLE HUMANS????????????????????????????????????????

  7. msjackalope says:

    Who pays for all of this?
    This is so sad. Everyone, please consider donating to The Wild Animal Sanctuary http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/ in Colorado.

    I have no affiliation with this group, but I’ve been there and it is wonderful. They have said they would have taken these animals if they had known. They care for around 400 wild, rescued, and abused animals on over 700 acres of land. Nobody is complaining about them being there.

    I heard two lions roaring at one another the last time I was there, and it… was… glorious.

  8. Cynthia Como says:

    There will come a day when this world will have no animals! These selfish,immoral assholes who chose to end the life of these beautiful animals need to be charged at a federal level! There are certain bears lions and especially tigers that are on the endangered species list and are suppose to be protected by federal law! This is a selfish immoral act and beyond sickening!!

  9. peggy Moreno says:

    WTH you guys who run that facility that decided to put these animals down instead of relocating them are a POS. The animals should of put you down. There was a facility willing to take them only 2 hours away from you. Why couldn’t you of sent them there? I pray you have no other animals if you do they should take them away from you before you decide to put them down. May you have nightmares for the rest of your life. ASSHOLES!!!!!!!!!!!


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