Big changes are coming for The Nature of Wildworks.
For more than 25 years, our Wildworks Wildlife Care and Education Center has been housed in Topanga Canyon, where we care for approximately 50 animals, provide on-site education, and deliver over 100 awareness programs across Southern California each year. We are permitted and regulated by several government agencies that oversee animal health and safety.
However, we have been unable to remedy one important glitch in our operation: to obtain a zoning variance for housing wild and exotic animals from the County of Los Angeles at our current site. Although we have pursued a variance and other options for being in compliance for many years, the County has never come through.
I was recently told in a meeting with Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control officials that due to the recent fires in the area, and the attention drawn to animals at other facilities that could not be evacuated, that this is the reason the County has now decided to force us to relocate all of our wild and exotic animals. They have suggested that we send the animals away, out of our care, to other facilities. For all of us at Wildworks, the people and the animals, this would be devastating.
Their decision has nothing to do with the operation of Wildworks; We run a professional organization, with a staff of graduates from the Moorpark College Teaching Zoo, and a perfect public safety record. We have also evacuated all of our animals safely twice during fire danger. We provide lifetime care for non-releasable wildlife – many of which were brought to the center for us to care for from County animal shelters.
But in spite of this commitment to animals and to community service, all of our restricted species of birds and mammals are being forced out.
I have been working with the County to extend our time here. I have been going to court. At the last court appearance I submitted a letter from our long-time veterinarian Dr. Gary Latos, which is included below, stating that the transfer of many of the animals here to other facilities that are old and compromised would be inhumane and possibly life-threatening. I overheard a county representative say “We don’t care. We just want those animals out of there.”
We have tried for over a decade to identify a new home for Wildworks in the Santa Monica Mountains and beyond. Through innumerable discussions with City, County and State Park representatives, as well as searching for property to purchase, we have explored every option for staying here – without success. So unless something unexpected (miraculous) occurs, Wildworks will be forced to leave California, and pursue the option of relocating near Sedona, Arizona.
We want to remain here with you in this area. We so want to continue our animal care and educational mission, and would gladly consider a local opportunity. But because of the aggressive action that is being taken by the County, and no one yet coming through with an alternative, our immediate concern is the health and safety of the animals. The proposed location near Sedona is ideal in many ways. It would be property purchased by me, Mollie Hogan, founder and director. The site offers a home, larger grounds, options for larger enclosures for the animals, and supportive government agencies and local residents. We will truly miss our friends and events in the Santa Monica Mountains, but I am determined to continue to care for the animals and share them with people as we’ve been doing here for the past quarter-century.
This is an extremely difficult time. We need your support now more than ever. Although I will personally be funding the initial purchase of the property, if this is the route we are forced to take, the expense of creating the Best of the Wild Center, which in simplistic terms includes, modifications to the property, large wildlife enclosures and the relocation all of our animals, falls on the Nature of Wildworks and all of our valued supporters.
So my friends, it’s up to you. You’ve helped us in the past, we are counting on you more now than ever to save our animals. AND we have limited time. Our animals need your support.
PLEASE DONATE NOW
Mollie Hogan/Executive Director
And the critters--- Pirate, Bobby, Boxer, Cliff, Cory, Spring, Fidel Kestrel, Singer and Dancer, and every single one of our special ambassador animals.
***If you have any questions or concerns please contact the supervising officers at Los Angeles County Animal Control.
Here is the letter from our veterinarian, Dr. Gary Latos:
The Nature of Wildworks | 310-455-0550 | email@example.com | Visit our Website