Elmira, Stanley and friends need you

Stanley, a young grizzly bear, has found his forever home at Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary. Today he needs your help. MITCH TRAPHAGEN PHOTOS

Stanley, a young grizzly bear, has found his forever home at Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary. Today he needs your help. MITCH TRAPHAGEN PHOTOS

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

Summer months are considered by many to be a time of relaxation and vacation. Most of the snowbirds fly home and things quiet down, just a little, in this corner of paradise.

But the reality is that the summer months are often a very difficult time for local businesses and organizations; the quieter times bring a reduction in sales and needed donations.

Such is the case with Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary. Elmira’s is not a zoo, nor is it a hobby. It is a sanctuary of last resort for roughly 50 exotic animals that can never be returned to the wild, nor have anywhere else to go. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization staffed entirely by volunteers dedicated to providing a life of dignity — a forever home for these animals that had once been cast away. Some were given up due simply to growing up and growing large. Others merely had imperfections that were considered undesirable.

Right now, in midsummer, Elmira the bear (and sancturary namesake); Stanley, a young grizzly; wolves who innocently began life as dogs; and Little Al and the many tigers, along with other majestic cats, birds, lemurs, and even a large tortoise, need your help.

Tigers playing at Elmira’s Sanctuary near Wimauma.

Tigers playing at Elmira’s Sanctuary near Wimauma.

Even in the quiet times, they still need to eat. They still need veterinary care and they still need love. And today it is the latter, love, that they need most from the community.

Can you help them? Tax-deductible donations may be made on Elmira’s website at www.elmiraswildlife.org. Checks may be sent to: Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary, P.O. Box 63, Wimauma, FL 33598.

Although Elmira’s is not a zoo, tours are available and provide another source of income for the nonprofit. Visit, look into Stanley’s eyes and know that deep down inside he is grateful. You and the volunteers are all he has. Every penny of every donation goes entirely towards the care and feeding of the animals at Elmira’s. Please help if you can.

Public tours are available on Saturdays at  11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and on the first Sunday of the month (Aug. 7) at 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Visit www.elmiraswildlife.org.

Comments