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The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota Offers Guidance and Cold-Weather Protocols to Southern Animal Sanctuaries



February 19, 2021

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota Offers Guidance and Cold-Weather Protocols to Southern Animal Sanctuaries as They Deal with Unprecedented Freezing Conditions

Sandstone, Minnesota – The last few days of bitterly cold weather across America and widespread power outages in southern states have impacted not only people but thousands of animals living in sanctuaries and other facilities that are unaccustomed to enduring freezing temperatures for long periods of time.

From birds to primates to turtles, wild animals have been severely impacted and even died due to the snow and ice. Sanctuaries in the south are scrambling to deal with unprecedented issues as they work around the clock to help their vulnerable animals survive.

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota is also experiencing severe weather and weeks of unrelenting temperatures well below zero. But their 127 exotic cats (including lions, tigers, servals and other non-native species not used to such conditions in the wild) are not only surviving, they are thriving and keeping toasty warm.

“We understand Minnesota has brutally cold weather every year and we took that into account when we designed the habitats and winter care plan for our big cats,” explained Tammy Thies, Founder and Executive Director at The Wildcat Sanctuary. “We empathize with the many animal sanctuaries in the south dealing with brutally cold weather they are not accustomed to and offer our support and guidance on how to care for wild animals in these conditions. We are happy to share our protocols and help them create a plan for future extreme weather emergencies.”

Every one of the sanctuary’s cats not only has access to a large, natural outside habitat to roam and play, but they also have individual inside bedrooms complete with heated floors and straw-laden den boxes when the weather gets cold. The sanctuary also maintains cold weather protocols such as keeping an extra supply of food on hand, a full supply of propane on site, and making sure all heaters and boilers are in proper working condition.

During extreme weather snaps, animal caregivers remain on property 24/7 to ensure all of the cats are taken care of and are comfortable. In addition, every cat receives numerous enrichment items to keep them entertained while indoors and stave boredom.

The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is the only accredited, non-profit sanctuary in the Midwest.  TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis.  Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals. The Wildcat Sanctuary is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.  More information can be found at


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