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Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

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Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary & Nature Center, a non-profit 501(c) (3) located twenty-five miles north of Reno Nevada on 38 acres, is a safe haven for injured, abandoned and otherwise non-releasable wildlife. Many of these animals would have been euthanized if Animal Ark had not provided them a permanent home. Resident’s of the Ark are housed in natural, large exhibits and act as ambassadors for their wild cousins. Through our education programs and public visitations, Animal Ark has educated thousands of children and adults about ecological principles and endangered species.   

Our Mission
Animal Ark is a sanctuary for life committed to environmentally conscious stewardship of all wildlife and their habitats.  

Animal Ark began in 1980 with the acquisition of two gray wolves by Diana and Aaron Hiibel, co-founders. They quickly learned that wild animals do not make good pets and that there were many misconceptions about wolves in general. After much research and hands-on experience, a desire to share this knowledge with others soon developed.

In spring of 1982, Animal Ark opened its Nature Trail Program. This was the beginning of fulfilling the public education portion of its mission. Throughout these early years, Animal Ark began to accept disadvantaged wildlife. These animals included bear, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, and kit fox.  Some of these animals were being kept illegally as exotic pets while others had suffered permanent injuries precluding their release back to the wild. In addition to the many animals that became residents, Animal Ark also housed several orphan animals until they could be returned to the wild. In April of 1986, Animal Ark received non-profit status 501(c) (3) from the Federal Government.

Animal Ark’s commitment to resident wildlife is not just providing food and shelter, but also a stimulating and rich habitat.  Through a special enrichment program, all animals receive stimulating activities and toys to help break up boredom.  It is Animal Ark’s philosophy that each animal that is taken in is provided a home for life.  It is not Animal Ark’s policy to engage in captive breeding for the purposes of selling or trading of animals.  It is our belief that wild animals belong in the wild and for those individuals that are not capable of surviving in the wild on their own, they have the power to represent their wild cousins and educate humanity about the needs and importance of maintaining a healthy environment that includes the full representation of natural predators.

While living up to this philosophy, Animal Ark is also committed to using environmentally friendly energy policies wherever possible.  At this time, most of Animal Ark’s energy needs are met by using passive solar panels and wind generation.

Animal Ark embraces community spirit and relies on the local community for support and resources.  A strong network of volunteers (4-5,000 hours annually), do everything from taking care of resident wildlife, providing interpretive talks and information to the public, and facilitating the endless day-to-day tasks.  In addition our network of volunteers are in the community actively promoting Animal Ark and educating the public about wild animals and the environment.

As a strong organization and member of the community, we believe that education is the most essential tool in making positive changes in our environmental policies.  We implement this idea by providing interpretive signage throughout the facility, always having knowledgeable and well-trained docents available to answer questions, providing educational outreach talks, and maintaining educational materials on our websites.  Animal Ark is always striving to get the community and our visitors engaged and we are constantly creating and implementing new ideas and methods to promote a dynamic and innovative educational program.

Animal Ark will continue to seek to make our role in the community a strong one and continue to build a strong constituency and support for not only the captive inhabitants of Animal Ark, but wildlife and their habitats globally.  We do this with active partnerships in three African countries.
Help Make a Difference

Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary
1265 Deerlodge Road
Reno, Nevada 89508
United States

Contact: Aaron Hiibel
Tel: 1-775-970-3111
Fax: 866-366-5771
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