Colorado offers endless opportunities to see the creatures that light up our social flows and warm our hearts. From welcoming chipmunks and deer on the trail to the cuddling of the friendly puppies that pack our local breweries, there are plenty of chances for us to take in a healthy dose of animal love.
Bookmark this list for the next time you need soulful puppy eyes or want to snuggle up against more unconventional creatures.
The wild animal sanctuary
The Denver Zoo isn’t the only place around to see exotic wildlife. The wild animal sanctuary, less than an hour’s drive from the Keenesburg campus, is home to more than 500 animals on 789 acres. As you walk up the 2.5-mile elevated walkway, you might spot a trail of tigers wading through a pond, grizzly bears scratching their big bellies, and lions exercising their vocal cords.
The sanctuary welcomes abused and exploited animals from all over the country and offers them great wild habitats for them to live their days. By keeping visitors above them and out of their territory, the animals are not stressed and visitors can see the wild beasts behaving in ways rarely seen in zoos.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
Unlike other arsenals, you won’t find weapons or military equipment here. In the 1980s, workers discovered a bald eagle roost at the site, and in the 1990s, Congress designated the Rocky Mountain Arsenal a national wildlife refuge. Today, its 15,000 acres are home not only to 10 miles of hiking trails, but also 330 species of animals and rich flora.
Take the 18 km self-guided wildlife walk and you are likely to spot white-tailed deer, bald eagles, prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets and more. If you’re lucky, you can get a close look at the many bison (and sometimes their calves) that inhabit the refuge.
Whether on foot or by car, the Arsenal offers a breath of fresh air and a special way to experience Colorado’s wildlife.
Whether you are looking to adopt a companion, volunteer with pets in need, or just get a dose of four paws and wet noses, the many animal shelters and rescues in Metro Denver are the place to be. a wonderful resource. Within the city limits you will find the Denver League of Dumb Friends, Denver Animal Shelter and Maxfund. Head just outside of Denver and canoodle with some new furry friends at the Foothills animal shelter and the Cat Care Society in Lakewood, the Aurora animal shelter and Littleton Humane Society of the South Platte Valley. Countless other animal loving organizations are just a Google search away.
Although cats and dogs predominate, you can accommodate many other pets as well. Many shelters are home to smaller creatures, such as guinea pigs, rats and rabbits. If you prefer clogs, also check out Harmony Horse Rescue from the Dumb Friends League.
Denver Cat Company
Denver’s version of the popular cat cafe is the Denver Cat Company, founded by former DU student Leila Qari in 2014. Inspired by Japanese cat cafes, the lawyer turned catvocate set out to create a space as comfortable for humans as it is for felines. As a guest, you can just stop for tea or coffee while getting your feline fix, or you can visit in the hopes of finding your new best friend, as all of the cats in the shop are adoptable. .
Luvin ‘Arms Sanctuary
Luvin ‘Arms Sanctuary in Erie, about half an hour from campus, rescues abused or neglected farm animals including cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens and goats. While these creatures aren’t generally considered as cuddly as cats and dogs, they do have a lot of love and warmth to share.
For Luvin ‘Arms, rescue is only part of the equation. The other is community education. The sanctuary provides opportunities for people to connect with new species and to think more deeply about the complex lives these animals lead. With that in mind, you can take a 90-minute tour where you meet the many residents of the sanctuary and learn about the stories behind their unique experiences and personalities.
Book a two-hour tour with the Zoology Foundation, and you might meet Chewie and Han Solo camels or Tommy the tegu. You might spot Toogie the famous dancing turtle sunbathing or the Newman Alpaca taking a nap.
Larkspur Sanctuary is home to 150 domestic, farm and exotic animals, most of which have been rescued or abandoned by previous owners. The organization was founded to promote and help create a more human world, dedicated to the idea that all living things are connected and that these connections are an important part of being human.
Any list of things to do in Colorado should include outfitting Rosie, the pink-haired tarantula from Chile at Westminster. Butterfly pavilion. She is a celebrity among the locals and has been owned by over 3 million people during her 25 years at the Pavilion. Meeting the famous adorable tarantula is one of the many ways the butterfly lodge promotes invertebrate appreciation.
On any given tour, you can watch butterflies emerge from their pupae, learn about starfish, horseshoe crabs, and other underwater creatures, explore the various life forms that inhabit Colorado, and walk among 1,600 butterflies in free flight.