“refuge facility for injured and orphaned wildlife”
Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary was founded in 1999 by its Director, Michael Welchynski, to provide a permanent home for unwanted, neglected and abused animals. Prior to establishing the Sanctuary in Spearfish, South Dakota, Michael Welchynski founded and directed Spirit Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada. Spirit Valley was an animal refuge facility for injured and orphaned wildlife and for unwanted domestic and exotic animals. Along with badgers, birds of prey, moose and Black bears, Spirit Valley was also home to a Barbary lion named “Hercules,” who needed a permanent home after outgrowing his adopted family’s city apartment, and a Siberian tiger named “Tane,” who was confiscated by Canadian authorities when her owner was caught walking her on a leash in a suburban neighborhood in Saskatchewan. Upon the invitation of Johanna Meier and Guido Della Vecchia, owners and directors of the Black Hills Passion Play, Michael Welchynski transported some 200 animals, including the lion and tiger, across the international border to establish Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in Spearfish, South Dakota.
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Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
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