Animal sanctuary in Agua Dulce that rescues exotic animals is back open for public and private tours

A weekend visit, a monthly donation or a sponsorship helps provide food, shelter and healthcare for the animals.

Amanda Palacios Image
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Animal sanctuary in Agua Dulce is back open for tours
Animal Tracks is a nonprofit in Agua Dulce that rescues exotic animals. Now, the facility is back open with 65 volunteers, 72 animals and weekend tours.

AGUA DULCE, Calif. (KABC) -- At Animal Tracks in Agua Dulce, you'll find over 70 different types of exotic animals - most rescued from wildlife or the exotic pet trade.

"We had a friend that started this back in 2002 and I had been a movie animal trainer for many years and she was looking to get rid of the nonprofit. And we started to build Animal Tracks," said Animal Tracks Director Stacy Gunderson.

They started out with just five animals back in 2008. But as the facility started to grow, so did the number of animals.

"We have Chrissy (a baboon), a macaque, we have a multitude of capuchin monkeys that came from the movie industry and private pet trade, wolves, kangaroos, a multitude of creatures," Gunderson said.

But in 2020, the pandemic forced the nonprofit to close its doors, resulting in a huge loss.

"We've lost $300,000 in revenue since COVID shut us down, so we have a really big gap to make up," Gunderson said.

A few months ago, Stacy Gunderson says they were able to finally re-open the facility. But it was only made possible because of the 65 volunteers who help care for the animals.

"It's really important to have volunteers all feel welcome and have Stacy spend so much time with her knowledge teaching us how we can take care of these animals," said volunteer Josh Betters.

If you want to see the animals up close, you can book a public or private tour for a truly immersive experience!

"It's like nothing you will experience anywhere else without being a petting zoo. We just want you to come because there's so much to learn about conservation around the world and how not to perpetuate the problems that exist," Gunderson said.

Gunderson says a weekend visit, a monthly donation or a sponsorship helps provide food, shelter and healthcare for the animals.

"Donations are super important for us to feed the animals, for veterinary bills," said Animal Tracks Facility Director Alyson Wright.

"When people donate to us we want you to know that the money truly does go to the animals," Gunderson said.

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