Animal sanctuaries, as previously mentioned, are properties where animals can be brought to live out their lives under the protection of people who care deeply for the animals. The difference between a shelter and a sanctuary is that the sanctuary does not seek to place the animal outside of the confines of the sanctuary at any point, rather, caring for the animal until its natural death. A sanctuary typically seeks to serve as a safe haven for animals to receive the top care that the sanctuary can afford. Unlike a zoo, an animal sanctuary is not open to the public in the traditional sense; the public characteristically need to be escorted throughout the grounds of an animal sanctuary by the people that are working there. The sanctuary seeks at all costs to avoid any sort of circumstances which would cause the animals themselves and abundance of stress that they would not be faced with in the natural world.
Besides taking care of the animals on the grounds, one of the foremost goals of an animal sanctuary is to educate the public. Throughout the world there are systems set in place to ensure that animal sanctuaries are following a strict set of standards that are set in place in order to ensure the both the best environments for an animal to live, as well as providing citizens with the education they need in order to understand the role of the animal sanctuary.
One the most important roles held at an animal sanctuary is that of an animal nutritionist. An animal nutritionist is an individual who specializes in the dietary requirements of animals. Animal nutrition combines the sciences of physics, mathematics, economics, chemistry, biochemistry, animal behavior, and food processing. Typically an animal nutritionist has Bachelor’s degree in agricultural related programs and has begun work on a Master’s level education with a heavy emphasis on animal nutrition. Often, animal sanctuaries will even require their animal nutritionists to have earned their Ph. D. in nutrition.
An animal nutritionist will be able to tell exactly what kind of diet any particular animal will need. As sanctuaries attempt to imitate the animals’ previous lives in the wild as closely as possible, it is imperative to have their unique diets in captivity be precisely accurate. If a sanctuary houses birds of prey such as hawks, eagles, or owls, the sanctuary will want to have plenty of feeder rats and mice available. If a sanctuary is home to coyotes, foxes, or other various feral cats, it will be important to have feeder quail on hand.
It is also important to know what size frozen feeders are required to nourish the animals on the grounds given their immediate condition. Whether the animal is sick, pregnant, a new born, old in age, or has any variety of other circumstances affecting its well being, an animal nutritionist will know exactly what type of frozen rodents will help the animals live a normal healthy life.