Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary cares for exotic animals in Punta Gorda

Dozens of exotic animals are being cared for where you can enjoy them right here in Southwest Florida.

“Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary is the wildest retirement center in Punta Gorda,” said volunteer Jackie Krohn. “We take in abandoned, abused, mistreated and sometimes no-longer wanted rescues.”

For tigers like sisters Snow and Phoenix, Octagon is a lifesaver.

The two white tigers were born in captivity. Snow is unique; white tigers are born with a target on their back. Due to a recessive gene, they are high strung and normally they are put down when they are born.

“Because she’s cross-eyed, she was just an animal they didn’t think they could use in their business,” said Krohn.

Fortunately, Snow’s fate is different from other white tigers. The sisters were surrendered to Octagon where they’ll stay safe while the public can enjoy them.

“We do everything we can to keep these animals comfortable, give them quality of life and some enjoyable moments,” said Krohn.

The sanctuary is stocked with different breeds.

“We have 6 or 7 bears, lions, hyenas, macaws, tortoises, primates and even a couple of fox.”

Good will keeps this jungle up and running.

“When we say it takes a village, that’s true, we have about 45 volunteers that work at Octagon.”

It’s a surprising spot for folks who live or vacation here.

“We came today and it was more than I expected. We got to see a lot of bears and things that we normally don’t see,” said visitor Steve Keene.

For more information and ticket availability, you can visit their website. 

“Everybody says that we are truly a hidden jewel in Punta Gorda.”

 

 

Reporter:
Writer:Emily Luft
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