Respect, Rehabilitation and Release When Possible

Forest Animal Rescue helps wildlife that is non-releasable or can be restored to health and returned to the wild.

Forest Animal Rescue (FAR) in Silver Springs has a stellar reputation as a true accredited sanctuary that has provided lifetime care for non-releasable animals such as wild cats, primates, bats and more, for 25 years. FAR is also known for its work to rehabilitate and release black bears in cooperation with state authorities. 

“We recently purchased another 20 acres in Marion County for native wildlife release,” shares FAR Vice President and Co-Founder Lisa Stoner. “We are restoring the habitat on the property, protecting it from development, and using it to work with local wildlife rehabilitators. These animals are mostly deer, squirrels, birds, and reptiles; a little bit of everything that is already native to that property.”

Ideally, rehabbed animals are put back where they are found, but too often they are found in a parking lot, development site, or other place inappropriate place for release. 

“Private property is usually the only option because rehabilitators are not allowed to release animals on government land. But private property owners with the correct type of land, who give permission to release wildlife in the absence of humans, are not always easy to come by,” Stoner shares. “We have private land bordered by national forest. These animals must remain wild with extremely limited human interaction.”

FAR will continue to help find sanctuary for animals born in captivity, which cannot be released, even if we don’t take them ourselves.

“Our native animals, however, need help more than ever,” Stoner offers. “It only makes sense to focus our efforts where we are needed most.”  

People with a heart for wildlife can help by supporting the program expansion and working on habitat restoration, such as clearing invasive plants and trimming trees. Financial support can be provided through the FAR website. 

“We have a wish list” notes Stoner. “You can shop online to benefit the sanctuary, take advantage of $5 Fridays, and even set up perpetual giving, which greatly helps sustain our efforts.”

To learn more, go to or follow them on social media.

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