Animal Ark is currently closed for the winter, but our animals must still be cared for and fed. Our founders, Aaron and Diana Hiibel have issued their winter appeal letter to all our supporters. The content of the letter is reproduced here:


Dear Friend,

This is the time of year when personal mail arrives to our household requesting donations to support the hungry and homeless in our region. These requests pull at our heart strings as the needs are so great during the holidays when Old Man Winter rushes in. Unfortunate circumstances have beset the lives of these people. Often their situation is not by choice. It is no different here at Animal Ark. The hungry and the homeless find their way here also but they cannot speak for themselves or make a career change. Except for the bear cubs in our rehabilitation program, our guests never leave. Human assistance is a necessary daily occurrence. The one thing you can count on is that we continue to give our non-releasable wildlife the best care possible. Thirty-six years after our humble beginnings we are still in awe of the support we receive in order to continue our work as a sanctuary. You have helped save many hungry and homeless wild animals that now call the Ark home.


What if Animal Ark did not exist?

Nearly every year we talk about orphaned bear cubs that need to get in shape for a release back into the wild. This year is no exception . It is our understanding that the cubs we received in April were the first recorded litter of 4 observed by Nevada Department of Wildlife. Mom sure would have had her hands full with these guys. Although the care of the cubs takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention a tremendous amount of food, we at Animal Ark are very pleased to know that they will have a second chance at living the life intended for them

Tank the Bear

Tank the Bear

Your support makes this possible!

As always, our role as a wildlife sanctuary goes on. A non-releasable great horned owl from a rehabilitation facility in California is on its way to Animal Ark. Our team is also hard at work upgrading the tiger enclosure to new USDA standards and not a moment too soon. A young Bengal tiger is in need of placement and we have agreed to take her in.

Animal Ark

Animal Ark

What did we accomplish this year?

Expansion and growth is a yearly focus as we serve this community and rescue wildlife. Your support makes it happen. A partial lis for 2016 includes:

  • Built a Visitor Center and new Gift Shop
  • Committed to long term care of 4 orphaned bear cubs until release in 2017
  • Partnered with Raptor Adventures to present on-site and outreach bird of prey programs
  • Secured grant funding for Education Program scholarships
  • Presented education programs to over 6,000 children
  • Provided 17,000 guests with a fun, educational experience
  • Remained a top Reno attraction in 2016
  • Remodeled and enlarged an existing enclosure for a new resident black bear

We are so grateful for your partnership with us! Your donations have made Animal Ark what it is today.

Please consider helping us again. We are closed for 5 months each winter and must rely on the kindness of others to support the sanctuary.

With warm regards,


Aaron and Diana Hiibel, Co-founders