A young lion sits draped over a log facing the camera

Rescue & Care

Born Free never forgets individual animals. Every animal counts.

Where possible, we rescue vulnerable wild animals from appalling conditions where they have been confined, exploited or abused. We rehabilitate them and, whenever possible, release them back into the wild. Sadly, many of the wild animals we rescue have been too damaged by captivity to return to the wild.

You can read about all of the animals we have successfully rescued on our ‘Success Stories’ page, and on our Circus, Zoo, Dolphinaria and Exotic Pet Rescue pages.

Rescue Success Stories

Circus Rescue    Zoo Rescue    Dolphin Rescue    Exotic Pet Rescue

Below you can find links to pages about all of the sanctuaries and projects we support.

Our Sanctuaries

Wild animals at our sanctuaries are given lifetime care and spacious environments where they can live out their days in the peace and respect they need and deserve. Not only do we run our own sanctuaries and work with partners on sanctuary projects, we work with partners around the world to provide emergency treatment and care to free-ranging wild animals, and support independent rescue centres.
Close up of a hyena walking towards the right of the camera

Ensessa Kotteh

Ensessa Kotteh is a 190-acre sanctuary in Ethiopia, which houses wild animals in need – orphaned or confiscated from illegal trade or ownership.
A young chimpanzee looks towards the camera with a second chimpanzee sat behind her

Ngamba Island

Ngamba Island is a 100-acre rainforest sanctuary for chimpanzees in need.
A chimpanzee stands with one hand reaching up on top of a post, and the other arm around the shoulders of a smaller chimp

Limbe Wildlife Centre

Limbe Wildlife Centre near Douala, Cameroon, is a highly respected sanctuary for chimpanzees, gorillas and other primates.
A monkey is sitting in the branch of a tree, looking towards the camera

Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary

Born Free USA operates a 175-acre primate sanctuary in Texas. One of the largest primate sanctuaries in the US, it provides a safe, permanent home to monkeys.
A Bengal tiger stands in tall, dry grass, looking at the camera

Bannerghatta Tiger Sanctuary

Established by Born Free and managed by Wildlife SOS, Bannerghatta Tiger Sanctuary provides a lifetime home to rescued tiger Gopal.
Close up of a vervet monnkey with black face framed with white fur, and grey fur on the top of its head

GRI - Zambia Primate Project

Established by and with on-going support from Born Free, Zambia Primate Project (ZPP) is one of Africa’s most successful primate release programmes.
A brown bear is walking through dense woodland


The Arcturos Environmental Centre and Bear Sanctuary is home to rescued orphan brown bear cubs, injured bears, and bears saved from the dancing bear trade.
Two lions are lying side by side with a fence in the background

Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary

Born Free works with Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary to provide safe, natural enclosures for wild cats, rescued from zoos, circuses and other captive facilities.
A photo of a pangolin on a tree branch

Sangha Pangolin Project

Sangha Pangolin Project is situated on a beautiful site on a small peninsula of the mighty Sangha River, where rescued pangolins are rehabilitated and released.
A vervet monkey is sitting in the branches of a tree

Wildlife Emergency Response Unit

The Wildlife Emergency Response Unit (WERU) provides field veterinary-related support for wildlife emergencies and conservation projects across Malawi.
A tiger is lying on the grass with a fallen tree behind him

Animanatura Wild Sanctuary

Born Free works with Animanatura Wild Sanctuary to provide safe, natural enclosures for big cats, rescued from zoos, circuses and other captive facilities.
A fluffy fox cub sits on the grass

UK Wildlife Rescues

In the UK we support the work of numerous wildlife rescues and wildlife hospitals to rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick and orphaned wild animals.


Born Free regularly receives calls for help about captive animals in need. Sadly, there are many more animals in need of rescue than there are sanctuary spaces worldwide.

It is vital we use precious sanctuary spaces not only to rescue animals in need, but to also highlight the problems facing captive wildlife (for example, private ownership, trade, circuses, and substandard zoos). We therefore have many considerations to make when we are informed about a captive animal in need.

View our flowchart to give you an idea of what we must take into account when we receive information about a captive animal from supporters.