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Wildlife Waystation in Angeles National Forest to Close

Martine Colette, who founded the Wildilfe Waystation, stands near African lions Leo Zaire, left, and Katunga at the facility in 2011. ( Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)

Martine Colette, who founded the Wildilfe Waystation, stands near African lions Leo Zaire, left, and Katunga at the facility in 2011. ( Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)

State officials on Tuesday said the long-struggling Wildlife Waystation in the Angeles National Forest is shutting down for good, and the center is collaborating with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to relocate more than 470 exotic animals including lions, tigers, alligators, wolves, owls and 42 chimpanzees.

On Aug. 11, the board of directors of the 43-year-old animal sanctuary voted to shutter the facility, surrender its CDFW permits and assist in finding new homes for its creatures with local and national animal welfare organizations across the nation, said Jordan Traverso, a spokeswoman for the agency.

“Some animals will be moving out as early as tomorrow,” Traverso said Tuesday, “but it’s going to be a long process because there are so many, and some of them are old and in primary care.”

Deanna Armbruster, a spokeswoman for the 160-acre Wildlife Waystation, was unavailable for comment. But Traverso said the facility, located just outside Los Angeles city limits, suffered extensive damage in the 2017 Creek fire near Tujunga, followed by severe flooding earlier this year.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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