Inside one of the nation's top carnivore sanctuaries

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The sanctuary's guests are in a strange kind of limbo — primal but sterile, wild at heart but with no place in the natural world. They have learned firsthand about the human capacity for cruelty. It's a lesson as old as Shakespeare. "No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity," remonstrates Lady Anne in Richard III. "But I know none," Richard replies, "and therefore am no beast."

Yet that's only part of the story. Pat Craig thinks his beasts have something to teach his own species about what it means to be humane.

"A lot of people who want to do this have a good heart," he says. "They don't realize that this is a giant drain. But if you do it long enough, you learn a lot about animals — and about people."

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast

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