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Past News Stories




PLEASE READ this update to our COVID-19 policies and procedures. Here is the notable difference:

All SWCC staff, volunteers, and guests must wear face masks correctly over their nose and mouth at all times. This includes children age 2 and older. Adults with kids aged 2-5 years must make a reasonable effort to assist the child with wearing a mask. Anyone not willing to comply with this policy will be asked to leave SWCC.

Thank you for all of your support during the pandemic. Thanks to your kindness and compassion, we are keeping our invaluable Animal Care and Clinic staff and volunteers healthy through this crisis so our animals will receive the daily care they need.

Do black bears hibernate? SWCC Trail Guides get this question a lot from tour guests. Check out this blog post to learn the differences between large mammal and small mammal hibernation behaviors, and check out an adorable picture of Heavenly the Black Bear lounging in his recycled fire hose hammock.

The results of the naming contest are in - meet Nocona, the newest lion to join the pride at SWCC. Read his story and the meaning of his name in this post!

The votes are in and our new 2-year-old mountain lion finally has a new name!

In late August of 2020, a 2-year-old male mountain lion arrived at SWCC to stay. Our social media followers had a lot of thoughtful, earnest questions about why a healthy mountain lion can't be released back into the wild. We consulted our animal care experts, and here's the low-down.

SWCC's mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release orphaned, injured, or displaced wildlife. Read about the planning and forethought that goes into the Third R: Release in this informative blog post.

Spring means baby animals - but remember to leave young wildlife alone

SWCC was the Front page article in April Frontdoors Magazine

We continue to serve our mission. Animal Care continues 24/7. Our veterinary hospital remains open for wildlife emergencies.

In an effort to avoid further spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus) we are canceling all our regularly scheduled tours at the sanctuary, until further notice.  

Sorry - this event is canceled. Wednesday, March 18, 5-7 PM - Lessons learned about wildlife monitored by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and its partners

Treat your love to something wild for Valentine's Day!

You just never know what Santa will bring you! See the video!

Saturday, Dec. 21, 5-7 PM
A fun, family-friendly holiday event with the animals! REGISTER TODAY!

6TH ANNUAL HOWL-O-WEEN PARTY is Saturday, October 26!
Register online then come out, bring the kids and trick-or-treat around the sanctuary.

Separated from his family, he’s trying to be tough and scary to keep everyone away.  We know he’s just confused and afraid. 

How cute are these skunk siblings? 

Update on Bear Cubs

The 3 little ones are eating from dishes on their own so they won't need to be handled to be fed. That's an important milestone in their journey toward possible release.

Earth Day!

Every day is Earth Day! But today is a good day to celebrate everything the Earth shares with us.

Beaver Rescued From Canal

Look who showed up yesterday! This adult beaver was rescued from SRP's Grand Canal in Phoenix. There’s some food there, but it’s not an ideal spot at all. When people began to harass him it was time to intervene. We have a perfect release spot in mind for him where there are other beavers and no people. He’ll be ready to go very shortly!

What Dignity Looks Like

Bob Kitty turns 21 this year. She’s not great at grooming herself any longer, but she’s quite clear about her likes and dislikes. Likes: enrichment, boneless, skinless chicken pieces, a mouscicle, and her big, soft bed. Dislikes: being interrupted when napping with her favorite teddy by people who aren’t serving her favorite meal items. :)

Baby Season Is Coming!

We’re expecting! Seriously, any minute now we’re expecting the flood gates to open and baby season to begin. All through the winter months we’ve cared for javelina babies, but from now until well into the summer months and beyond, bobcats, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, badgers, ringtails, and fox babies are likely to appear. Some arrive in cardboard boxes, some in small crates, some in nets and traps. One way or another they find us. And we’ll be here, as we have been for 25 years now - 24/7, 365 days a year - ready to do whatever it takes to help them get from fragile to freedom or to give them a forever sanctuary home. There’s lots of preparation to do and supplies to purchase. Your help is always appreciated, because you save lives with every donation.

Clean up and repairs are underway at the sanctuary.  Crews cleared the tour path first so that we could once again welcome visitors.  

The snow is gone and the temperatures are beautiful. REGISTER for a tour!

After nearly a foot of heavy snow the sanctuary has lost a lot of trees and sustained some damage to animal enclosures.

So Much Snow!

SWCC received nearly a foot of snow overnight and through the morning. The animals are fine, but it's going to cause a big clean up of downed trees. We'll know more as the day goes on.

Happy New Year!

Javelina for Hanukkah... Coyote for Christmas... Kit Fox for Kwanza...

November 27th is #GivingTuesday!
#GiveAFuture to wildlife at #SouthwestWildlife

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our black bears enjoyed their own Thanksgiving feast!

Last week we said goodbye to our long-time resident Mexican gray wolf, Winema (F938).

It's that time of year again - 115 degrees!!

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” - Winnie The Pooh

It's Independence Day!

For SWCC, summer has the MOST number of animals, the MOST costs and the LEAST visitors.

Biology… the least of what makes someone a mother.
-Oprah Winfrey

Sadly, we recently said goodbye to one of our resident porcupines.

Recently, one of our newest volunteers went on her very first rescue call.

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center and Defenders of Wildlife are grateful for the ability to carry-on our missions of saving native wildlife, especially our beloved Mexican gray wolves.

Enrichment is vital to our sanctuary animals’ mental, emotional, and physical health.

Arizona Gives Day is a 24-hour, statewide day of giving to nonprofits. Find your favorite charity and GIVE GIVE GIVE. At Southwest Wildlife giving saves lives!

Back by popular demand - we're holding a 2nd workshop!

Spring Training. Spring Break. Families flock to Arizona in March.

Please join us for what promises to be a howling good time, as we celebrate the rarity of the Mexican gray wolf, at our annual gala and fundraiser, Dinner with Wolves.
As a holding facility, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is privileged to be home to 14 Mexican gray wolves.
Stroll with your cocktail as you take a self-guided tour, then enjoy a delicious dinner, followed by silent and live auctions.
Proceeds from this event will benefit Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, as well as Defenders of Wildlife.
To eat, drink and be hopeful. Register here

We are saving up to purchase a new maintenance golf cart...

Smart as a fox because I'm fur you. Our animals are practicing for Valentine's Day!

Register for Hearts and Howls!

There are still spots available for our unique Valentine's event this Saturday, February 10th! We have some wild love stories to tell!

Bring your sweetheart out to hear Sandy and Shorty's love story at Southwest Wildlife’s Hearts and Howls event. Register at

Come Visit Us for a Tour or Special Event

Click here to book your tour!