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501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization | The Ellijay Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary does not presently rehab migratory or birds of prey
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Wildlife Photography Opportunities at The Wildlife Sanctuary

The Wildlife Sanctuary is a 30-acre rescue, rehabilitation and wild release facility for the care and nurturing of indigenous wild animals of the Southeast. In some cases, due to their injuries, state or federal regulations, animals cannot be returned to the wild. These animals are housed at the sanctuary for the balance of their natural lives. We are pleased that our animals often live longer than their normal lifespans.

Wild animals are vital to the health of any ecosystem. The Wildlife Sanctuary values the life of every wild animal, and believes that saving even one might just save an entire species. Part of that life-saving process includes education. It is essential that young and old alike be informed about wildlife and the outdoors they share with us.

You can be part of this life-saving effort by participating in a unique wildlife photo shoot. We are working with individual photographers and camera clubs to open the sanctuary to close-up shots of cougars, panthers, bears, deer, fox, raccoons, opossum, squirrels, groundhogs, some birds of prey and reptiles. Arrangements in advance allow us to provide a professional photographer as an instructor.

Camera clubs and photography clubs are welcome to visit The Wildlife Sanctuary for a wildlife photography workshop. Clubs may bring their own professional photographer. Fees for photo shoots are arranged in advance with a professional photographer who is bringing or hosting a group, or the camera club that can offer a field trip to their members by working with The Wildlife Sanctuary.

March, April and May are the months where photographers are more likely to see newborn wildlife. These animals come to the sanctuary through our network of dedicated veterinarians. Their clientele often bring in injured or orphaned wildlife that requires emergency care. The vets perform triage and tend to wounds, and then transfer the animals to the sanctuary for rehabilitative care and release back into the wild. Other wildlife comes into our care from individuals who know that our facility will raise and release them.

The Wildlife Sanctuary has two separate half-acre habitats, one for cougars and panthers, and the second for the American black bears. These allow photographers to use telephoto lenses to take close-up shots of these large mammals without risk of personal harm.

Photo Contests and Photography Releases: The Wildlife Sanctuary asks photographers, both professional and amateur, to provide us with hi-res and lo-res jpeg images and a release so that we may use them for our t-shirts, a calendar, on our web site, our in our printed or electronic literature. Some of these photographs will be used on items to raise funds for the sanctuary. In situations where we can, we will give credit to the photographer.

Calendar: The Wildlife Sanctuary is assembling photographs for an annual calendar from photos shot of our animals at the sanctuary. Each month will show an animal, with a brief description of the animal and the habitat in which it lives, along with credit to the photographer. This is an excellent opportunity for amateur photographers to have their photos published.

If you would like to bring a photography group for a Wildlife Workshop, please contact us at wildlife@ellijay.com.

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501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization
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