Our Mission

Elmira's provides continuing care and enrichment for exotic and wild animals in need of a forever home.

Our Values
  • To practice compassion, patience and honesty in all our dealings with wildlife, the animals permanently at our sanctuary and the public.
  • To provide a safe haven for our sanctuary residents. To place the needs, housing, food, medical care and emotional wellness of each animal before anything else we may do.
  • To meet our goal of offering a unique interactive environment to all our animals and our guests.
  • To educate the public to the best of our ability.
What is a Sanctuary?

Elmira’s is a true sanctuary. So what does that mean? It means:

1. No commercial trade in animals or animal parts.
2. No animals removed from enclosures for exhibition or other non-medical reasons.
3. No direct contact between the public and animals (with some allowable exceptions, such as for some horses, and under carefully supervised circumstances).
4. Measures in place to prevent breeding, either through segregation of sex or through a program of humane contraception, unless the animals are part of a bona fide release program.
5. Open to the public only by way of a structured visitor program in which tours are guided and where there is a bona fide educational component to the visiting program.


In 1998, before Elmira’s was even a gleam in someone’s eye, two men from Wimauma, FL, Ted Greenwood and David Kitchen, started acquiring large exotic animals and housing them on Kitchen’s property in Wimauma. As awareness of the plight of these animals grew, and as laws changed, it was decided to become an official wildlife sanctuary.

Incorporated in 2005, Elmira’s officially began operation as a non-profit wildlife sanctuary in March 2006. Unfortunately, by this time, Mr. Greenwood has passed away. His wife, Robin, stepped in to fill the role of Board President and Chief Executive Officer.

In 2007, Mr. Kitchen also passed away and the sanctuary was asked to relocate by the Kitchen family. In March of 2008, the sanctuary moved to its current location in Wimauma.

In November of 2008, Elmira’s rescued an additional 8 tigers, 4 bears and a cougar. Since then, the sanctuary has also purchased the adjacent property and is expanding the space for the animals currently at the sanctuary.

Mission Statement

Elmira's provides continuing care and enrichment for exotic and wild animals in need of a forever home.