Some days stay with you the rest of your life. The day we visited Noah’s Lost Ark in Berlin Center, Ohio was one of those days. The animals and the people who tirelessly give of themselves to help these animals were simply beyond any comprehension. Yes, these animals all are here because humans failed them. But Noah’s Lost Ark is providing them with a peaceful and happy life now. Noah’s Lost Ark is “where the forgotten are remembered”.
Noah’s Lost Ark is an exotic animal sanctuary. When we first heard of Noah’s Lost Ark, we did our research. We wanted to make sure that this was an actual rescue, and not a zoo. Unlike a zoo, a sanctuary is a place that provides a permanent, safe home to unwanted animals.
A sanctuary will never breed or sell any of their animals. Noah’s Lost Ark is a no-kill facility that allows the animals to live out their natural lives in an environment of comfort and peace. We found that this sanctuary was well respected in the local community as well as nationwide and we were thrilled that they welcomed our visit.
With currently over 125 exotic animals, every one of their residents has a story. Their family includes African Lions, Leopards, Siberian and Bengal Tigers, Cougars, Bears, Zebra, Wolves, Monkeys, Horses, Deer and many other animals. We met Ellen Karnofel, the devoted Director of this amazing sanctuary. We can see why the animals here love her. A beautiful person inside and out, her hard work is inspiring. Our first question to Ellen was why are these animals here? Ellen told us that at one time, all of these animals were pets. Yes, pets. She told us of tigers used as photo props and used for mascots. She told us of wolves kept as pets, monkeys kept as pets and yes. Even lions kept as pets. We heard the story of a bear used as a store attraction, a tiger put up for sale on the internet for $1.00 and a tiger kept in a New York City apartment for over two years. They all ended up here. There are countless other stories, and each one of these animals shows the scars of their history in some way, whether that be blindness or being lame due to nutritional deficiencies early on, or being kept in small cages, unable to move.
It was easy for us to become downhearted and disgusted at the actions of humans towards these animals when we heard their stories and saw the effects of abuse firsthand. Instead, we chose to focus on what Ellen and Noah’s Lost Ark is doing to help. So we changed our latest episode of “Stop Hounding Me” to “Stop Crying Wolf” and had some fun.
As a 501(C)(3) facility, they receive no government funding and they are solely operated on donations and admission fees. Federally and State licensed, it is Noah’s Lost Ark’s belief that the animals here deserve a second chance and do not deserve to suffer or die because they are “too large” or “too expensive” to care for. They are open May 15th to August 31st, but only on the weekends from September 1st to October 31st. Check their website for hours, and updated times. Currently, the admission price for adults is $9.00, children are $6.00 and 1 and under are free.
We highly recommend that if you can’t visit in person, that you visit their website and Facebook page. Their Facebook page will keep you up to date on their rehabilitation efforts and all their “goings-on” at the sanctuary. We know that it takes funds on a large scale to keep their sanctuary in business. They of course welcome donations, but also are always in need of blankets, towels and other supplies which they even take mailed in. Their Wish-list as well provides for a convenient way to show your appreciation for all that they do.
Again, we thank Ellen and her staff at Noah’s Lost Ark for allowing us a behind the scenes glimpse at what they do. We will never forget our day here and it is our resolve to continue what we do to help animals, because examples like this inspire us. And we all need a bit of inspiration to keep going sometimes. We also want to thank the beautiful, majestic animals for allowing us to even be in their presence. What they have been through inspires us as well that the spirit is resilient and making a difference for animals, of all kinds, is worth every dollar, minute and tear shed. What would have happened to these animals if not for Noah’s Lost Ark? We are happy they are here.
We were so impressed by their gift shop and bought the most wonderful smelling candle…ever! Now you can shop online too.
Checks can also be mailed to:
Noah’s Lost Ark
8424 Bedell Road
Berlin Center, Ohio 44401