The Three Ring Ranch is a private sanctuary located on five acres above the town of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Founded in 1998, it is the culmination of a lifelong dream to work with animals. When we decided to try and create a wildlife sanctuary our first hurdle was to obtain the licenses and permits necessary to operate in Hawaii. While there are many exotic animals needing sanctuary in Hawaii, the State Department of Agriculture is very cautious about issuing possession permits. In the past, Hawaii has had animals escape into its fragile ecosystem, as well as problems when permit holders suddenly became unable to care for their animals. After multiple hearings before the State Department of Agriculture and in-depth discussions and interviews, we were granted the permits to possess a wide range of animal species.
Our facility is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as the applicable State and County agencies. We hold Federal Wildlife permits for possession of raptors and endangered species. We no longer do wildlife rehabilitation. We do not breed animals, with the exception of a rare or endangered species bred at the request of a State or Federal agency as part of a Species Survival Plan (SPS).
We are accredited by The American Sanctuary Association (ASA) and by The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. This signifies that we have appropriate environments for our animals (space, nutrition, enrichment) and policies and procedures to run the facility safely for both the animals and the keepers. At the time of this page's most recent update, we were one of only 38 facilities in the United States to have earned this prestigious distinction.
In early 2000, we became a non-profit organization (501(C)3). We are proud to say that 100% of every donation goes towards animal care and education. The Sanctuary is run entirely by a volunteer staff and no one, at any level, takes a salary.
We participate in GuideStar, the online standard for non-profit accountability. Click on their logo to view our listing.
As a true sanctuary, our facility will never be open to the general public. Our goal is to keep the animals in an environment as free from stress and hazards as possible. However, we try to share these animals with our community through teaching programs for school children, community lectures (e.g., public library, community centers), private tours and an educational pavilion which we bring to community events.
Some of our Program Topics have included:
- The difference between wild and domestic animals (and which make good pets)
- What animals belong in Hawaii?
- How we communicate with animals without even speaking
- EXTINCT means gone FOREVER
- Now that these animals are here, how do we care for them?
Our school program starts in the classroom with several teaching sessions and then follows-up with a field trip to the sanctuary. We are also fortunate to have offers from a number of other animal experts who are willing to participate in the teaching program as guest speakers from time to time.
Although there is no "fee" for the programs we ask for a donation from those who can make one. 100% of all donations go towards animal care and the educational programs.
Comments, ideas and feedback about our educational plans are welcome. Currently, we focus primarily upon children between the ages of 8 to 11 because we feel it is the age where we can make the most difference through education.
The Three Ring Ranch has now become a "Retirement Community" for some of the State's Nene (Hawaiian Goose) population. This means that captive birds beyond the age of reproduction and wild birds that are non-releasable can live with us. These birds serve as ambassadors, allowing adults and children to see them up close and personal.
In the past we have worked with the State's Department of Fish and Wildlife Officers in caring for injured local raptor species. We no longer provide this service. However, keeping raptors from becoming adapted and desensitized to human activity is essential if they are to survive once returned to the wild.
Thank you for your interest.
Please enjoy visiting our site and allowing us to share this unique experience with you.
The animals appreciate your support and we encourage everyone to take an active role in promoting animal welfare, respect and care for the environment.
Ann Goody, Director-Curator
TOP OF PAGE