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 rehabilitation and possession of raptors and endangered species. 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 (see below), 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?
The school program goes into the classroom for 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.
Although there is not a "fee" for the program 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 that appears to be 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.
We also work with the State's Department of Fish and Wildlife Officers in caring for injured local raptor species. All birds in our care during rehabilitation remain in areas off-limits to all but keepers in order to minimize human contact. Keeping raptors from becoming adapted and desensitized to human activity is essential if they are to survive once returned to the wild. All releasable birds are set free. Those deemed non-releasable are placed as directed by State or Federal officials. Some of these birds of prey will stay with us in large post-rehabilitation aviaries. This will give the children a chance to observe these magnificent creatures face to face.
It is quite likely that we will often have "guest" species in residence. Sometimes we will even announce these guests on our web site if they are especially unique. Our teaching programs will incorporate discussions on whichever animals are present that day. Guest animals may also be orphaned local species that we would be raising for return to the wild.
Please tell your friends about us, so that these animals are not set free in Hawaii. Exotic animals when turned loose often starve to death or run up against domestic pets or cars with deadly results.
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
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