Rescue Me

Hi, Boomers and Animal Lovers,

Yesterday afternoon I had the most incredible experience.  With a  small, invited group, I visited the Wildlife WayStation in the Angeles National Forest.  I never knew this rescue sanctuary was there and neither did the other Angeleno natives.

Wildlife WayStation is a miracle founded  in 1976 by Martine Colette.  The Wildlife WayStation  is an outgrowth of animal rescue work she began in 1969. She is also president of the Board of Directors an has been a designated Animal Expert for the City of Los Angeles.

The daughter of a Belgian diplomat and naturalist, Ms. Colette traveled the world as a child and young adult, often on safaris to observe wild animals. During those years of watching the plight of animals, she decided helping them would be her life’s calling. She discovered that she had an innate ability to diagnose and help heal injured and sick animals, despite few available veterinarians or medicines.

When Ms. Colette moved to Southern California to open a costume business for the movie industry in the 1960s, people began bringing her animals they could no longer care for properly. When the menagerie filling her three-room house reached 50, she decided it was time to move and purchased 160 acres in Little Tujunga Canyon, incorporating the Wildlife WayStation in 1977 (the term “waystation” comes from the Old West, meaning a place to rest and refuel). Ms. Colette sold her business to devote full-time to saving wild and exotic animals.

The WayStation currently has 400 animal residents during remodeling; historically, twice that many live there at any given time and at least several thousand are given medical treatment each year. Over 76,000 animal lives have been saved since the WayStation was opened.  There are numerous vets and caregivers who donate their time and energy to keeping this amazing sanctuary vibrant.

Wildlife WayStation has over 100 exotic birds, ranging fro large Macaws to cockatoos, cockatiels, conures, ring necked parakeets and more.  The primate population includes baboons, spider monkeys, Capuchins and macaques.  There are over 50 chimpanzees whose dens are heated during the winter.  There is an American Black Bear, Llamas, deer, raccoons, lions, zebras, wolves, mountain lions, grizzly bears, coyotes, jaguars, hyenas, and something called a liger – a combination of a tiger and a lion.  Wow!  Who knew those animals could mate.

But  much more incredible than this amazing sanctuary is Sha-Sha, a domesticated chimpanzee who lives part time in Martine’s home.  She helps in the cooking – adding spices to the food, – and she learns intently at her mistress’s side.  Sha-Sha even composed a letter one day (see below) for Martine to read.

Sha-Sha’s Composition


The Wildlife WayStation is an expensive proposition and the financial demands are intense.  Animals require more calories in the winter to stay warm, so they eat more and that increases the cost of food.  Some animals like chimps and birds also require heat and warmth.  The cost of meat is going up and up as is the cost of everything!

Protecting animals and all creatures is an important part of our work on earth.  Every living creature is divine.  But the especially divine is Martine Colette whose life’s work is devoted to taking care of and loving  injured and abandoned animals.  I applaud her and all the dedicated workers who give of their time and energy to animals in the wild who are wounded and sick.  These are some of the heroes in our world who connect us with every living being on the earth.

Please visit the website, and if you want, please give a donation.





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