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Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in the News

Please take a few minutes and read about our journey. Where we started and how we got to were we are today.


Puppies, reptiles bring smiles to Ability First in Claremont

CLAREMONT - Furry puppies and scaly lizards didn't just bring smiles to the children at Ability First on Monday.

They brought confidence.

The Schnauzer puppies, from Barks in Love based in Orange County, and a cart full of reptiles from Forever Wild animal sanctuary in Phelan were showcased by care takers during a fun day at the center on Indian Hill Boulevard in Claremont.   Read full story


A black leopard with a big weight problem

Local vet cares for exotic pets out of Phelan office


"Watchgator" seized protecting pot plants

10:38 AM PST on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

 By JOHN ASBURY, The Press-Enterprise

 Department of Justice agents raided an East Hemet house Monday night and seized almost 2,300 marijuana plants valued at least $1.5 million -- and a four-foot alligator being used to help guard the stash.  Read full story


Alligator the Size of Cocker Spaniel Found in Hemet Home


Updated 6:16 AM PST, Tue, Mar 8, 2011 |



Alligator the Size of Cocker Spaniel Found in Hemet Home

The sanctuary worker, Joel Almquist, told NBCLA "yeah it could bite somebody but most likely wouldn't survive long.  It wasn't nasty, it was very well mannered." 

Almquist said he has collected about 70 alligators in the past four years and placed them all at Forever Wild.  "The (alligators)do not make good pet, eventually they are going to end up at my place," the gator expert told us.

Endangered eagle returned to sanctuary after weeks

PHELAN, Calif. (NBC) -- An endangered Golden Eagle that disappeared from a Southern California sanctuary last month is back home after turning up 50 miles away.

March 4. 2010      Read full Story

Forever Wild: Animal sanctuary is busier than ever

PHELAN • The spray of white gravel is still there in front of the house on Joshua Street. It was put there to make sure the big black bus could be moved for the big reveal on national television. Just as it was a year ago, the sky is gray and the dirt road is muddy and slick.

But a great deal has happened to the Almquist family since they were featured on Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Febuary 11, 2010

Daily Press                    Read full story 

by Beau Yarbrough 

Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary 

Oct 23,2009

Riverside animal services confiscates mule deer apparently keep as a pet.

We never cease to be amazed by people's attempts to make wild animals into pets (as if there weren't enough domesticated animals out there in need of homes), and the Riverside County Department of Animal Services had a doozy of a case earlier this week when it confiscated a mule deer apparently being kept as a pet by a Glen Avon man. (It's illegal to keep a deer, along with many other species of wildlife, without a permit in California.)  


September 19, 2009                   
The La Times                Read full story 

by Lindsay Barnett

County says yes to Forever Wild's visitors center.

Planning Commission waives restriction for Wild animal shelter.  

June 19, 2009                   
Hesperia Star    
Read full story
by Beau Yarbrough                     


County says no to Forever Wild's visitors center.

Exotic animal shelter must pave Phalan dirt road, at a cost of almost $1 million. 


March 31, 2009

Hesperia Star      Read full story

by Beau Yarbrough



Almquist family of Phelan will be featured in episode of Extreme Home Makeover.

January 31, 2009

Hesperia Star      Read full story
by Beau Yarbrough



200 reptiles abandoned in Hesperia

"This is absolutely the biggest reptile rescue I've ever done by far" Joel Almquist, owner of Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary.

February 6, 2008
Daily Press        Read full story
by Brooke Edwards



Plight of the Wild Ones

A 6-year-old black leopard with a long face and thinning coat yawned lazily in the desert sun stretching its bony legs to expose where its toes had been chopped off for use in voodoo rituals.

April 10, 2005
Los Angeles Times      Read full story
by Amanda Covarrubias