Local non-profit, Animal Wonders, is working to put animal education in rural schools

Photo Courtesy: Animal Wonders Facebook

MISSOULA- Wildlife rescue nonprofit Animal Wonders celebrated its 11th anniversary with a fundraiser toward animal education in western Montana schools.

Missoulians gathered at Highlander Brewing to celebrate Animal Wonders 11th birthday where Animal Wonders Executive Director Jessi Knudsen Castaneda says they can’t believe they have been serving wildlife for over a decade now.

"We came here in 2008 and our dream was to educate about animals and rescue them. We take in displaced exotic animals, we give them a life-long home, and then we share them with the community,” Knudsen Castaneda said.

Sheltering wildlife animals like snacks, birds, monkeys, and many other wildlife creatures, Animal Wonders says they are passionate about wildlife education,  that’s why Saturday’s fundraiser is about giving back to the community.

"We want to give back to the community and where we really think push and use some focus is giving rural kids science education in their classroom. We want to give 11 rural schools a free five week course with our animals,” Knudsen Castaneda added.

Serving western Montana already with presentation and animal shows, parents involved say they are grateful their kids are exposed to this type of knowledge.

"I think it's a great  community program," says Michelle Dunn. "The kids get to know the animals by name, they work with the university in town which I think is great. Small schools really struggle now days to have these sorts of things, so I feel them being in Potomac and us getting that is great."

With Saturday’s fundraiser, Animal Wonders hopes to start implementing this animal education as soon as possible.

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