My boyfriend and I were staying in Ieper, Belgium for our one year anniversary. While having a look on Tripadvisor my boyfriend found this wildlife sanctuary and as the weather was quite nice (mid January) we decided we might as well give it a shot
De Zonnegloed is a wildlife sanctuary, the very first one in Belgium! They rescue all kinds of animals from hamsters to bears who had to live in awful circumstances such as people who wanted to keep a serval as a pet but then realized they’re no animals to be kept as a pet to a pub keeping a raccoon in a little box for entertainment.
I absolutely loved my visit there, most animals were inside because of the cold but you were still able to see them so that’s great. The sanctuary is huge, bigger than I expected. We spend there about 1,5 – 2 hours and then had to return to our hotel as I was in too much pain and we still had stuff to see, so we’ll return for sure during spring time. The wonderful thing about the sanctuary is that they designed a wheelchair route, so it’s completely adapted to disabled people and yes you get to see absolutely everything! You can also rent a wheelchair there but you do need to tell them beforehand by email. There are also several feeding times for all sorts of animals such as the monkeys or bears. At the moment they’re in the process of building brand new enclosures for new animals they’re about to rescue so the sanctuary is about to get even bigger!
They’re a home for about 350 animals right now. They don’t receive any support, money wise, from the government so they mostly depend from donations. It’s also possible to adopt an animal starting from only €50 a year, you get to choose which kind of animal and if you have a favorite you can choose that one!
If you happen to stay in or around Ieper or even near the coast do consider visiting this wildlife sanctuary, it’s totally worth a visit & you’d help the animals in need!