RISING SUN, Ind. -- The Red Wolf Sanctuary's animal residents range from ursine to canine to avian to cervine, but they all have one thing in common: They need to eat. A lot.
"It costs a fortune to try to keep these guys going every day," sanctuary founder Paul Strasser said. "A wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in a few minutes -- literally wolfing their food down."
Multiply that by nine wolves and factor in the many other animals, some even hungrier, that call the sanctuary home, and it's easy to see why Strasser is asking for help. Red Wolf isn't in dire straits, but it never hurts to see if others want to lend a hand.
Or, in this case, a steak.
Animal keepers Valerie Rice and Paige Taylor posted on Facebook to request that people in the area donate their freezer-burned or otherwise unwanted (but still safe-to-eat) meats to the sanctuary instead of throwing them away.
"Usually, we have to end up eventually buying meat," Rice said. "I figured, why not ask? It's spring. People are starting to go through freezers and stuff."
They'll take anything as long as it isn't season, salted, cured or breaded, she said. The goal is to emulate the diverse diet carnivorous animals would enjoy in the wild -- with an occasional modification, like giving the sanctuary's four resident black bears a meat popsicle.
Red Wolf helps wild animals through temporary rehabilitation as well as providing permanent homes for those too old, injured or dependent on humans to re-enter the wild. Strasser said he hopes the donations will help him save money that can improve the sanctuary for the future.
"(We want) to preserve the living past for the future to enjoy, so the next generations can be better than we were," he said. "And to preserve what little is left so your children and grandchildren have a place to see, hear and even smell wildlife."