EDITORIAL: Roar of Northern Colorado Bears should not go overlooked
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 02:10
Lions and tigers and bears, oh yes. They roam only 40 miles outside of Greeley across 720 acres of grasslands, functioning as a non-profit animal sanctuary that protects rescued animals from being put down.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is one of the premier carnivore sanctuaries in the nation, with a “Mile Into the Wild” walkway that allows visitors to view the rehabilitated animals going about their day, but from a safe distance. Most of the animals were rescued from abusive owners and scenarios including circuses to drug busts, often involving illegal trade.
The animals’ stories are posted on signs along the walkway, proving that many of the creatures’ journeys involved international travel, death of providers and life-threatening illnesses. However, today they thrive in this unexpected sanctuary located in the barren heart of northeastern Colorado.
Another type of bear, in a similar vein, is being housed in an academic complex that provides students ways to rehabilitate their educational careers for success. Just as unlikely as a wild animal sanctuary filled with exotic creatures seems in an agricultural area, some of the success stories manifesting from the walls of UNC as an academic institution are nothing short of extraordinary.
With a nationally-recognized jazz program, seven-time Hugo award-winning science fiction writer Connie Willis and a series of athletic teams that have dominated in Big Sky Conference, the University of Northern Colorado is oftentimes an overlooked walkway of fame.
Just as the lions and tigers have unique stories, the unique stories that accompany each student at UNC adds to the amazing and sometimes bizarre characteristics guiding students from different continents, countries and states to this northern Colorado community.
All that being said, UNC leans toward a negative and sometimes unknown reputation across the state, but this academic institution is home to phenomenal accomplishments attributed to students, benefiting from being a part of the UNC community.
Extraordinary or the unexpected, the unknown or the undiscovered, it seems that perhaps it is not Greeley that creates its negative persona among other Coloradoans, but instead past Greeleyites debauching or refusing to defend this town and the university’s good nature.
Greeley, like the Wild Animal Sanctuary, may be conservative and in some ways socially barren, but the creations produced by this agricultural community are nothing short of regal. Now, if only, the rest of the state could hear the roar of the UNC Bears.