Collier County commissioners approve deal granting Shy Wolf Sanctuary 20 acres

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FILE: Wolf at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary. (Credit: WINK News/FILE)
FILE: Wolf at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary. (This file photo is not a photo of the missing wolf) Credit: WINK News/FILE

Rooting for the little guy – a non-profit beats out big developers bidding to build on several acres of land. Collier County commissioners ruled in favor of Shy Wolf Sanctuary. The sanctuary has been trying to expand its services for nearly the last decade.

At the scene, there was a round of applause, then tears of joy and hugs all around.

“We’re just so excited,” said Beth Swiderski, president of Shy Wolf Sanctuary, “We can’t even see straight. Obviously, lots of tears.”

The celebration and tears are because the Collier County commissioners agreed to a nearly $4 million deal with Crown Management Services for a 47-acre tract of land. The land is known as the Randall Curve.

Although the Shy Wolf Sanctuary will not get a piece of that land in that deal, the developer will sell them 20-acres at Golden Gate Blvd. and Third St. NW. The Shy Wolf Sanctuary will use that land to expand.

“You have a vision of your community that you communicated to us and we listened to you,” said Penny Taylor, a Collier County commissioner.

In exchange for the 47-acres at Randall Curve, the developer will swap with the county and give them 10-acres at Golden Gate Blvd. and First St. NW. The developer suggests making a park, although the county ultimately decides.

Crown Management Services will re-zone the Randall Curve property for commercial and residential use. As for the sanctuary, leaders told WINK News they would meet Thursday to begin planning for expansion.

Deanna Deppen, Shy Wolf Sanctuary executive director, said they plan to build hurricane and disaster buildings for their animals. It also plans to improve the habitats for animals. These updates provide sanctuary visitors with better learning and overall experience.

The sanctuary takes in exotic animals who otherwise would not have anywhere to go. The remaining acres will be a mix of county-owned land and commercial development.

“We get to help more animals now,” said Catie Greiser, of the Shy Wolf Sanctuary. “We’re just so grateful for the community’s support for this.”

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