The project

Reason for being

The original cause

The wild species trafficking is one of the three largest global traffics. It is estimated at about twenty billion dollars a year. In Europe, France is the country where the largest number of animals are seized.

Depending on their conditions of arrival in France or the seizures on the national territory, these animals are likely to be returned to their origin without means of subsistence for the return journey, placed in zoos and sometimes euthanized for lack of being able to provide them with living conditions adapted to their species.

A return to nature is very rarely possible for these animals: the vast majority of them are unable to regain their autonomy in a place different from their natural environment. »

The associative response
to this situation 

The goal of Wild Souls is to create a sanctuary/shelter in order to rescue, heal and protect these animals seized by authorities, mistreated, abandoned or waiting for placement, saved from trafficking, individuals in illegal situations, circuses, zoos, laboratories…

The framework of associative initiative engages the action of those aware of this situation and help to raise awareness among other people, but also provide necessary care to animals and contribute with other animal protection organizations to a common political dynamic.

“Wild Souls” also aims to contribute to an awareness of the state of ecosystems, the close link between humans and nature, the necessity of (re-) sensitizing human populations in the long term by informing, raising awareness, and educating.

Being essential, this second part is to be experienced in the presence of protected animals. It is intended to allow everyone to become in their own way, in their economic, social, and cultural ecosystem, an ambassador for animal protection and their natural environment.

In the rare possible cases, the association will work on reintroducing the rescued animals into their natural environment, with the help of specialized organizations.

A magical place to preserve

Finally, the last key issue concerns the protection of the sanctuary area, in collaboration with other actors in nature protection. Because small streams make big rivers.

In addition to the criteria for hosting rescued exotic animals, the chosen area is thus intended for the revitalization of natural spaces and the restoration of biodiversity, in the manner of an oasis, in collaboration with specialized structures and experts.
The goal is to contribute and motivate other groups of humans to multiply this type of oasis, offering opportunities for these areas to be repopulated by local fauna and flora.

How Wild Souls was created

The idea for the project was born about ten years ago, but the founders have been working on it and thinking more concretely about it since 2018. The spirit of the project, the general framework, the values it carries and that the association wants to transmit, were formalized in 2018.

The project matured gradually at the same time as the bill of law aimed at fighting animal abuse and strengthening the link between animals and humans, which was finally adopted by parliament in January 2021.

To support the project within a legal framework, the Wild Souls association was created at the end of 2020 and quickly recognized as of a public interest at the end of 2021.


The project was greated with the enthusiasm by key actors in animal protection.
Laetitia Romeiro Dias, a member of parliament, has greatly facilitated the emergence of the law aimed at fighting animal abuse and promoted the association to Barbara Pompili, the then Minister of Ecological Transition.

At the same time, our team carried out about twenty technical visits to animal parks of all kinds and sizes, in France and abroad, including four shelters for exotic wild animals, in order to identify implementation options and share know-how and good practices and to be able to launch such a project according to the values of Wild Souls, applying modest means and involving all those sensitive to the living conditions of these rescued animals.


While leading their daily lives and professions, the founders decided to act as patrons towards the site for the implementation of the sanctuary-refuge. The search for the site required dozens of hours, and the founders traveled over 12,000 kilometers to confirm the required characteristics.

After approaching about forty intermunicipal communities in the south of France, the site was finally found in the summer of 2021, east of Albi, in the midst of the magnificent preserved countryside of the Monts d’Alban and Villefranchois, at the crossroads of the three climates: oceanic, Mediterranean, and mountainous, on the Montpellier-Millau-Albi axis.

In October 2021, the team met with local authorities, who also showed enthusiasm for the values it represents and the benefits of its integration into the region.

The current status of the project

The installation on the site began in April 2022.

The project is currently in the phase of preparatory work, typically estimated to take 3 years. A sanctuary involves many aspects and questions related to animal protection, the environment, populations, contributors, and visitors.

Before any establishment of animal protection facilities and public reception, Wild Souls is currently working on numerous studies and administrative authorization files required, as well as the search for significant funding.

Participatory projects will be open and described on the PARTICIPATE page as soon as the minimum authorizations have been obtained.

In the meantime, if you believe you can contribute to the project at this stage (communication, fundraising, social media, preparation of activities/events/educational materials, various partnerships), we would be delighted to receive your proposals and respond to the message you can leave us via the contact form on the CONTACT page.

Team project



From managing large corporate projects to hands-on management, from building design to creating permaculture gardens, his initial training as a general engineer, his skills as an agrobiologist, the connections he has established with living beings, and his rich and diverse professional background allow him to approach and adapt teams to various situations with enthusiasm, efficiency, and serenity.



Since childhood, he draws inspiration, happiness, and freedom from the Nature that surrounds him. The harmony that prevails there fascinates him; the interweaving of the living and non-living, the vegetal with the animal and mineral. As a veterinarian, he has always been dedicated to the medicine of exotic wildlife. He has worked for many years in a renowned animal park, collaborated on various missions around the world, and formed warm and valuable relationships.



She brings joy to the sanctuary with the educational materials and activities she creates in collaboration with schools, parent networks, scientific organizations, and cultural venues. As a school teacher, her role as educational coordinator comes naturally to her. She is at the heart of raising public awareness and strengthening the intergenerational bond that is essential to reinforce and preserve.



With a creative and artistic spirit, she is passionate about nature, animals, and the enhancement of the sanctuary, as well as communication and social connections that make the sanctuary a source of wonder and tranquility. Graduated from IAE Paris Sorbonne and fluent in multiple languages, her sensitivity to the needs and well-being of the residents and visitors is dedicated to sharing the magic of the place.


Evelyne & Bernard

Retirees with a long and rich succession of experiences in the fields of early childhood, supervised education, psychology, and sports, they bring their caring perspective to welcoming and raising public awareness, particularly among children.

Wild Souls


A sanctuary dedicated to the rescue and protection of captive exotic wildlife and to promoting the bond between animals and humans.

A space dedicated to animal wellbeing, meeting nature lovers, and co-construction.

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