Lions, Tigers & Monkeys… Oh My!
Valentine is a beautiful spot along Historic Route 66, but like many other small Route 66 communities once it was bypassed by Interstate 40, the community eventually dwindled to just a handful of residences. Still standing along Route 66 is the main structure of the Hualapai Indian Day School established by President McKinley in 1898. Students lived at the school September to May, wrestling with disease, culture shock and homesickness. Spanish influenza took the lives of 22 children and adults between October 1918 and January 1919. The school closed in May 1937 and the dorms were demolished in 1960. Its bricks, manufactured on site with Indian labor, were recycled to build the Mohave County Museum of History and Arts in Kingman.
Also on site is the boarding school office and US Post Office buildings. The Post Office was established in 1901 as Truxton. The name was changed in 1910 to Valentine, in honor of Commissioner of Indian Affairs Robert G. Valentine. The Post Office was later moved down the road right on Route 66. The Post Office closed in 1990, and the building demolished after the senseless shooting death the postal clerk.
Since 2006 Lions, Tigers, and Monkeys (oh my), have taken up residence in Valentine making it a stop no animal lover should miss. Keepers of the Wild is a sanctuary home to 140+ exotic and indigenous wild animals that were rescued, surrendered by an owner, or placed there by other animal welfare agencies. Animals placed at Keepers of the Wild can depend on a safe and life-long home.
Keepers of the Wild is open to the public six days a week. Be sure to allow plenty of time to really appreciate this special place! Be sure to visit www.keepersofthewild.org before your visit.