Kerulos catalyzes new, creative approaches to saving wildlife.
Mission and Vision
The Kerulos Center is a legally-incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Oregon and established December 30, 2008. Our vision is a world where animals live in dignity and freedom. We translate this vision into everyday living by helping animals in need. Our work empowers people to change their lives for animals to make all places sanctuary.
Kerulos is collaborative and holistic in philosophy and method. Our activities and publications extend abroad but we remain grassroots with the purpose of enhancing dialogue, bridging groups and ideas, and building social capacity for change.
Our programs are interdisciplinary and international, drawing from multiple cultures and knowledge bodies (e.g., western, tribal, animal-inclusive). We do not prescribe how to be; rather we support personal empowerment to make changes that benefit all animals.
We accomplish this in three ways:
Empower Change → Learn
Over the past years, there has been a dramatic change in how people perceive other animals. Elephants, cats, birds, and others are now understood for what science has documented – we are kin under skin, fin, feather, and fur.
Kerulos’ learning-in-service programs takes this knowledge of animal sentience and empowers people to make the change for animals. Our courses are designed to inform and inspire learners of all ages and backgrounds to make personal and cultural change for animals.
We provide interdisciplinary courses, mentoring, and internships that bridge and bring together science, tribal knowledge, animal protection, and conservation. Reflecting the philosophy that learning becomes meaningful only when linked with action, our courses combine classroom learning with practical hands-on work with our many sanctuary and conservation partners.
The Being Sanctuary program is tailored for rescue and sanctuary professionals and volunteers and others to increase social capacity for care of millions of animals in need. Sacred Bones focuses on endangered wildlife by cultivating nature-based consciousness – ways of living that benefit all nature.
The online Kerulos Learning Institute provides a space and place for networking and exchange among people in service to animals. We call this growing circle, Star Throwers.
Make Change → Act
Animals need our help now. In recognition of the desperate conditions in which so many many animals find themselves, Kerulos secures funds and resources through our Direct Aid projects.
The goal of these efforts is to save captive wildlife and other animals so that they may regain dignity and health. Through our own sanctuary and by supporting other nonprofit rescue, conservation, and sanctuary organizations, we provide homes, food, medical care, and love to animals. Our Aves Sagradas project is dedicated to helping birds around the world.
This year, our Aves Sagradas project sought and secured funds for a sister nonprofit, The Ara Project, to build transition aviaries and artificial nests for endangered Great Green Macaws who are being reintroduced in Costa Rica.
The Billy and Kani Fund is a partnership between The Kerulos Center and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to restore space, peace and security for Elephants and tribal communities. Through education, art, and programs, we help children help Elephants and support the human communities with whom they live along ancient migratory paths. We collaborate with ongoing efforts to conserve indigenous human and wildlife cultures, promote innovative conservation strategies and cultural practices, and provide security for wildlife and for future generations.
The Tortoise and The Hare Sanctuary located in Oregon rescues rabbits and their ancient shelled counterparts, endangered, disabled desert tortoises.
Change Minds → Share
Information and knowledge about our animal kin is rapidly expanding. We Communicate Discovery through research, publications, media, theatre, and presentations to inform policy, increase animal care quality, and infuse conservation with principles of wildlife self-determination.
Our work is used around the world and communicated in leading scientific journals, books, and news media including the New York Times, 20/20, National Geographic, Nature, American Scientist, Stern, and The London Times.
Kerulos’ cutting-edge science-policy analyses of captive wildlife trade effects on great apes, elephants, and polar bears bring critical issues into sharp focus to expedite action at individual and institutional levels.
Kerulos faculty are featured in numerous documentaries and conferences.
Director Gay Bradshaw’s blog in Psychology Today teaches about animal minds and lives to diverse mental health care workers and professionals.
She and Kerulos faculty and bear expert Charlie Russell are co-authoring Buddha and the Bear – a book on the science, ethics, and policy of living well with grizzlies. Board president and faculty Ann Southcombe will be publishing her second book on insights from more than 35 years experience working in wildlife rehabilitation of gorillas, orangutans, bears, squirrels and many other species.
In order to reach the broader international community, we are developing an active translation program (Spanish, Chinese, Swahili) for our publications so that this work can be accessed and used in countries of origin.
Kerulos is explicitly trans-species, the understanding that humans and other animals have common capacities to think, feel, dream, aspire, and experience consciousness. This open recognition sparks re-discovery of essential identity, a way of living aligned with nature, and seeing through external form to a relational space of common communication and meaning making. We call this nature-based consciousness, ways of living that benefit all animals as illustrated in the story of the Star Thrower.
- Interbeing – Humans and other animals are interconnected
- Listening – Our work is informed and guided by what other animals need and a value
- Collaboration – There is no “I” nor “you,” only “us”
- Nature-based consciousness – Living in ways that benefit all animals
- Ethical integrity – We are committed to acting ethically in all aspects of our work
At Kerulos, we also emphasize the need to support beauty – animal aesthetics, philosophy, values, and meaning. Recognizing the importance of beauty is a way to counter modern humanity’s tendencies to render life into things that have meaning and power for humans alone.
As Shakespeare’s Hamlet reminded his friend, “There are more things, Horatio, in Heaven and Earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” beauty reminds us that there is something greater than the collation of facts and data.
Our Name and Logo
Two themes that interweave throughout our work, reunion and transformation, are reflected in our name and logo. Kerulos is the classical Greek word for kingfisher and the brilliant cerulean blue of their feathers. It conveys that word (human) and bird (nature) are one. The snake encircling the kingfisher, the ouroboros, represents unity, transformation, and healing. Together, they symbolize humanity’s reconciliation with other animals as sentient beings: a relinquishment of human privilege.
Gay Bradshaw, PhD, PhD
Founder and Executive Director
Today brings an unprecedented opportunity to make the change so that all animals can live in dignity and freedom.
President, Kerulos Board of Directors
I have worked over 35 years helping our animal kin to enjoy their lives. The most important lesson they have taught me is they too want to live their lives much as we human animals do. Kerulos brings its unique ‘out of the box’ tools to do this so that our world becomes compassionate for everyone.
Join Us and Live the Dream