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Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network announces new documentary: ‘Wild Rescue: A Second Chance at a Wild Life’

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network is teaming up with an acclaimed filmmaker to showcase wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in a new documentary.

Filmmaker Ian Shive of Hidden Pacific IMAX 3D, discovery+ The Last Unknown, Shark Week is creating a new giant screen film "Wild Rescue: A Second Chance at a Wild Life," presented in IMAX®.

“Well, this is a very exciting time for us because we’re about to tell our story … our community story about Santa Barbara Wildlife … the work we do here at the hospital on an international stage … and that’s because we’re producing our first movie," said Shive.

The movie titled "Wild Rescue" presented in IMAX will offer an exploration of the wildlife center's work in wildlife rehabilitation.

“And that really embodies exactly what we do here … we rescue wildlife … rehabilitate them … and then release them for a second chance out there in the big, wild world," said Shive.

"Wild Rescue" will feature the newly built, state-of-the-art wildlife hospital that stands as a beacon of hope for over 3,500 animals annually.

“We can’t have visitors here at the center so in a way it’s a form of visitor ship as well … they get to visit … see what we’re doing. See what we’re about … but also it’s an opportunity to educate them on the wildlife that they may recognize … they may think they understand," said Shive.

The film will also capture the essence of the Santa Barbara region spotlighting veterinarians, volunteers, and community members who rescue abandoned wildlife.

The film crew is currently looking for unique wildlife stories throughout the community.   

“My hooe is that people come away with an understanding of why this work is so important … that our role in the community is more than just helping each other, but also helping our wild neighbors," said Shive.

“I’m so excited for our film … this is part of our broader, education strategy … we really want to work with communities to connect them to the wild world around them," said communications manager Rachel Mattovich of the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

Shive believes the work of the wildlife center is an example of what any community, anywhere in the world can achieve for their local environment.

“Our backyard is an incredible wild kingdom and it’s connected to this incredible wilder kingdom all the way around us and how does that work … what do those  animals do … and why should we care and so for the first in my life instead of focusing something that is far away … I’m focusing on something that’s right in our own backyards," said Shive.

The focus of the documentary is to highlight a call to action for the protection of local wildlife and the importance of conservation nationwide.

The film maker said the organization's commitment to educating the public about our coexistence with wildlife and the impact we can have on their survival is at the heart of "Wild Rescue."

“The type of work we do at Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network to rescue wildlife is undertaken by people and organizations around the world. We are excited to amplify the work of wildlife rehabilitation in our community and beyond,” said Ariana Katovich, Executive Director of Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

Shive believes that “The place we all understand and interact with the most is the one we call home. By actively participating in efforts to improve our individual communities we have a fighting chance to greatly improve our entire planet, one neighborhood at a time.”

The premiere of the film's trailer was presented at the Giant Screen Cinema Association Film Expo, at the AMC City Walk IMAX Theater in Universal City in March 2024.

This film marks the wildlife center’s first-ever large scale film, for IMAX 2D highlighting the organization's critical wildlife rescue efforts in the Santa Barbara region and beyond.

The full-length film is expected to hit theaters worldwide-wide in 2025.

For more details about the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network, visit

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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