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January 20, 2015

Larry Ellison Funding State-of-the-Art Calif. Animal Refuge

Technology billionaire Larry Ellison is teaming with animal-welfare advocates to establish a first-of-its-kind center for wildlife rehabilitation in California's Santa Cruz Mountains with an estimated cost of nearly $50-million, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Funded by the Lawrence Ellison Foundation and run by the Peninsula Humane Society, the proposed Conservation Center for Wildlife Care will focus on smaller but ecologically crucial creatures, including species of bugs, snakes, and salamanders.

Quietly in the works for five years, the 80,000-square-foot center will be built in a former quarry above Saratoga, Calif., and offer treatment for ill and injured animals, a breeding center for at-risk species, and educational features.

Ken White of the Peninsula Humane Society did not give a final price tag for the center but said such a facility generally costs about $600 a square foot and would not be possible without a single donor footing much of the bill. Mr. Ellison, chairman of software firm Oracle, has previously given to the Bay Area animal charity and to efforts to save elephants, gorillas, and other endangered species abroad.