Recently I won a free admission to Wolf Haven International in Tenino, WA. Did you catch that? FREE. ‘Ice Cream’ is my magic word, but ‘Free’ is close runner-up. I investigated their tour online and discovered there would be no petting of any wolves on their tour (#22 on my 30 Before 30). Grr. Familiarizing myself with the wolves still seemed like a good idea before petting one anyways. Maybe when I do pet one someday, they’ll look into my eyes and see I know their buddies in Washington and not turn on me.
Wolf Haven is an 82 acre sanctuary that has wolves, wolf-dog hybrids and coyotes. Some wolves will be reintroduced to the wild and some will have to stay in captivity forever. Mary Ann, volunteer tour guide, walked us around roughly 8 wolf/hybrid enclosures and 1 coyote enclosure – only a portion of what lives on the 82 acres. Each enclosure was 1/2-1 acre and housed usually 2 animals. The weather was ideal for this tour – cold and foggy – which the wolves apparently love because they were up and about, ready to put on a show. Even the usually shy red wolf was prancing back and forth for the group.
Mary Ann imparted a lot of wolf knowledge in the hour or so the group walked around. I didn’t realize how few wolves are in the wild in the US. I learned how to tell a hybrid from a pure wolf. I heard some of the rescue stories for animals they had there in the sanctuary and reaffirmed just how much some people suck. But mainly I took lots of pictures through chain link fences of fury, snuggly, fluffy wolves!
And on the day I visited Wolf Haven, WA State Legislature passed a bill to help with repopulation of the gray wolf. Sweet.
I will just have to make the special trip to Florida to pet one of these fur balls.