Monday, October 24, 2011

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary

Learn about the good in wolves at W.O.L.F. Sanctuary

 Oct. 22, 2011  |  
Tate peers down from his perch at the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary northwest of Fort Collins. Tate is believed to be pure wolf. He was moved to W.O.L.F. from New Mexico as a puppy where the breeder was not taking proper care of him.
Tate peers down from his perch at the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary northwest of Fort Collins. Tate is believed to be pure wolf. He was moved to W.O.L.F. from New Mexico as a puppy where the breeder was not taking proper care of him. / Courtesy of Dawn Wilson
Wolves have been demonized and victimized due in part to the folklore that has surrounded them for centuries. Stories about werewolves and big, bad wolves terrorizing Little Red Riding Hood developed out of a misunderstanding about these beautiful creatures.

In reality, wolves prefer to avoid humans. They are instinctual creatures that believe running away in most cases will keep them safe.

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, located west of Fort Collins, strives to eliminate these myths and teach people about the beauty and wonder of Canis lupus.

"One of the biggest challenges we face at W.O.L.F. Sanctuary is getting people to overcome the stereotypes about wolves," said Michelle Proulx, educational program manager for W.O.L.F. Sanctuary. "We want to help people gain an understanding of the wolf species."

This 180-acre wooded sanctuary provides homes for 10 purebred wolves and 19 wolf hybrids. Each enclosure is a half acre, providing a comfortable space for two to three wolves. Because of the social nature of wolves, the animals live in groups to mimic a pack.

"Wolves are used to long, extended runs to outrun prey, and their range can be 50 to 1,000 square miles in the wild," Proulx said. "Keeping the wolves in groups of two or three helps the animals to be social without too much conflict."

The caring staff of veterinarians, volunteers and animal handlers provides not only a life-long home suited for the physical needs of wolves but they also provide for the emotional needs of the wolves.
"There is an amazing reward when you can make eye contact with a wolf," said Frank Wendland, co-founder of W.O.L.F. Sanctuary with his wife Patricia. "Developing that emotional bond creates a connection between two sentient beings that is unexplainable."

Of the 29 wolves at W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, there is a wide variety of mixes and purebreds. Three Mexican gray wolves live there as well as a wolf-collie mix, an Arctic wolf and several timber wolves.
Since its founding in 1995, W.O.L.F. Sanctuary has helped more than 7,500 wolves and wolf hybrids by finding new homes, connecting the wolves to veterinary care and providing sanctuary for more than 100 animals at the facility.


W.O.L.F. Sanctuary currently is not open to the public but is in need of volunteers to help care for the animals and the property. The staff also offers free public educational programs to teach about wolves and the issues they face in captivity.




Contact W.O.L.F. Sanctuary to arrange either of these opportunities at (970) 416-9531. Visit www.wolf sanctuary.net for more information about W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and the wolves they help.

source