The world’s only performing wolf pack put on a performance Thursday night at the Greeley Stampede that offered more than just entertainment.
“It was a very nice show,” said Greeley resident Meghan Delarosa, who was in the audience. “I learned about the family structure of the wolves and about why she has all of them.”
Wolves of the World, its farthest ever trek west from its home base in South Carolina for The Greeley Stampede. The show, which drew about 30 people to Island Grove Regional Park, featured a variety of stunts that displayed wolf behavior. The Wolves of the World will perform each day of the Stampede in the Kids Korral.
“You don’t train a wolf,” said Sharon Sandlofer, owner of the wolf pack. “You find something that they like to do and hope they do it when the time comes.”
Sandlofer said she’s worked with many different kinds of animals. She and her husband first started working with animals after he helped save a whale on the coast of Oregon, she said. Since then, they’ve worked with bears, mountain lions and, most recently, the wolves. Sandlofer rescued her first two wolves after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, and from then on she grew her pack of animals. She now has a pack of eight wolves that travel with her around the country.
You don’t train a wolf. You find something that they like to do and hope they do it when the time comes.— Sharon Sandlofer, owner of the Wolves of the World wolf pack
Before the show began, music echoed around bleachers. Then the music swelled and the sound of wolves howling signaled show was about to begin. Before Sandlofer brought the wolves out, who were pacing anxiously in their trailer, she asked the audience, “How many of you think that these animals belong in a cage?”
A unanimous “No,” echoed through the arena.
Sandlofer said the main purpose of the show is to raise awareness about the disappearing habitat the wolves.
“We share planet Earth, and we need to learn about all of the animals that live here and how to take care of them,” she said.
The wolves performed a variety of acrobatics, even performing on two parallel bars similar to those in an Olympic gymnastics event.
Sandlofer said that because the wolves are intelligent animals, they need mental stimulation since they aren’t in the wild anymore. In addition to the work she does to keep her wolves sharp, she said that traveling with a pack has its own challenges.
“Each venue that we go to is different,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t have the best environment for the animals to work in. We got lucky this time and are away from the main part of the carnival; all of the noises can spook the animals.”
Greeley resident Bill Sparks said he enjoyed the show.
“I thought the show was interesting,” said Bill Sparks. “I’ve been around these types of animals all of my life, but I learned a few things today. I didn’t know wolves cooled off through their feet.”
Wolves of the World
The Wolves of the World will perform again at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. today in the Kids Korral at Island Grove Regional Park, 14th Avenue and A Street, as part of The Greeley Stampede. For more information, go to www.greeleystampede.org.