By Xeni Jardin
Tue, Apr 14, 2015
Lorne was born at a zoo in Georgia who breeds a select number of wolf pups to be used for educational purposes and for ambassadors for their species. Lorne's brother, Wyatt can be seen at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. Lorne is being raised with the hope of using him in educational talks to raise awareness for an often misunderstood animal. Despite media attention that wolves in the wild have stabilized their numbers, they are still very much at risk. Wolf hunting continues to persist, both legally and illegally. Wolves are still stigmatized in society, especially by farmers and ranchers who if merely seeing a wolf will on sight, no matter the threat. This mentality is hurting our intelligent friend, whose relationship and companionship led us to the domesticated dog we have today and love. Lorne visits with the public regularly and even though he's just a cub, he has instantly charmed his way into the hearts of many others who before misunderstood and feared one of our closest ties to the natural world.
Lorne is a subspecies of the Gray (or Timber) Wolf. He was born in April (wolves are only born in the spring, unlike domesticated dogs) and until he came to me just shy of 7 weeks was used in meet-and-greets at the Georgia zoo. In July he went on a trip across the United States from out West to Chicago. Unfortunately once there, he swallowed a small slip lead and had to have a life threatening surgery to remove it. His recovery was remarkable and the vet that preformed the surgery said it was the fastest she had ever seen. Wolves are strong and very adaptable. Their immune system due to their varied gene pool and lack of interbreeding as seen in domesticated dogs, makes them lack the health problems they often do. It was a scary time, but thankfully today you wouldn't even know it ever happened (except for the constant reminder of paying off the bill!).
I'm working with Lorne every day and I hope that he is able to continue to reach out to the public as he matures. It is common that wolves once establishing a territory upon reaching adulthood have trouble leaving it and feel much more comfortable at home than in strange places. We will see what path Lorne wants to follow in life, but I hope that he will be kind enough to continue to make a positive impression on others and be an ambassador for his species.
You can see Lorne's other videos by checking out his playlist here.