Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Visit to Wolf Haven International

Last week we visited Wolf Haven International in Tenino, WA which is just south of Olympia, WA. From information received on the tour as well as from their website, Wolf Haven is a sanctuary for captive-bred wolves as well as coyotes and they also are one of three pre-release facilities involved in the effort to restore the Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest. The captive-bred wolves come from zoos, private owners, animal collectors, research and other facilities. Wolf Haven also fosters red wolves bred for the red wolf recovery in North Carolina.

Blackhawk & Ladyhawk (father & daughter)

The facility consists of large chained in areas (I believe they were 1/3 to 1/2 acre in size) that give the wolves plenty of room to explore and be in the most natural habitat possible. There are just two compatible wolves per each pen. Meals consist of roadkill and other types of meat a couple of times a week. They aren't fed every day since wolves in the wild eat only on successful hunts which is 1 out of 10 times so for them to live as naturally as possibly, the wolves eat about 10 lbs of meat twice a week.

We went on the first tour of the day at 10am and were fortunate enough to get a concert from the wolves and even the coyotes when the animal care workers began checking on the wolves behind the scenes. The first pair we visited went to the back of their large pen and began the howling which of course got every other wolves there going too. It was absolutely incredible to hear them all. Some of them sounded remarkably like our dog Sadie which proves the point that wolves are like dogs in many ways but in no way should a wolf be considered a pet and seeing the beautiful wolves at Wolf Haven that people had attempted to domesticate really illustrated this point.


As can be seen from the above picture of Diablo, many of the wolves were in the process of shedding their fur and rubbed up against the chain link fence to help in the process of getting rid of all the fur. Diablo is a Mexican gray wolf and the notch out of his ear is actually from dominance disputes with his siblings when he was a youngster.

If you are ever in the area, I would recommend visiting Wolf Haven and hopefully getting to hear the howling concert! Check out their website for more information and you can even "adopt" one (or more) of their wolves in order to help provide for their support and care.


Aimee Dars said...

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great place.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting place!

DaisyMae Maus said...

Gosh ... I wish that I had known about this place sooner as I was up in the Rochester/Tenino area a month ago. Sigh ...