Raised By Wolves

Or, wolves raised improperly by humans.

On Thursday morning, two adventuresome friends and I took a tour of Wolf Haven International, a non-profit sanctuary for wolves previously raised in captivity, hybrid wolfdogs too wild to control, and selected breeding stock meant to replenish natural numbers in the wild, such as rare red wolves. There are many wolves on site, but only the permanent residents are part of the walking tour, which lasted approximately an hour. The wolves and wolfdogs seemed somewhat restless, pacing their enclosures and anxiously yawning as we listened to heartbreaking stories of neglect and ignorance on the part of former owners. The wolves were not very interested in the visitors with the exception of yearling Shadow, who was loved by his owner and seemingly still sought human affection himself.  The older wolves, the ones that had been on display at the sanctuary for years,  looked bored, hot and tired in the heat of mid-August summer.

Later, discussing the tour with friends, we came to the conclusion that perhaps this tour is supposed to be disturbing. Wolves are wild animals, not pets. When they are treated as such, little can be done to return them to the wildness they obviously yearn for but have never encountered.  Perhaps by raising wolves or wolf-dog hybrids, humans try to capture that experience with the wild for themselves, selfishly dooming the wolf in the process.

Jack London was my favorite author in 6th grade. Can you tell?

Coyote in a tree.

Wolf Haven Cemetery

Vultures circling above.

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