Sunday, September 5, 2021

09.05.2021 Wolf Hollow Ipswich Massachusetts

 A couple of years ago an acquaintance told me about a sanctuary for wolves near Boston. That did come as a surprise as we tend to think of them in a much more rural setting. The facility was essentially close during the covid pandemic and has recently reopened for public tours. As luck would have it, there was one ticket left and I snatched it!

A gray wolf.

They are truly beautiful animals. However, we must keep in mind that these wolves at the sanctuary have acclimated to humans and do seem more like pet dogs in this enclosure than wild animals. 

The visitors are protected by two chain link fences which enclose the habitat of the wolves.. There is a pathway in between the fences for the workers but not for visitors. This double enclosure did make it a bit challenging for photographs, but I managed a good photograph  or two. 

We are greeted by a gentleman who is inside the enclosures and directly interacts with the wolves and one wolf-dog hybrid.  He was very conformable with them and as important, they were very playful with him.

The hybrid dog-wolf arrived from New York where the shelter there quickly noticed he was more than a dog on the basis of his demeanor.

They like tummy rubs, too!

Look at those yellow eyes!

They also play like puppies! They seemed to like the attention of the visitors and when we turned our attention to another enclosure they started chasing each other - a true attention getting ploy.

Look at those teeth!

This following information is adapted from the web page of the Wolf Hollow, Ipswich, MA:

The North American Wolf Foundation (NAWF) was founded by Paul C. Soffron in 1988. To this day, Paul’s original mission is to preserve the wolf in the wild, through education and exposure and remains the cornerstone of the work they do everyday. Within a year from being established, NAWF broke ground in Ipswich, Massachusetts and during this time our current directors, Joni and Zee Soffron, acquired behavioral and animal husbandry training from leading wolf experts at Wolf Park, a world renown wolf research facility in Battle Ground, Indiana.

By 1995 Wolf Hollow had become an established member of the community of educational conservation organizations for wild canids in the U.S and, in November that year, Wolf Hollow hosted the Northeast Wolf Recovery conference with representatives from 16 organizations. Their  achievements coincided with our nation’s milestone project of the recovery of the gray wolf in the lower 48 states centered around Yellowstone National Park.

As early as 2002, we began to see the start of a political tug of war that has the North American wolf, yet again, caught in the crosshairs. In May 2011, Senator Jon Tester (D) - Montana, inserted controversial language into a standard federal budget bill. Slipped in as a rider, mostly unnoticed by the general public, federal protections for the gray wolf, granted by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, were removed in 6 states (ID, MT, WY, MN, WI, and MI). Further language inserted into the rider attempts to ban citizens, as well as court systems, from challenging the wolf delisting decision while simultaneously preserving anti-wolf litigation.

 Over the last few decades we, as a community, have made great strides championing for the protection of the wolves in the wild. Though we may have won many battles... the war is far from over! Now, more than ever, Wolf Hollow is committed to our mission to protect the gray wolf and it’s habitat.

Chicory - one of my absolutely favorite wild flowers.

If you wonder about Shorty and Fionnegan and Gunnarr - they are still really good boys. But unbeknownst to any of us, we have a leopard in the tree. According to Fionn, there is a leopard in our tree. May not be as far fetched as it seems, there is a mountain lion in our town - someone photographed it in their yard. So why not a leopard!!!!!! To read about this fun story about Fionn and his view of the world, go to Shorty's blog:


Until next time.....Stay well.

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