Wolves Roam Freely at Wolf Park

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated Mar 19, 2008 at 8:20 PM EST

A PRIMEVAL CALL PIERCES THE AIR IN A DISTANT CORNER OF 'YOUR COUNTRY'. IT'S MORNING AT WOLF PARK IN BATTLE GROUND INDIANA, AND THE PARKS MAJESTIC INHABITANTS ARE STIRRING..

Dana: It allows them to show their natural behavior around us without being scared and showing us what they have and learning from that.

WOLF PARK IS LIKE NO OTHER PLACE IN THE COUNTRY…75 ACRES OF SAFE HAVEN FOR A COUPLE OF DOZEN PURE BRED WOLVES, A SMALL HERD OF BISON AND ASSORTED OTHER CREATURES. FOUNDED IN THE 1970'S WOLF PARK'S MISSION IS TO CONQUER THE FEAR MANY HUMANS HAVE FOR THESE INCREDIBLE ANIMALS. THIS IS A PUBLIC PARK, OPEN TO VISITORS FROM MAY THROUGH NOVEMBER…BUT IT'S OPEN TO RESEARCHERS YEAR AROUND. ON THIS DAY SCIENTISTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ARE HERE TO STUDY AN ASPECT WOLF BEHAVIOR.

Dana: What they're looking for is to see which person the wolf is going to approach if it's the person that's facing them or the person that's facing away.

WOLF PARK IS A PRIME RESEARCH TOOL BECAUSE THE WOLVES HERE ARE SO ACCEPTING OF HUMANS.

Dana: We spend 2000 hours with them in the first three months of their lives there's constantly a person with them touching them handling them weighing them feeding them. And then we constantly have to keep that up.

WOLF PARK OFFERS PHOTOGRAPHY, ARTIST AND ANIMAL BEHAVIOR SEMINARS AS WELL AS CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS…ALL DESIGNED TO COMBAT THE IGNORANCE THAT ONCE BROUGHT THESE NOBLE ANIMALS TO THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION.

Dana: Are these animals still dangerous? Yes, because they're still wild. You can't take the wild out of a wolf. It's kind of like the call of the wild you know they still have that spark in their eye that says I'm still a formidable creature I can do what I want when I want to do it.




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