Mission:Wolf

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Peregrine, Jul 5, 2015.

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  1. Hey, everyone! I don't usually spend much time in General, but this is something I'd love to be able to share with you all. As some of you may (or may not. That's actually more likely) know, I spend several weeks every summer down at a wolf rescue and sanctuary in the Wet Mountains of Southern Colorado. This place has become a big part of my life, and it is really, really cool.


    Mission:Wolf is an educational sanctuary aiming to teach people about wolves, as well as demonstrate why they don't make good pets. I'm not very good at the spiel that a lot of the people who work here can give, but I'd love to tell you more about it if you have any questions.

    The one thing that is really, really cool about Mission:Wolf is that they go out on educational trips every spring and fall, bringing the Ambassador Pack across the country to people who would never otherwise be able to look a wolf in the eye, and learn a little more about them.

    For your viewing pleasure, I took a few pictures the last time we were in the pen with them.

    This is Abraham. He's the alpha male of the pack, even though he's about half the size of the other two in there, and is probably pure dog.

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    This is Magpie. She's the matron of the pack, and is drawing close to her 14th year. She's probably the friendliest pure-blood wolf in the whole place, and if you don't keep your teeth together when she comes to say hello, you'll get a very warm, deep throat kiss. :lol:

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    This is Zeab. He's my boy, as I first met him six years ago when he was little bigger than a boston terrier. He and his sister Farah were fostered by Magpie and Abe, but Zeab is kind of like that 30 year old man who is perfectly happy to live in his parents' basement for the rest of his life. He's the definition of chill. :D

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    Of course, as much as I obsess over the wolves, Mission:Wolf is made up as much by the people as it is by the wolves. We went out for a barbecue for the fourth of July, and had a lot of fun!

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    [​IMG] I don't think they knew I was about to take a picture! lol

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  2. Wow, what an amazing opportunity! How did you get involved with this, and what kind of things do you do on a regular basis? Also, Colorado looks absolutely gorgeous.
     
  3. *Is extremely jealous*

    Though now I'm kind of curious.
    What are some of the reasons wolves don't make good pets?
    This is assuming they are the kind used to humans, not ones taken straight from the wild.
     
  4. I think it's because they get really bored indoors, because their instincts are used to great big outdoors. When they are bored, the house gets rekt
     
  5. It was actually really easy! Mission:Wolf is entirely volunteer run, which means they take on a staff and pay for food and lodging, or, if you bring a tent and your own food and let them know you are coming, you can stay and help out for as long as you want. It's one of the only wolf rescues in the Western US that doesn't require volunteers to pay to help out!

    My dad is an engineer, so I learned lots of mechanical and construction skills from him. I spend most of my time working on projects around the sanctuary. Right now, we are working to outfit an old horse trailer so that it can carry between 6-9 wolves, in case a fire draws close and we need to evacuate.

    And, yes! It is incredibly gorgeous! Mission:Wolf is on top of a hill overlooking a valley in the middle of the Wet Mountains. *runs away to take another picture* It's a little foggy right now, so you can't see the snowcapped peaks in the distance. D:

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    This is the view out the back of my camper.


    @Salsacookies has it in part, but there's a lot more to it than a wolf needing space. They aren't naturally destructive creatures. Most of the time, when things get ruined, its because they are looking for a way out.

    What you are correct on is the fact that it is based around them being wild creatures. What it has a lot more to do is the fact that people expect wolves to be dogs. Dogs spend their lives in a state of relating to people that equates to wolf puppyhood. AKA, a desire to constantly interact, and to please. But when wolves reach about 2 years of age they outgrow this dog-like desire to please. They, in short, grow up. They start acting like adult wolves, which means two things.

    One, they get territorial. This isn't going to be a problem with the people who own the wolf (they are, after all, pack), but anyone around (especially other dogs) are going to get caught in the backlash. Especially if the owner isn't there to mitigate, and the wolf hasn't been introduced to lots of people in their adolescence.

    Two, the wolves will pay attention to you once, maybe twice a day, and if you try and touch them more than that they will move, growl, and eventually snap at you, saying they want to be left alone. People misinterpret this as "the wolf is turning on me". Wolves rarely make it past 2 years of age in a house before they end up being put down.

    Combine the fact that wolves are territorial and that they have no desire to please people and will act on their wolfy instincts with the fact that an average male wolf will eat 20-30 pounds of raw meat in a single week, and they do need a good acre or two of space to be happy (wolves are phenomenal escape artists), most wolves are incredibly skittish and shy around... everything, and you get a very, very challenging pet that you can't even pet. :D

    Is it possible for people to properly care for a wolf? Yes. We do it up here. But it becomes a full time job. You don't get to leave on vacation, because you can't leave the wolf alone and you can't take them with you. You need to see to their needs as wolves, treat them as wolves, and act (in part) as a wolf yourself to be able to properly associate with them. The average person is not in a position to suitably care for a wolf, they don't understand wolf nature, and the wolf will ultimately end up dead.

    People's solution to these problems was to breed wolves and dogs. O.O This worked out even worse, in many respects. People were hoping to get (and expected to get) an animal that looked like a wolf, but behaved like a dog. But there are so many differences in behavior between wolves and dogs that every breeding is a roll of the evolutionary lottery. Most of the time what you get is simply a very confused and unhappy animal.

    *looks at the paragraphs of text* Did I answer the question? :tongue:
     
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  6. Really? >.<

    (Note: This mini-rant isn't aimed at you. I know you know the difference, this more just me generally ranting).

    Evolution/Natural Selection doesn't take the parent's/breeder's wants into consideration.
    Hell that's why so many parent's get kids so unlike what they planned for. XD

    Gene's don't randomly go "Yo! Mom wants us to be this! So let's move these DNA around and make their ideal child!
    And on top of that, how do they even expect to control that it was wolf appearance, dog personality?
    It could just as easily be the reverse.

    But like you said, far more likely to just be a very odd/bizarre mix.
    Yes, very well in fact. :P
     
  7. Very cool. Good for you to be involved in all this.
     
  8. I wanted to get you guys some more pictures yesterday, and then again today, but we've been in a fog as thick as soup for the past couple days. So, instead of getting pictures of the wolves, you get pictures of fog! Maybe tomorrow.

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  9. No. I want more wolf pictures!

    Seriously, that is quite a fog.
     
  10. Isn't it, though! It's the middle of July and I was in long pants and a sweatshirt. Makes it hard to work as well, because this place runs entirely off solar panels, and power becomes quite limited. Luckily the welder runs off a separate generator.
     
  11. These are amazing. It's like I'm looking at the Old West.
     
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  12. Wednesdays and Saturdays are very interesting days at Mission:Wolf because they are our "Big Feed" days. Wolves in the wild only eat about once or twice a week, so we try and simulate that here by having a small (half to one pound) breakfast every morning to get the older wolves their pills and keep the young wolves from getting jealous, and then a big meal twice a week, where we toss approximately 10 pounds of meat per wolf over the fence! That means that, just today, we went through nearly 400 pounds of meat.

    Minor Gore Warning! (open)

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    Luckily, Mission:Wolf doesn't have to buy all that meat from the supermarket, which would get crazy expensive. Instead, the various ranches and farms around the area will donate dead, old, or sick animals to the farm. Kent (our founder. I probably should have mentioned that in the first post) will humanely execute them if they are still alive, and then the morning before big feed the staff and any volunteers who want to help out get to butcher the animal.

    More Serious Gore Warning! (open)

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    The really good thing about big feed is that it lures all the animals out of hiding who normally don't want to be seen. So today you really do get a bunch of pictures of wolves and wolf-dogs! I only took pictures that wouldn't have a whole bunch of chain link fencing in the way, because quality. :D


    These two are Soleil (the white one) and Orion (the black). Both of them are wolf-dogs who were brought to Mission:Wolf as puppies, almost 10 years ago now. They bonded to each other, and have been together ever since.

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    Rosie (left) and Tiger (right) are the current pups of the place, as they are about a year and a half old now. Up until this spring they were living with Zeab, Magpie, and Abe, but after the three went on a tour on the west coast Rosie decided she didn't like mom anymore, and began to challenge her for dominance. That's when they got their own pen.

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    The black wolf standing oh-so-pretty on the hill is Farah, Zeab's sister. Unlike her brother, Farah is a complete drama queen, who would think the world was ending if a pinecone fell off a tree.

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    This is Apollo, Farah's mate. He, Zeab, and Farah all came as puppies at the same time, six years ago. He doesn't like people very much, and the only reason I got such a good picture of him was because if he doesn't get some of the meat while we are tossing it, Farah will eat it all!

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    The last two I have for you today is Daisy (white) and Fenris (black). Mission:Wolf seems to have a thing for pairing wolves of opposite color, because these guys are one of six pairings, out of 32 wolves, that are black and white. :D Daisy is one of the oldest wolves here, at 16 years of age, and is nearly completely blind. Fenris, the second most person-fearing wolf in this place, has mellowed out considerably under her influence.

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  13. These posts make me super happy.

    Also, you must be pretty boss and field dressing dead animals by now if that picture's of any indication.
     
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