It all started with the rescue of a wolf dog – a wolf that had been bred with a dog – that was going to be put to death at a local animal shelter. Darlene, the owner of Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center, took it upon herself to rescue other wolf hybrids and soon had a sanctuary for wolves, coyotes and foxes.
We booked a tour for the afternoon and our guide was not only knowledgeable about wolves in general, but saving these animals and educating the public about them is her passion.
We started with the foxes who were resting in the shade of the deck of their 2-story home. Our guide managed to coax one of them out so we could see it up-close and personal. I wasn’t able to get a photo of that single fox because the rules of the center is “no camera lenses larger than 70mm” and mine was larger. The reason for the rule – the constant ‘clicking’ of photos is a distraction to the group and the guide (that didn’t stop the less-than-70mm-lens camera operators) and they are also afraid of people selling photos of the animals for profit.
In the end I stood behind my children and took photos of the animals. Stupid rule be gone forever please!
The foxes have a little freeway that takes them from one enclosure to the other. There is also a tunnel they can creep through.
We didn’t see any foxes pass over us as we walked under their freeway.
The center also rescues coyotes and there are plenty in our neighbourhood. We think one of them took our Siren – a cat we had before we bought our dog, Zulu. The coyotes can be a nuisance, especially on the days our trash is left out but I guess they have to eat too.
It was a warm day and the wolves were trying to stay cool in the 70F temperature.
He checked us out as we checked him out.
It doesn’t show up in the photo but their eyes are a gorgeous amber colour.
We asked about the small piece of fur that we saw in each of the enclosures. The fur is actually buffalo hide which the wolves chew on. The fur from the hide coats the wolf’s oesophagus and helps with digestion. So interesting!
Our guide threw pieces of meat (donated by hunters and other donors) to the wolves to get them to the fence.
She told us the female wolf (at the back) mourned the loss of her first mate and out of respect for her loss, only she was allowed to howl. The rest of the wolves in the sanctuary kept quiet while she mourned (for a couple of months). When they introduced the second male to the enclosure (at the fence), she allowed him in and they went off into the den at the top of the enclosure for their ‘honeymoon’ for a few days. A sweet story.
These wolves love humans and enjoy being pet and scratched just like a dog would.
They show their submissiveness to the humans by putting their tails between their legs and lowering their ears. Jordan is mad about wolves so we will return to the sanctuary for his birthday in October to do the VIP tour which includes a session in the enclosure with the wolves. Apparently they are great kissers.
As we left the center, we had a couple of onlookers who were quite curious about us. I love being in the Rockies. I’d rather be in a safari park in South Africa but being in the Rockies is a close second in my book.