Thursday, August 9, 2012
We recently did something completely sporadic and totally unlike us. We just packed up our van with the little ones and a whole lot of food and drove a couple of hours into Washington state to visit Wolf Haven. After about two years of talking about it and planning it - we just did it.
I have to share a bit of information with you about Wolf Haven to give you an idea why we felt it was so important for us to support and visit, not to mention the fact that it was a nice little homeschooling field trip.
Wolf Haven International is a 501(c) 3 organization that has worked for wolf conservation since 1982. The mission of Wolf Haven International is to conserve and protect wolves and their habitat. They do this by:
• Providing sanctuary for captive born wolves
• Educating the public on the value of all wildlife
• Promoting wolf restoration
• Protecting our remaining wild wolves and their habitat
For 30 years, Wolf Haven has rescued and provided lifetime sanctuary to over 160 animals. They are participants in two Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs for endangered species: 1) Mexican grey SSP and 2) red wolf SSP. These are partnerships between captive facilities, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As an SSP member, Wolf Haven Intl. has successfully bred both red wolves and Mexican wolves. They have also had eleven of their SSP Mexican grey wolves released into the wilderness of the Southwest. (info from their website)
They are on 82 acres of pristine Mima Mound prairie, wetlands and woodlands. It's really quite a breathtaking place and I wish we could have seen more of the prairie as well as some other things. But, alas, that's the downside to being sporadic - we left late in the day and only had a couple of hours to enjoy there before they closed.
We went on their guided tour so that the girls (Kevin and I, too!) could learn more about wolves in general and what we can do to help them. I could tell our guide was a bit hesitant to have children on the tour but she saw our girls' interest along the way and thanked us at the end, which was a surprise. (I am not one to believe in 'children should always be well behaved' or 'children should be seen and not heard', I think children need to explore their boundaries to learn - ok I am about to go off on a tangent so I'll stop now...) I think she just caught us on a good day.
Wolves pretty much have the same undeserved reputation that sharks (my favorite animal since I was little!!) have, so I feel it's important to dispel the myths about them to my children. Granted, that is mostly for when they are older but this was a good place to start. We hope to visit again, maybe even before the end of summer. Kevin chatted with one of Wolf Haven's directors, showing her pictures of our Beowulf and she requested that we bring him up to meet her. That seems like a good enough excuse for heading back there to me. It felt good checking something off our long list of 'PNW Must-See'. Who knows? Given the chance, we might just be sporadic more often!
p.s - This song from my youth repeated in my head the whole time (lyrics here)
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