Julia and The Wolves, Mission: Wolf

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Julia Foran writes, May 2010, I hopped on a bus for a seven and a half hour drive to Westcliffe, Colorado with my class.

May 2010, I hopped on a bus for a seven and a half hour drive to Westcliffe, Colorado with my class. Coming up to it, we saw black wolf/dogs on the mountains… staring at us as we passed through. We got off the bus all jittery, loud, energetic, we were 6th graders cooped up on a bus for 7 AND A HALF HOURS for crying out loud! That day was very boring. We met the director, Kent Weber. And he just talked about wolves and how we should behave around the wolf pens. We set up camp, went for a little hike, and observed the behavior of the wolves. After a long, uneventful day, we fell asleep.My tent mates and I woke up with a start. What time was it? The 32 wolves just started to howl, my friend said, “Where’s the snooze button?” It confused me… weren’t wolves only supposed to howl at night when there’s a full moon? I heard someone call out above the excited voices, “You guys, it’s five-thirty in the morning. Go back to sleep.” The wolves howled about 2 more times, and we got up. After a day overview, we made our way over to the center of the sanctuary. There, we saw three white wolves that were called the Ambassador Wolves. Iliamna, Magpie, and Abraham. Abraham, the wolf/dog of the group was super excited to see us. He’s the one in my lap in the second picture, and that’s his fur in the first picture. We stared at them with wide eyes, as they did the same with us. “How would you guys like to meet them?” asked Kent. We looked around at eachother, smiled, and of course, agreed. Kent said that you had to be the boss, stand up straight, walk in like we hadn’t noticed them at all, and sit down. We wondered why we had to be so strict about petting them, the wolves wouldn’t hurt us. “How would you like it if some person walked up to you, slouching over, sat down, and tried to pet you?” asked Kent. Wolves were just like people, they were just as afraid of us as we were of them. We walked in, Abraham was sniffing our hands and licking them, and sat down perfectly calm (and perfectly petrified at the fact a wolf licked our hand!!!), held our hands out, expecting the worst.Iliamna was the newest addition to Mission: Wolf, no socialization with people outside the volunteers who worked there. For the first time, we got three people he didn’t know petting him at one time. Kent was really excited about that, Iliamna was terrified, but he didn’t move. Abe was all over everyone, giving kisses, chewing sleeves, Magpie (or Maggie) was shy, but let a few people pet her. Maggie was my favorite because she was so pretty, and looked so much different from all the other wolves.We got out of the cage and walked back to our campsite, or attempted to. Behind one of the buildings was a dead horse hung up by it’s neck. Several of the girls screamed, boys’ eyes got big and round, I hid behind the truck. I won’t get in to details, I know many people reading this must be horse lovers. I’m sure that these people would not like to find out how the horse was made wolf chow for the next day. All the boys , and 3 girls got in line to be equipped with baggy overalls, rubber gloves, and knives. I am sorry to say that I found myself among them, cutting apart ribs. This horse was old, and died of heart attack the day before. Does making food for wolves to survive make me a bad person? Even if it is a horse? It’s the circle of life, but I must say that I was never able to wash out the circle of life splattered on my jeans…”Wolves do not eat grandma’s.” Wolves are wild creatures that belong in the wild. Mission: Wolf contains wolves that people thought would make good pets. They’re not. They belong in a place where they can run free, and be wolves. They aren’t as bad as you might think. Have you ever read, or seen Never Cry Wolf? Everyone was accusing wolves of eating all the caribou, they were disappearing right and left. The wolves lived on plants and small animals, they probably would eat caribou if there were any around. Guess where the caribou were going? To humans.It was the human’s fault caribou were disappearing. Not the wolves. Wolves are not as bad as you think. Pay a visit to Mission: Wolf, or visit their website www.missionwolf.com to see pictures of the wolves and learn about them.I always thought wolves were bad, and ferocious. That was only because everyone else thought they were. We need to learn the truth about wolves, Mission: Wolf is there to help.By: Julia Foran