Wolf Awareness Week: Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary, Texas

Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary (800x460)

Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary, Texas

Wolf Dog--escape extraordiinaire

Wolf Dog–escape artist extraordinaire

wolf dog (631x800)

She was the sweetest wolf dog, but her family couldn’t keep her at home because she was such an escape artist. She leaped from her den over a high fence at the wolf sanctuary, but they resolved the problem and she’s fine now.

Arctic Wolf from Oregon (800x600)

Arctic Wolves from a sanctuary closed down in Oregon

Arctic Wolves from a sanctuary closed down in Oregon due to owner dying and wife unable to manage because of own health issues–the companions were able to stay together when they were moved to the Texas sanctuary

The poor wolves had to get used to the heat of Texas, but it’s very treed there at least, and they take good care of them.

Wolf Dog Grieving (798x800)Wolf dog grieving–this male lost his mate and for three weeks, he had been grieving. When we were at the fence, he came up and checked us out, the first time, he’d initiated any response like that, and then he howled, setting off all the other wolves.

Arctic Wolf on a Walk

Arctic Wolf on a Walk–they pair up all the wolves and wolf dogs because they are pack animals, except fo this beta wolf. They had tried several different pairings and she wouldn’t accept them.

She adored the handler who walked her though.

Arctic Wolf Scent Rolling

Arctic Wolf Scent Rolling

Here she is scent rolling. They only had a few they could take out and walk on leash. She loved to walk, found some freedom, and could smell all the new smells, and scent rolled to take them back with her before she returned to her pen.

More Wolf Dogs

More Wolf Dogs

Most of these wolf dogs were raised with families and end up in a wolf sanctuary like this because they aren’t dogs! They are partly wild wolves, and they can’t be raised like the family dog.

The First True Dogs – Leptocyon, the first true canine, Eucyon, his descendant,  and the Dire Wolf, that competed with the saber-tooth tiger for prey–after 40 million years of evolution, the first modern dog was born. Estimates of 15,000-30,000 years ago, the first gray wolf was domesticated. http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/otherprehistoriclife/a/Prehistoric-Dogs-The-Story-Of-Dog-Evolution.htm

But try to fit a wolf into most people’s lifestyle, doesn’t work! They can love a family, be protective, but still have the need to run.

A family raised a wolf dog, mostly wolf, but like many wolf-dogs or wolves, they couldn’t manage him any longer. The caretaker at the sanctuary, not this one,  was trying to settle the wolf down before the now older boy was allowed to see his “family” pet. The wolf was so excited, but the caretaker was confining him, and the wolf believing he couldn’t see his pack mate from former times, bit the caretaker. A wolf’s bite is dangerous! And the caretaker had to be rushed to the hospital for care.

The wolf was reacting like a wolf, not a home-raised pet. He loved the boy and wanted to reconnect with him. The wolf is fine, the boy did return another day to see his “pet” wolf, and the caretaker still runs the sanctuary and understands the wolves well enough to know the dynamics being played out, but his main concern had been for the safety of the boy and the wolf.

The moral of the story is leave the wolves in the wild. Find a home-raised dog and love it unconditionally. And love the wolves in the wild where they’re meant to be.

Okay, I’m off to write on the jaguar story!!! And the same thing goes here. Don’t take home jaguar cubs to raise as your own. They have an even more powerful bite, and those claws are just as dangerous, not to mention a powerful swipe of their paw can paralyze or kill. 🙂 <3 Just saying…


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

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