Wild Spirit Wolf Sanc­tu­ary’s free events at the La Farge and South­side Li­braries

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

A wolf and a hu­man from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanc­tu­ary, which res­cues and shel­ters wolves and wolf-dogs at its fa­cil­ity in Ramah, present free pro­grams at two Santa Fe li­braries on Fri­day, Jan. 15, and Satur­day, Jan. 16. Spon­sored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Pub­lic Li­brary, the events ad­dress the wolves’ diet, hunt­ing strate­gies, fam­ily life, phys­i­cal adap­ta­tions, and pack struc­ture, as well as the the dif­fer­ences be­tween wolves, wolf-dogs, and dogs. De­bunk­ing myths about wolves is an­other im­por­tant as­pect of the sanc­tu­ary’s education pro­gram.

The mis­sion of Wild Spirit is to res­cue dis­placed, un­wanted, and un­re­leasable cap­tive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and other re­lated species — the sanc­tu­ary’s res­i­dents also in­clude a red fox, coy­otes, Aus­tralian din­gos, and New Guinea singing dogs — and to pro­vide life­time sanc­tu­ary and care.

The canids come from all over the coun­try. Shasta, one of the sanc­tu­ary’s re­cent res­cues, was cap­tured in cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia by of­fi­cers with Calav­eras County An­i­mal Ser­vices af­ter weeks of re­ports that a wolf-like an­i­mal was run­ning around loose. In cap­tiv­ity, the wolf-dog would bare her teeth and make a growl­ing sound when­ever peo­ple ap­proached. She was sched­uled to be eu­th­a­nized when an em­ployee named Gina found out about the New Mex­ico sanc­tu­ary. As the story is told on the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanc­tu­ary web­site, Ley­ton Cougar, the non­profit’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, saw that teeth-bear­ing growl when he went to res­cue her. “Know­ing ca­nine lan­guage, Ley­ton as­sured Gina that Shasta was not growl­ing in a threat­en­ing way, but just let­ting Gina know she was afraid. He en­cour­aged her to reach out and touch Shasta. For the first time on Shasta’s last day in jail, Gina rubbed her, leashed her, and Shasta hopped right into the WSWS van like a pro.”

Be­sides the or­ga­ni­za­tion web­site, www.wild­spir­it­wolf­sanc­tu­ary.org, Cougar has www.wolf­daddy.org, where he writes that “hu­mans and wolves as well as all things liv­ing are in­ter­con­nected spir­i­tual be­ings. Once you can tap into the spirit of na­ture and un­der­stand the na­ture of your own spirit your life can be­come more free and wild-like.”

Meet an am­bas­sador wolf and learn more at 4 p.m. on Fri­day at La Farge Branch Li­brary (1730 Llano St., 505-955-4863) and at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Satur­day at the South­side Branch (6599 Jaguar Drive, 505-955-2828). — Paul Wei­de­man

Dakota; left, a wolf in the class­room

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