Mixed Media Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary comes to town
A surefire way to animate an afternoon is to let a child share space with a wild animal. While most children do not normally get to see wolves up close, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary facilitates such encounters. The organization, based in Ramah, New Mexico, rescues displaced wolves and offers them lifetime sanctuary. It also educates the public on “wild wolves and wolf-dogs in captivity, and the difference between wild and domestic animals” — an important distinction to be aware of in a time when wild spaces are shrinking, and it is no longer unusual for coyotes and wolves to wander into our backyards.
Whatever our views on wolves and their place in our world, it’s hard to not be moved by Aldo Leopold’s description of the moment that transformed how he thought about wolves. In his classic book, A Sand County Almanac (1949), Leopold wrote about the last time he hunted a wolf. “We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes — something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”
A local Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary event will allow children and families to look into a wolf’s eyes. An “ambwassador wolf” will be on hand to demonstrate physical characteristics and behavior. The presentation will also include discussion on “wild wolf diet, hunting strategies, family life, physical adaptations, and pack structure.” Sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library, the free event will take place at the Southside Branch Library (6599 Jaguar Drive, 505-955-2828) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21; at the La Farge Branch Library (1730 Llano St., 505-955-4863) at 3:30 p.m. on the same day; and at the Main Library (145 Washington Ave., 505-955-6837) at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22. For more information, visit www.santafelibrary.org. — Priyanka Kumar
Dakota high-content wolf-dog, photo Angel Borden