Mixed Me­dia Wild Spirit Wolf Sanc­tu­ary comes to town

Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

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

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