Friday, June 24, 2011

Magical Moment 505, "Howlin at the Moon"

My husband and I drove an hour and a half west to the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Warren County, NJ. Whenever we both have a day off at the same time (about once every 2 weeks!), we try and do something out of the ordinary and special. Eddie found this Wolf Preserve on the internet and we booked a Wolf Watch Tour. How cool is that?!

The Lakota Wolf Preserve cares for dozens of wolves, who for whatever reason, could not survive in the wild. They have Arctic, Timber, and Tundra wolves in an open habitat with plenty of space to be healthy and happy. On our wolf watch tour, we saw many of these animals, separated into their different packs by reinforced, double chain-linked fences. Since many of these were raised here since pups, they were not afraid to approach the humans on the other side of the fence. I have to admit, when I first saw these legendary, intimidating creatures walk towards us in a pack of 4 or 5, I tensed slightly. 

This preserve also conducts photography tours, where they remove sections of the chain link fence and you can get clear shots of the animals. They do their best to "pose" the wolves for optimum shots using meat. I learned that nearly every photograph of a wolf that you see, is taken at a preserve like this because wolves are frightfully elusive of humans when in the wild. If you're close enough to take a photo of a wolf, chances are, he smells you first and is gone before you even realize it. But for the coolest event of the day, you have to scroll to the very bottom and press play. I had goose bumps all over for about 5 minutes!

The main care-taker of these wolves, is an expert "wolf-caller" and with just one of his howls, he conjured up a reply from all of the packs. He explained that each howl is different, and he can recognize nearly every single one, and tell you the name of the wolf it came from. The wolves recognize his howl too, and that's why they answer him. I listened in amazement. I've never heard anything like it, but it made me want to try my own howl out...maybe on the next full moon!