Saturday, August 27
This was part of our “Grandchildren’s Week”, but the Saturday of that week – in the middle of August – and the next Saturday did not suit us.
On Saturdays and Sundays the sanctuary is open to the public. At other times you must make appointments – and it can be difficult to get an appointment.
We arrived at 9:15 and were the third car in line – waiting for the gates to open. They open at 9:30 and close at 10:00. That is the only tour time of the day.
Our first task was to pay our entrance fee and get an arm band.
The grandchildren who went with me were Gloria, Ian, Jared, and Jesse. This is a favorite thing for them to do during our grandchildren week.
It is nice that this popular tourist attraction is only a few miles from our house.
The guides know each wolf and who is the alpha and omega in each pen.
The alpha always eats first and the omega wolf eats last. The beta wolves in the middle of the hierarchy may have a variety of ranks in the pack.
I learned that the omega wolf plays an important role in the pack because they help keep peace and are often the ones that do the discipline to the young ones.
This is the large pack. Most packs in this sanctuary have only two or three wolves.
There are a total of 46 wolves in the sanctuary.
This is mostly a rescue sanctuary, so it can be difficult to add a new wolf to a pack. At other times a new pack member is welcome.
The nice thing about being with the first tour group is that the wolves were hungry and eager for food.
There are about 30 people in a group and there were probably 5 or 6 groups. They were expecting about 200 people.
I thought she mentioned that two wolves died since we were there last year, but the children thought she mentioned three. They have a few wolves that are 15 or 16 years old.
When the alpha wolf in this pack died, they spent almost a year determining who was the alpha. There were three vying for the title.
I think this was the pack where the female won the competition. It is usually the scrappiest not the biggest or strongest. There are some who have no desire to be the alpha.
Their fur was pretty this time because they are finished shedding. Last year we went earlier, when they were in the middle of shedding, which make them look a bit ratty.
Some are full wolves others are part dog.
Each pack is fenced inside double fencing. Only the tour guide gets close to the wolves.
This one – from the big back – followed us down the path from the hillside.
It pleases me that our grandchildren enjoy this kind of a day. This was Gloria’s first visit. She said she wants to go back again sometime.