WOLF AWARENESS WEEK SPOTLIGHT
October 22, 2010
Shattering the misconception of wolves
National Wolf Awareness Week October 17-23rd(FOX Providence) – Over time, wolves have kind got a bad reputation and you may not know it but October 17-23rd is National Wolf Week.
Kent Weber and Tracy Brooks are currently on the Ambassador Wolf Tour. They are trying to break the negative stereotype that wolves have endured for so many years.
Kent and Tracy brought some of their furry friends to the Rhode Show to help us get to know a little bit more about the animals.
Kent and Tracy are Mission Wolf located in Colorado. They have an excellent Ambassador Wolf Program and are currently traveling around the country teaching people along the way about wolves, and the many issues they face. They have five wolves along for the ride, of course Magpie and Abraham, and three six month old pups. Fa may just be my favorite. She is a beautiful 70 lb black wolf and full of energy. I love looking deep into her eyes as she goes face to face. Expect lots of licking from Fa…she is so much what a wolf in the wild acts like in her pack. When Tracy, Kent, Magpie and Abraham left the pups on the bus there is no doubt in my mind that it was Fa that started the howling. They miss their family. Family ties are so strong among a wolf pack in the wild, and it is no different in these wolves. The bonds they form are very strong.
The night before Mission Wolf was at the University of Rhode Island and I gladly accepted Adam Markey’s invitation to be part of the Program. Adam is the President of the URI Wildlife Society Chapter. They do a great job and I am looking forward to be working with them as we network Wildlife Society Chapters across the country. Education is the key and what better place to start when protecting wolves and other wildlife, along with our precious open habitat. During the presentation Kent pointed out what an important impact the wolf makes on the ecosystem, as documented in Yellowstone. He describes this Trophic Cascade, which with the wolf in the mix as the apex predator once again, the aspen and cottonwood trees are growing tall again as the elk are on the move, and not allowed to stand and eat the saplings down to nothing. With the elk on the move, and the return of beavers, the rivers and tributaries are running deeper , there are less coyote and more rabbits and voles resulting in more food for predators. Even the songbirds have returned, and so has the fox and others. So much wildlife, even the grizzly and black bears benefit greatly by the return of the wolves.
It was amazing to interact with the wolves up close , and an experience I will never forget. Patrick Little of the Rhode Show even got a greeting from Abraham and the very gracious staff at the Rhode Show anxiously took the opportunity to interact with the wolves on the Mission Wolf bus. Special thanks to the Rhode Show’s producer Rebecca Johnson for bringing us on board to dispel the many myths about wolves, and have a chance to speak for them. Rebecca will be the first to tell you how touching it is to meet a wolf face to face, and they’re not such a big bad wolf after all!