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Archive for maaliskuu 2012

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary revisited

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I had the opportunity to revisit a place called Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, located in New Mexico, United States, where I did some volunteer work seven years ago. They were seven long years, but once I stepped through the gates into the sanctuary, it felt like I had left there yesterday. While the place has grown and is much improved, the spirit felt exactly the same. This is a small photo journal of my visit. Now bear in mind that all of the animals pictured have been rescued, the place is not a zoo for captured wild animals. Typically these animals have been kept as pets until the short-sighted owner has for whatever reason come to the realization he or she can’t handle them or does not have enough resources to keep them. You can find out more about the place and the animals at the website: www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org.

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Located in the high desert of New Mexico, the Sancturary looks like it might be a hideout for some local militia.

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The first one to greet the guests is Romeo the fox, rescued from a zoo which was closing its doors and planning to euthanize all its animals.

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This is his dwelling.

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Among the other small canines at the sanctuary are the New Guinea singing dogs, presumably the rarest dogs in the world. There are altogether around 600 living in captivity in the United States and according to reports none have been seen in years in their native New Guinea but apparently their singing has been heard there still.

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I didn’t hear them sing, but these two boys were the most playful characters. They shared their enclosure with a female, but she was much too cautios to approach.

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Here’s Ray, a volunteer caretaker, with one of the arctic wolves. Now she used to work at a similar sanctuary for tigers, so perhaps wolves are an easy task for her. Among the tigers she worked with were two rescued from the estate of Michael Jackson.

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Here’s George, the general manager of WSWS, taking two guests from the Netherlands to meet Jaeger, a high-content wolf-dog who essentially looks like a timberwolf. He would not come closer however, suspicious of people as they are.

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Now some wolves are not that suspicious, at least not of people they know. Here’s Leyton Cougar, the director and soul of the sanctuary, playing with Dakota, a cross between arctic wolf and timberwolf.

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”May I have this dance?”, ask Dakota from staff member Rory.

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”Sure!”, he replies, and off they go.

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Also Leyton gets his turn. Now Leyton is over 1,9 meters tall, so this is a fairly big animal courting him.

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After all the dancing this boy is just pure happiness.

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Next day we go back and now it’s my turn to dance. Photo: Rory

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But someone had buried his or her food somewhere in the enclosure, so it suddenly becomes very important for everyone to find the ”loaf”, as it is called. Note: all the other 3 wolves in this enclosure kept their distance, only Dakota was dancing with us.

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Found it! Feeling happy and important.

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So we went to see Contessa and Zoerro, both high-content wolf-dogs. The old lady Contessa is on the left.

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Contessa wanted to own me and would not let her much younger companion come near me.

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She would have kept on playing. Now they told me Contessa was much less active until they brought in the young buck Zoerro, 9 years her junior. So even though they are both fixed, perhaps there’s some wisdom in the current phenomenon ’older women with younger men’.

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I leave you with this funny picture of one of the dogs at the sanctuary (there are some dogs there also, either owned by staff or volunteers or then rescued and waiting to be adopted). Even though it is still not too hot at this time of year (in fact this morning it was snowing) this clever dog has deviced a way to cool off by standing in the water bucket. Wonder how the two other dogs in his enclosure feel about this? Photo: Ray

Photos: Unless otherwise mentioned: all photos with me in them by Leyton Cougar, all other photos by me.

Written by Ossi Eskola

09.03.2012 at 05:48

Kategoria(t): Uncategorized