Its 4:30 AM in Iceland, and here I lay: a victim to jet lag. Poor me! I’m snuggled into my bed while winds and rain howl around my van; I would rather be asleep. Since I’m not, I might as well spend my time productively. And so, it’s blog post time!
About four miles from the main road in Julian, CA is the California Wolf Center. The Wolf Center aims to reintroduce wolves into their natural habitat. Tours are available Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults, and $15 for seniors, students, and children younger than 12. The only difference between the two tour types are the prices, dates, and the amount of people allowed at one time on a tour.
I went on a tour a few weeks ago with Dave and two of my closest friends. The tour starts with a PowerPoint presentation… umm, I didn’t know people still made those! The presentation is an explanation of what the facility does and why. There were videos, interactive questions, and the skulls of wolves and a coyote. So great. Then, we headed out to see the WoLvEs! (can you sense my excitement?!)
There are two types of wolves at this facility. The Mexican gray wolf and the California wolf. The Mexican gray wolf is much smaller than the Californian wolf, but both types are “yuuuge”.
Wolves are wild animals, and the facility attempts to keep them this way. They don’t feed the wolves by hand, and you cannot touch the wolves. Your experience at the facility is completely dependent on how the pack is feeling that day.
The Wolf Center’s natural approach is a refreshing change from the “animal sanctuaries” that allow you to hold, feed, and take a photo with carnivorous predators. But I won’t get on a soap box about that today.
The California wolf pack (12 strong) wanted nothing to do with us, preferring to lounge in the sun.
The Mexican gray wolves (2 in this pack), however, came up right up to the fence! The pair marked their territory and kept wary eyes on us. They walked past our group three times, and ended up laying down in the shade close by.
As the ranger told us, each tour is different, and sometimes the wolves are feeling more playful, sometimes they are hard to spot at all!
One thing I did learn during this experience, is that taking nice pictures of wolves, behind a fence, is extremely difficult. Someone send me better photos!
Overall, this was a neat-o experience, and something interesting to do during a visit to San Diego. Plus, there is killer pie in Julian.
Have you ever been to another sanctuary? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Keep your ear out for more stories.
-Half Heard Stories