Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lakota Wolf Preserve

Way up near the Delaware Water Gap in Columbia, NJ, there are wolves to visit. I met Tony at the Lakota Wolf Preserve yesterday for a look around through Nikon (me) and Canon (him) glass. Through two layers of chain-link fence, we managed to get some great photos of these beautiful animals.

After registering at the little store, we were driven up to the Wolf Preserve in a bus over "unimproved roads." Dan Bacon, a co-owner of the preserve, gave a long interesting talk about the tundra, timber and arctic wolves while tossing them dog cookies. Dan insists that the wolves are harmless to humans and demonstrated their friendliness by scratching their chins through the fence. There are four fenced-in areas, each with its own resident wolf family. Each group has its own alpha. Alphas are determined while the wolves are just pups. There are no auditions; they just know. These wolves eat nothing but venison (and dog cookies), and this would explain why there is little roadkill on Warren County streets and highways.
I was dumbstruck by The Howl. Over twenty wolves all around us howling at the same time: just imagine it!
After a generous wolf talk and lots of photos, we went to see the bobcats. They look like big housecats. This is what their former owners thought until the cats matured and displayed their wild tendencies (and fragrance). Their owners are allowed into their front yard because they usually carrying food. In this shot, the food is turkey franks, but this is only a part of their diet (don't ask).
The red foxes also eat turkey franks plus lots of fruit. I didn't know that red foxes aren't always red, but the white tip of their tails identifies them as this variety. Neither of the two red foxes at Lakota are actually red: one is blonde and the other black with white. This is Sierra, the blonde girl, with a beat-up basketball.

1 comment:

Brian Johnstone said...

We went here a couple years ago. I love when they all howl!