It was a light and bright Manhattan morning when we grabbed the keys to our rented Impala sped away from the city. We drove up the Joe DiMaggio highway and took the George Washington bridge. That’s right, the Joe DiMaggio highway. I know. Jersey formed around us and then took it’s place in our rear view mirror as the countryside swept into view.
We were headed toward Lakota Wolf Preserve, a natural wolf preserve in Colombia. We arrived at Camp Taylor and boarded the bus to head further up the mountain. There were only ten of us on the wolf walk that day but I learned that on weekends and busy days there can be up to sixty attendees for the wolf walk.
The wolf watch tour was led by owners Jim Stein and Becky Mace who raise and care for the Wolves, Bobcats and Foxes at Lakota Wolf Preserve. We learned all about the Wolves’; their social habits, eating habits and the way they are around the human folk. Did you know there has never, ever, been a Wolf > human attack recorded on the continent of North America? Neither did I.
Also, when we arrived at Camp Taylor I went to the bathroom and on the stall doors was this:
It’s just so… perfect, isn’t it? It’s so camp-style I nearly squealed. When I left the rest room I rushed over to show The Designer the photograph and he said he saw the same in the men’s and wanted to take a photo but others were… present. Awkward.
This girl here in white is Khaleesi. Isn’t she something?
Becky joined the group towards the end of Jim’s educational talk about the wolves and Jim asked her to call out to them. He said they really respond to their mama. We didn’t really know what he meant until she began to loudly call out the wolves’ names. Each responded as they heard their names called by throwing back their heads and letting out howls as loud and as long as a white winter’s night.
And see these guys? We met some gorgeous Bobcats and Foxes that also reside at the Preserve. These Bobcats were originally owned by someone in the suburbs who learned how wild Bobcats can really be… and cheeky too… so they ended up being rescued and bought to the Wolf Preserve. And they seem pretty happy to be there. The foxes were a treat to see, especially with them being so much bigger than the foxes I have seen back home here in Australia. One was so cheeky, he was climbing up and down Becky while she was right there talking to us and she said she sported his paw prints on her clothing daily!
Experiencing Lakota Wolf Preserve, and in particular hearing those howls, was the experience of a lifetime for us. We spent the rest of the day marveling at how great it was to have seen and heard these beautiful animals. One day I would just love to be able to go back and take advantage of the Wolf Photography sessions that the Preserve also runs.
I would recommend a visit to the Wolf Preserve to anyone, we had an absolute ball!