When Doug and I took our little pre-anniversary trip last week, we included a visit to Wolf Park, near Battle Ground, Indiana. It's something we've talked about doing for several years now but just had never gotten around to it.
We went in the afternoon, for a walking tour of the park. I wasn't able to get the quality of photos that I had hoped because a chain link fence separated the humans from the wolves. Also, unfortunately, the wolves we saw on that walk were all napping in the mid-day heat.
The park's two coyotes were alert and lively, though.
The park also has two foxes, but they proved too elusive for me and my camera.
We went back in the evening for Howl Night. The evening started at the fox pen, with a brief presentation about foxes. Then we moved to the bleachers outside the seven acres where the main wolf pack lives. Park staffers spent some time educating us about the wolves. No wolves were in sight initially, but then we spotted a couple of them on the other side of the three-acre lake in their compound. They appeared to be making their way toward us. Soon, all five wolves in the main pack had gathered in front of us.
The park's photographer and one of the staffers went inside the compound with the wolves, and it was surprising to see how well the wolves received them. The staffers explained that, while the wolves are "socialized," they are not "domesticated." The socializing enables the staffers to interact with them and to provide medical care when needed, without drugging the animals or causing them undue stress. But the wolves remain wild and interact with each other in the pack much as their counterparts who live in the wild.
Following is a short video clip of the howling. The wolves in the main pack didn't really get into the howling, but I think I could hear some wolves from another area of the park. And the coyotes were getting pretty worked up.
You'll hear the humans begin the howling, trying to get the wolves to join in. But, if you listen closely, you'll hear some wolves, in addition to the coyotes.
And now for a few bonus photos:
We noticed this cross in the sky as we were sitting on the bleachers, waiting for Howl Night to begin.
I just liked the vintage look of this McDonald's restaurant. It was very up to date on the inside. though. And the food was good, too.