Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wolf Park

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 wolf in the above photo is Eclipse. Eclipse doesn't "play well with others," and lives alone in her own pen.

The park's two coyotes were alert and lively, though.

This is Twister, the male coyote.

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.

The park's photographer is on the right in the above picture. The other gentleman is a park staffer.


The park feeds the wolves with roadkill deer for the most part. This wolf retrieved part of a carcass and brought it back to tease the other wolves. He would drop it right in front of one of the others, as if he was challenging them to try to take it from him.

Sometimes, one or more of the wolves would pose on top of this large log.

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.

The sunset as we were leaving Wolf Park.

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.


  1. Thanks.I enjoyed these pictures and video.These animals are beautiful.

  2. They ARE beautiful, Ruth. We were a little disappointed in the howling, but it was really a treat to get to see them so close. We'd like to go back in the winter, when they're in their full winter coats.

  3. I loved that video, Linda.. Listening to the wolves and the coyotes was neat... What a neat place you all visited... Thanks for sharing.

  4. Neat! I loved the wolf park when we went too. The chain link is kind of a pain for pictures, but you did a pretty good job. I couldn't figure out how to focus on the wolves, not the fence! They had photography tours where they would open up the fence and try and "pose" the wolves with meat. Cost a lot though. Hope you had a nice anniversary.

  5. What a wonderful place to visit, they're beautiful creatures ... the two sky pictures took my breath away!

  6. Amazing sky you captured! This park looks like a place we would enjoy, too. Beautiful animals, aren't they?

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Betsy. The video wasn't the best quality, but it did show some of the action. I think we'll probably visit here again.

    Elizabeth - It was your June visit to the wolf park in your area that got our juices flowing to finally visit the one in our state. In a few of my pictures, the chain link fence almost disappeared. But I didn't seem able to focus that well each time. Our Wolf Park also has photography sessions. They cost $195, but you actually go in with the wolves. I'm tempted. :)

    Deborah - They ARE beautiful and interesting animals. I'm glad you enjoyed those sky pictures. The cross was unique and the sunset glorious.

    Thanks, Deb. It was a fun experience. You should look online for a wolf park closer to where you live. If you go, we'll be expecting a report on your blog. :)

  8. What a great experience! Poor Eclipse. I know just how he feels.

    Great shots at the end!

  9. Don't feel too sorry for Eclipse, Bossy Betty. Watching the politics at work in the main pack, I think Eclipse got the better end of the deal. :)

  10. Even if none of the wildlife chimed in, I think the human howling was very entertaining. I think I could pick you two out of the "pack". This really was very interesting. Sounds like you felt it was worth the trip.

  11. Your camera serves you well. I love listening to the coyotes howl at night. Good picures! Thanks for the tour.

  12. Sandra - I agree that the humans really took to the howling. It must have intimidated the wolves because their response was lackluster at best. Yes, I it was a good trip and one that we'll probably do again some day.

    GQ - Thanks. I've been pretty pleased with this camera. We enjoy coyote howling, too; but we'd never heard a wolf howl before this trip. It has a more haunting quality to it.

  13. What a bunch of beautiful creatures. And intelligent too.. the way they got all those humans to start howling. ;)

  14. Hilary - I think you're right about the intelligence of the wolves and how they've trained the humans to howl. If I had your camera and your talent, I'd be paying the $195 for one of those photography seminars, where you can go right in with the wolves. I know you would come out with some astounding pictures.


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