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For a spine-tingling experience the kids won't soon forget, take in a wolf howl. The Wolf Park, twenty minutes north of Lafayette, Indiana, is operated by the non-profit North American Wildlife Park Foundation, dedicated to public education about wolves. Considered one of the most extensive wolf research facilities in the world, the park was founded in 1972, by German native Dr. Erich Klinghammer, a zoo consultant and expert on dog and wolf behavior.
Although you can visit during the day to get a closer look at these often misunderstood creatures, many feel the best time to visit is in the evening. Full moon or not, the howls are held every Friday night from May 1st to November 30th.
After a short discussion on wolf communication, visitors are invited to do a little howling themselves, in hopes of getting their lupine kin to answer back. It's a sure bet visions of werewolves will dance though your head. In addition to 20 wolves, the park also has a small herd of bison and two coyotes.
The Wolf Park is the only known facility where wolves are temporarily placed in an enclosure with a small herd of American bison. Park researchers and visitors observe the way in which wolves test the bison for possible weakness and see how the bison defend themselves. The wolves are not permitted the injure the bison.
All the animals at the facility are lovingly cared for and although their behavior patterns and territorial patterns are studied extensively, no harm whatsoever is done to any of the wild creatures at the Wolf Park.
Besides the weekly howls, the park offers other unique programs such as Adopt-A-Wolf, which enables wolf lovers to make contributions to the maintenance of the wolves. Individual sponsors as well as clubs and school groups are currently supporting the wolves. Educators often find class sponsorship of a wolf an effective means of promoting interest in conserving our nation's valuable wildlife. Sponsors receive photos periodically of their special wolf, along with a life history and updates on the important events in its life.
In addition, the park operates five-day wolf behavior seminars several times each year. You can learn everything you always wanted to know about these noble, spirited creatures, through lectures, films, and hands-on experience. You'll come away knowing more about wolves than anyone on your block.
The on-going and future welfare of wolves in the wild is at the heart of all the activities at the Wolf Park. For more information call: (317) 567-2265.