Going, Going, Gone – Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center
Gray wolves are a species native to Colorado. In the 1800s they freely roamed their home territory, but unfortunately they were exterminated by 1945 in Colorado. The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Centers’ mission is to change not only the public’s perception of wolves, but also their very future.
For many, wolves are a touchy subject. Ranchers across the west have long viewed them as a threat to livestock and livelihood. CWWC CEO Darlene Kobobel explains that misinformation has significantly contributed to the wolves’ fate. For example, respiratory disease poses a bigger danger to cattle populations than wolves do. In addition, fear was instilled in our minds through stories and Hollywood portraying the wolf as evil. She contends that ranchers who embrace the potential opportunities afforded by wolf tourism could turn their perceived enemy into an economic boom. Look at what the return of the wolf did to Yellowstone when they were reintroduced in 1973. Not only did the landscape dramatically improve, but the boost in tourism exploded with visitors who to this day flock to observe the wolves.
It is unfortunate that this iconic species is still being threatened and persecuted. Historically, wolves were in numbers to almost half a million and today the Gray wolf has dwindled to around 5,000 left. Some subspecies of the Gray are listed critically endangered. The Mexican Gray hovers around 100 and the Red wolf at 35 left in the wild.
Plan to visit the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center where you can not only see and learn about these misunderstood incredible animals, but learn how to be a voice for them.
The Center is located approximately 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs in the small mountain town of Divide. CWWC keeps elite company as the only AZA sanctuary in Colorado. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is the gold standard of care for animals. Through conservation, education, and science, it is the goal to promote and secure preservation for wildlife and our environment.
In addition to providing a lifelong home for the animals in its care, CWWC offers guests the opportunity to interact with some of the wolves and fox residents. The Center is home for the Gray, Arctic, and endangered Mexican Gray wolves as well as 2 species of fox and coyote. The Center also has a rehabilitation and release program of small native wildlife. Visitors can experience the animals through standard, interactive, feeding and meet and greet tours.
The Center is open Tuesday thru Sunday year round. (Reservations required) On the 1 hour standard tour, you will go with a highly trained guide where you will see the animals and learn about them as well as the wild wolf and how critical they are to both the natural world and the human world. At the end of the tour you are surrounded by wolves and coyote and as a good bye you and your group will do a signature “wolf howl”. You will then be graced with an unforgettable experience of the wolves talking back to you.