The woman who plans activities at my local library is always on the hunt for something interesting to bring to our rural community. They have a drum circle, a writing club, occasional live performances and all sorts of artsy activities. This is where I tried my hand at Pysanky, the art of decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs.
On Saturday, the library hosted a Wolf Ambassador from the Ohio Canid Center. This organization works with animals that come from working ambassador lines. That means they are not a rescue organization and do not take in wild animals. Her wolves are specifically bred to interact with humans and help people understand their species.
For the program, owner operator Rachel brings a slideshow and a wolf. This time, we met 13 year old Lucian, the organization’s first ambassador animal. He is semi-retired but was still a pro with our room full of adults and kids.
While I believe that every living creature (even the ugly spider) is an important part of the ecosystem, I knew precious little about wolves other than that they are more or less considered vermin in ranch dominant states. They are being slaughtered with abandon in Wyoming since being removed from the endangered species list in 2021.
It’s definitely a polarizing topic but for our purposes here, I’ll just tell you that having a reasonably intimate look at this animal was pretty special.
His eyes are soulful and stunning. He seemed quite shy, looking for a place to hide and sometimes nuzzling against Rachel’s leg like a toddler afraid to meet someone new. She explained that their instinct is to hide or run. This was illustrated by the occasional cry of a child or chatter among the audience that would cause him to prance or seek a hiding place. He badly wanted to hide behind the curtain.
Wolves are carnivores and, in the wild, are hunters. They are opportunists who tend to seek out the small and the sick rather than the strongest and healthiest of their prey.
They don’t grow to be as large as most people believe. She said, at 86 pounds, Lucian is of average size for a male.
The center also has a coyote and a red fox. You can book private sessions with an animal including a walk with a wolf similar to the one I encountered in Colorado. She also does photography sessions. I’m scheming to do something because I was dying to touch Lucian.
While Rachel said she commonly does library programs and similar events, it’s too stressful for the animals to be close to or touched by a lot of people so she has a strict no touching rule for these larger events.
It was a good program with a nice overview of their personalities and behavior. If you ever have the opportunity to attend an event like this, I recommend it!
If you’re interested in knowing more, visit their website to see the animals and even book a session.