Colorado Wolf Center -Overview

This is the full name of the facility:

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It is a 50-acre sanctuary located near the little town of Divide, Colorado, about 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs.  I had driven out here when I was in the area about a month ago but had just missed the start of a tour and didn’t want to wait around for the next one.  It was also quite hot that day and the few enclosures I could see from the parking lot appeared to be empty, as the animals were either down by the fenceline near the tour group (getting fed treats) or resting in the shade.  It was relatively cool today and the animals seemed to be much more active.

This facility is intended to provide a safe place for the animals and educate the public on their habits and efforts to preserve them.  Several types of wolves are endangered and this facility also helps rehabilitate animals which may have been injured or, in the case of wolf-dog hybrids which some people try to keep as pets, have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

There are several types of animals here, mostly wolves but also foxes and coyotes.  They have red foxes, swift foxes (I tried twice but never saw any of them), timber (or gray) wolves, arctic wolves, endangered Mexican gray wolves, and coyotes.  The only type of wolf they don’t have here is the endangered red wolf.

Here are the ordering rules for the various animals:

Wolves – Males are classed as Alpha, Beta or Omega with Alpha’s as the leaders of the pack.  Alpha Males and Alpha Females are the only ones to breed.  Betas and Omegas serve lesser roles within the pack.  Females are also classed as Alpha, Beta or Omega, and are sometimes referred to as a She-Wolf.  Young wolves are called Pups or Whelps.  A group of wolves is called a Pack or Route.

Foxes – This is a little more complicated.  Males are called Dogs, Tods or Reynards.  Females are called Vixens.  Young foxes are called Kits, Cubs or Pups.  A group of foxes is called a Skulk, Leash or Earth.

Coyotes are simple – Males are called Dogs.  Females are called Bitches. Young coyotes are called Pups.  A group of coyotes is called a Band.

A coyote’s howl contains “yips” and is a fairly high pitch.  A wolf’s howl is deeper and more “mournful”.

Wolves average 50-100 pounds.  Coyotes are smaller, averaging 25-45 pounds.

Timber wolves are found lots of places, but mainly the upper Great Lakes, the Pacific Northwest, and in Alaska (in the US).  Arctic wolves are found in Alaska (in the US).  Red wolves are now found only in North Carolina and are on the “Critically Endangered” list.  Mexican Gray wolves are now found only in Arizona and New Mexico (in the US) and are also on the “Critically Endangered” list, though they are thought to be making a slight comeback.  I saw signs various places in those two states advising people how to behave if they encountered them, and to report any action that needed to be taken against them in the event of any contact or very close encounters.