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Put the Endangered Wolf Center Your St Louis Itinerary Now!
My brother has always loved wolves. Well, I’ve always loved wolves too. But, while I grew up collecting hippo (yep, that’s my favorite animal!) stuffed animals and figurines, he grew up collecting wolves. Wolves are such magnificent animals – so powerful, stealthy and just plain mesmerizing. Who would not want to see these wonderful creatures up close? I’m convinced you have no soul if the answer is no so I will just assume you would want to. The concern with visiting any kind of animal related tour, activity and center is whether or not it is, indeed, good for conservation and how the animals are treated. Looks can always be deceiving when it comes to animal attractions. I learned a great deal about elephants, for instance, and how they are treated in order to perform circus acts on my trip to the Surin Project in Thailand. The point is that it is always smart to do heavy research for visiting an animal attraction. Knowledge is most definitely key when it comes to this!
When my brother moved to St Louis last year to attend graduate school, my mom and I decided to take a little road trip last fall and visit him for about 4 days. When I was coming up with ideas of what to do, he mentioned the Endangered Wolf Center he had heard about and asked if he wanted to go. Anything to do with animals, I immediately want to do. I just love them so much. But, I love them enough that I now do research beforehand. It’s not worth seeing any animal if its for an unworthy cause.
You must make reservations, in advance, online to attend one of the EWC’s tours. When you pull up to the gate, someone opens it immediately and then we were asked our name – which was on a list. Maybe the only time in my life that my name has been ‘on a list.’ Okay, maybe not, but it’s always cool regardless.
You wait in your car – which are in a single line – until everyone from that particular tour are present. We were the last ones because of course, we were. You then follow down the tour guide in their vehicle (or golf cart? I can’t remember). Your tour guide first takes you in the classroom and they spend a good 30-45 minutes educating you on the different types of wolves there are, their past history and present status in the wild and about the different ways they are striving to preserve and protect the wolves.
After this, they take you on a walking tour of the complex where the wolves are housed. You get to stop at each species while the guide is giving you a run down on all sorts of information. EWC is not the most glamorous place – you’re not visiting a zoo where every animal has a fancy space to live in. All of EWC’s money goes purely to their efforts – not making the place shiny and new. I can really appreciate this. The tour not terribly long – maybe 2 hours total for the whole thing.
Why Visiting the Endangered Wolf Center Should Be on Your St Louis Itinerary
- Despite being over 40 years old, the EWC is a well-kept secret even amongst locals. You really wouldn’t even know it is there – there is no elaborate sign at the entrance. I always enjoy visiting off the beaten path attractions.
- The Endangered Wolf Center has been the birthplace of approximately 40 percent of the Mexican wolves born in captivity – that’s a pretty impressive statistic.
- While animal sanctuaries can be amazing, they are mainly for animals that can not be safely returned to the wild. EWC tries to keep the wolves as primal as possible for future release. The large natural enclosures help these animals to be less stressed in captivity, and help them maintain wild behaviors.
- Learn all about specific breeds, their history and how the EWC is working towards their future. Learn more info here on their site as well.
- While we did the basic Endangered PredaTour, there are lots of different options including but not limited to boy and girl scout programs, overnight campouts, photography tours, keeper for a day programs and more. Lots of ways to interact and learn!
- The EWC helped recover the Mexican gray wolf population from 9 wolves to 235 in managed care and over 75 in the wild.
There are so many more amazing things that the Endangered Wolf Center has accomplished but I’d rather you learn about them in person!
Have you visited the Endangered Wolf Center? What other animal centers do you like?
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