Wolfhound

wolfhoundAs public demands for nature programs increased and we discovered better ways to transport wolves the Ambassador Wolf Program evolved. By focusing on keeping the wolves content while on the road we discovered that the wolves became excited to travel. For the few wolves unafraid of humans and traveling, it became obvious to audiences across the country that these animals were actually enjoying their job. This thrilled audiences and in return the wolves quickly learned how to work the audience. The excitement this offered to communities brought the wolves of Mission:Wolf in contact with over a million people in just a few years.

Today the wolf program continues to receive more requests than we can handle. Much of our success at offering such an effective program is due to the “Wolfhound” - our name for a renovated Greyhound Bus that now carries Ambassador wolves. On September 14th, 2001, we took out a loan and purchased a retired 1986 Marine Corp. bus. In a fast paced three weeks we renovated it, loaded up Ambassador Wolf Rami and the Educational team and set out on our fall tour to New England. Now Rami’s legacy lives on and our current Ambassador wolves continue to travel the country in the converted “Wolfhound.”

The wolf bus is currently running wonderfully thanks to the efforts of Dennis Weber, many diesel shops across the country, countless volunteers, and the Omega Foundation. From a business view the bus is a huge liability to operate. In an attempt to keep the program rolling we have incurred more than $30,000 of debt. We know that the success of wolf recovery will not be achieved from a business view and accept this financial burden. Mission:Wolf is grateful for any and all donations in support of wolf education.

To Travel with a Wolf 
The Ambassador wolf program of Mission:Wolf has spent many years connecting people with nature through a personal experience with the piercing yellow eyes of a wolf. Although traveling with a wolf is not what I planned to do, I have found it to be the most worthwhile use of my time I can imagine. The challenges and sacrifices are overwhelming but so are the rewards.

When I started traveling with ambassador wolves there were less than 800 wild wolves in Minnesota and it was feared they would not survive. Today there are over 4000 wild wolves living in twelve states! To be an active part of wilderness enhancement and witness a nationwide change toward wildlife is truly a privilege.

Ironically the single motivator in the creation of M:W is to provide captive-born wolves a remote sanctuary in an isolated spot away from humans. The product of this has been some of the calmest and most social wolves who are often stimulated by human interaction more than they fear it. I have often stated that "as long as a wolf is willing to travel, a suitable vehicle is available, and the public is interested, I will continue the Ambassador Wolf program." I may live to regret that statement.

Today, program requests are more like demands. The Ambassador wolves drag us to the bus with excitement for new adventures, and the vehicles, as clunky as they may be, continue to do their job. With years of wolf transportation experience we have learned what works and what hurts. A calm wolf comfortable with traveling inspires audiences as they display their curiosity and relaxed nature. Wolves stressed from traveling are often more reserved, shy or nervous in front of audiences and may cause the audience to feel uncomfortable.

With nearly a million miles logged traveling with wolves I have tried virtually every method of transportation imaginable, including a pickup with a shell, a custom built trailer, a full size van conversion, a modified motor home, a renovated school bus and more recently a customized coach bus. Sparing all the details of what works and what hurts we have found the space, quietness, smooth ride and security offered by a full size bus assures the arrival of relaxed wolves at each location.

From other views ( Driver and Mechanic) it is one of the more obnoxious, difficult and expensive responsibilities encountered in this wolf adventure. Although it may be a burden to a few people, from a wolf's perspective it is a by far the best way to travel.

We are in need of sponsors interested in supporting wildlife education that will help us replace our wolf bus