The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


October 20, 2012

Wolf Mountain Nature Center grows from one man's dream


Fortunately, other people contribute their time, money, construction machinery and other assets to the center. Two outstanding, long-term volunteers are Pam Mennis and Cary Davis, Pryor said. Mennis does chores around the center regularly. Davis, a local contractor, brings his construction equipment with him when he helps out on Wolf Mountain for a day; a new, 9.5-acre wolf enclosure is under construction, a project that may take several years to complete.

A lot of people pitch in on occasion and there exists a need for many more volunteers to do so. As far as donations are concerned, Pryor would especially like to receive one item: a walk-in freezer. Such a gift would enable the center to safely store donated meat, slashing the food bill. Wolves are not exclusively carnivores, though. The pack at Wolf Mountain browse raspberries from the brambles within their enclosure and gathered expectantly for a treat of apples.

Some contributors help by adopting animals and paying their living expenses at the center. Those adopted

animals remain on Wolf Mountain, though. The adopting humans get to see the adopted ones from about four feet away, but do not get to handle them and certainly don’t get to take them home. To allow unlicensed people to come within biting range of wolves would be irresponsible and quite dangerous. 

Pryor tries to convince people who think that wolves, like dogs, can be domesticated, that the contrary is true. He handles wolves when that is called for. Volunteers do not.

He said that wolves who have lived among people are more dangerous than those who have been wild all their lives, without human contact. That is because wolves who grow accustomed to humans lose their fear of them and can turn aggressive. He also warns against returning wolves to the wild unless there is sufficient space.

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