Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Big Run Wolf Ranch

Today we visited a really amazing, hidden little gem in the south suburbs...No, that's not Bill Clinton, that's John Basile, owner of Big Run Wolf Ranch. Here he is with a hedgehog. I would say "cute", but I remember the damage one of these critters did at our old house...
This skunk, however, was adorable~
A friendly coyote~
Without homeschooling, Mary would never have gotten to go on such a cool field trip at 18 months~
Here come the big dogs, er, wolves. So beautiful~
John is known in the wolf world for having really clean lines of different breeds of wolves. They all were really beautiful. We need to watch one of my favorite movies, "Never Cry Wolf". I remember watching it with my dad :)

Here's Kuma - she ate girl scout cookies out of the hand of one of the children(!)~

Wolf pups!

Sammy - waiting eagerly for a turn to feed the baby~
This one is full, but he'll do for a quick cuddle~
Finally! I'm pretty sure this is the first time Sam has ever touched a baby bottle~
They wean them from their mamas pretty early, so they will get used to being handled by humans (for zoos and such). Sad for them, but without these breeding programs, many of these wolves would be extinct.
I think this is Little Odin~
Charlie the cougar, another great film~

There were some other interesting animals, like this chicken~
And these ducklings~
We learned a lot about all the animals, but the wolves were fascinating. What's really astounding is this place is nestled right in the middle of a McMansion subdivision in Lockport! Some house's backdoors were literally a couple of hundred yards from the wolf enclosure. Of course, the wolves were there first (ain't that always the case?), but still - it's odd to see. John said the wolves serenade the neighbors every night, and because they're wild animals, they are not violating any nuisance laws :) Imagine hearing the howls right outside your bedroom window. Even knowing they're behind bars, I think it still might send a chill down one's spine. The weather was perfect and we had a really good time. Despite the distance, we hope to visit again soon!
"...it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him." ~from Jack London's Call of the Wild


Anonymous said...

so cool! they are visiting our library this weekend. i hope they bring the bear....

bunky said...

His name is JOHN, not Mike...and this is a very cool place! Become a volunteer!