TENINO, WASH. - Wolf Haven International, located just outside of Tenino, is a nonprofit that provides sanctuary for captive-born, displaced wolves.
"It's a place of peace," said Director of Communications Kim Young. "It's a place where the wolves are given the opportunity to be who they are."
Since it opened in 1982, it has rescued more than 200 captive-born wolves. At any given time, there are around 50-60 animals in residence. The wolves are brought to Wolf Haven from all over the country, and each one has a story. Like London, who was raised to be in movies. When he didn't take well to training, he was left without a home.
"He ended up here, but he was very timid, very shy. He didn't have didn't have a lot of confidence, and his tail would be tucked between his legs," added Young.
But now he's thriving at his new home, thanks to help from staff, and a special friend.
"Because they're so social, we give them a companion," said Young. "When you see him with his companion, Lexi, he's so proud. His tale's up in the air; he's a different wolf. They nuzzle each other, and they play together. It just makes you happy. It makes you happy for them."
Wolf Haven is also involved in two Species Survival Plan programs for endangered Mexican gray wolves and red wolves. Both breeds have been successfully bred at Wolf Haven, and some have been released back into the wild.
Visitors to the sanctuary can expect a unique experience since Wolf Haven's philosophy is very hands off. The wolves are given space, and visitors are asked to not entice the wolves to come to the edge of their enclosures or make loud sounds.
"We walk a fine line between being the best home we can be for an animal that typically is very weary of humans, and still allow it to be a learning experience for those who take the time to come out here."
Visitors will not only be exposed to different breeds of wolves, but other wildlife like coyotes, butterflies, and birds. There's also a self-guided nature trail through the sanctuary's Mima Mound Prairie, which is full of native wildflowers.
Through all the experiences the sanctuary has to offer, Wolf Haven hopes its visitors can walk away feeling like they've been fully immersed in nature.
The sanctuary is open for tours Friday through Monday. Scheduling a tour time is necessary before you visit, as Wolf Haven likes to maintain small groups, so the tours do not disturb the wolves.
Adults – $12/ Senior (62+) / Active Military / Student – $10
Youth (4-12) – $7 / Child (3 & under) – Free
Friday, Saturday & Monday visits are scheduled at 10:00; 11:30; 1:00; 2:30
Sunday visits are scheduled: 11:30; 1:00; 2:30
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