Why did you start Wolf People?
Nancy Taylor has lived with wolves for more than 20 years. Nancy started Wolf People in 1993 as a way to share her love of wolves with all people. The Wolf People logo, the paw in the palm, symbolizes the promise we made to our wolves to care for them and to help others understand the vital role wolves play in ecosystems around the world.
Where did you get your wolves?
We brought Wolf People’s first purebred timber wolves, King Cyrus and Cherish, here from Montana. A year later they were joined by Cochise. The pack’s arctic wolves come from northern Minnesota. The timber wolves and arctic wolves have mated and blessed us with timber/arctic “crosses” as we refer to them. Over the years we have taken in “foster wolves,” but most of the wolves in the pack today were born and raised right here at Wolf People.@
How many wolves are in the Wolf People pack?
Currently, the pack has 23 wolves. There are 11, including our cubs, who visit the Wolf People store. We usually bring 2 or 3 wolves with us to the visitor center and store each work day. They also accompany us when we go to schools and campground talks. The other 9 members are content to stay in their comfortable enclosures at the compound.
Are the Wolf People wolves wild?
While our wolves aren’t wild, they aren’t domesticated like house pets. They live outside in large enclosures 365 days a year. They enjoy regular feedings, and they receive the best veterinary care available to them.
Do you ever let them go back into the forest?
No. The Wolf People wolves spend their entire lives living comfortably in captivity. In programs where injured wolves are rescued and then allowed to rehabilitate, the wolves often have very limited direct contact with people during their stay. By contrast, our program affords people the opportunity to get very close, even touch and pet, our wolves. Many of the wolves in our pack have grown up around people and are accustomed to regular interaction with them.
How long do your wolves live?
Wolves live from 12 to 15 years. We have 5 wolves currently who are more than 10 years old and Cochise, who passed away in January of 2007, lived to be almost 16 years old.
What do you feed your wolves?
As adults, the Wolf People wolves eat a diet of raw meat and bone. We feed them 3 days each week; usually Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. At each feeding, each wolf receives about 15 pounds of a mix of turkey, chicken, lamb, and beef. Occasionally, we can substitute venison and bison. We buy most of the meat, but we also receive donations of trimmings from local meat processors.
How much do your wolves weigh?
Females weight 75 to 110 pounds and male wolves weigh 120 to 135 pounds. During summer, the wolves lose 10 to 15 pounds to help them cope with the Idaho heat.
Where are your wolves when they aren’t at the store?
The Wolf People habitat is close to the store in the mountains south of Lake Cocolalla. We have 10 large enclosures. Each is 5,000 square feet in size. The enclosures are fabricated from chain-link fencing. They’re 8 feet above ground level and 3 feet below it. Adjacent to the enclosures is an area we refer to as the Picture Pen. This enclosed 5-acre area is where we do all of the still photography and filming of the wolves. We also have a small cemetery on the grounds.