Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wolf Conservation Center Extends Education to Mexico, Lobo to Follow



Oh the places Atka takes us! Road trips are not uncommon for the Wolf Conservation Center’s education crew. In 2013 the WCC traveled with Ambassador wolf Atka to over 130 schools, museums, libraries, and more allowing the WCC to extend its mission far beyond the Center’s gates in South Salem, NY. Sometimes, however, Atka is unable to join the WCC's adventures in education - especially when passports are required!

Earlier this week, WCC's Maggie Howell and Spencer Wilhelm had the pleasure of  introducing the critically endangered lobo to some wonderful fourth graders at the Gardner School in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Although the children knew of wolves from movies and storybooks, they were unaware of the history of the lobo, the lobo's vital role in keeping ecosystems healthy, and the bi-national efforts to recover this most genetically distinct gray wolf species. While telling the story of a Mexican gray wolf breeding pair F838 and M806, the WCC team learned that that wolf pup photos evoke smiles universally, and no matter where one calls home, most  nine-year-olds think romance is gross...

The children had really great questions about the natural challenges Mexican wolves face on the wild landscape and the three wild lobos that currently call Mexico home. They were especially excited to learn about Mexican wolf M1141. The lucky lobo was born at the WCC in 2008 and is slated for release into the wilds of northern Mexico any time now! The WCC team made the children promise to get in touch if they ever hear his howl - they'll be sure to recognize him by his New York accent... The children proved to be natural howlers themselves and taught the WCC a thing or two as well. Did you know that in Mexico the movie "Twilight" is called "Crepúsculo?" Makes sense!

Working for wolves is always a wild adventure, and doesn't necessarily have to involve working with wolves. Opening the minds and hearts of children through education is the most rewarding adventure, it's a valuable investment in improved human stewardship of our World.

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