Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 24

1

2

1

4 WEEKS OLD (the day after
arrival at the park the previous
evening)
Ela was relaxed, even on her first
full day at the park.

2

6 WEEKS OLD
Ahuli, Unalii, Ela and Takoda
watch people outside the pen,
having already learned their
difference from "parent" people.

3

7 WEEKS OLD
Ela gives a stump a good chew.

B

3

ack in 2014 and 2015, I had
a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Well, twice if you
count both years of "puppy
parenting."
And not ordinary puppies.
These were gray wolves-a
species that once roamed wild over our
continent, but which disappeared from
our area hundreds of years ago with the
influx of human settlers.
These wolf puppies had been purchased from an authorized facility in
northern Minnesota and driven some
1,000 miles down to Tennessee. Specifically, to Bays Mountain Park in King-

24

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

sport, a nature preserve, and the largest
city-owned park in Tennessee, spanning 3,600 acres that include a 44-acre
lake.
The park is currently home to eight
gray wolves. My lucky experience was
to be a volunteer "puppy parent" helping socialize and care for seven of those
eight wolves; 2014 brought us four puppies and 2015 brought three more (the
eighth came to the park with the 2007
litter). These wolves are ambassadors of
their species and help educate visitors
to the park about the myths and realities of gray wolves.
It was an incredible thing to become


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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover4
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