Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mt. Kisco Childcare Makes a Trip to the Wolf Conservatory in South Salem

The Mt. Kisco Childcare After School program took a trip on Wednesday to the Wolf Conservatory Center in South Salem, and six year old Adrianna was not hesitant to let her affections known despite fables such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. “They are so cute, soft and fuzzy,” she said. But unfortunately the human race has long chosen to believe fairy tales rather than trying to understand the wolf, and we have nearly pushed the species to extinction as a result.

America once home to 250,000 wolves, the number dwindled to 500 by 1970 as fear won out. “People thought wolves wanted to eat us,” Teddy shared what he learned.
But the truth historically cowers like a wolf pup in the face of his alpha’s stern tail.  “Wolves are afraid of us,” said Joseph B as he actually witnessed Alawa keeping his distance behind the chained linked fence that cordons off 20 acre sanctuary.
The myth dispensed for the kids, the reality of disappearing wolves began to clue humans in on the important role the canines play in the ecosystem. For instance, the hunting and killing of wolves in Yellowstone National Park caused the elk population to explode and decimated the plant life as herbivores had free reign to feed.
In turn, smaller animals moved on as their food supply disappeared.
The early 70s finally had the park realizing their mistake and introducing wolves back in brought Yellowstone back to its original splendor. “The park healed itself,” said Spencer the conservatory guide.
Taking the information in, Joe C had an idea of his own to bring the wolf back nationwide. “We can speak to everyone, and tell them not to hurt wolves,” said the third grader.
But if he could speak wolf, he has a pretty good idea what they might say after the poor way we’ve treated them. “We give you a lot of love so why don’t you give some back,” he pretended.
So as might be expected, the humans failed in their attempts to open a dialogue – the wolves mostly ignoring the chorus of human howls. “They knew we were people, and we couldn’t fool them,” Camilla said of the three wolves who made a quiet appearance before the kids.
25 more making the conservatory their home, being fruitful and multiplying doesn’t have the population growing exponentially, according to Spencer.  “When pups are born, some are taken from the litter and are introduced in the wild in North Carolina,” he says. “This works pretty well to get them acclimated to nature.”
Those left behind get three squares a week, which usually comes from all the dead dear found on the local highways. The hunting part no longer part of family dinner, the hierarchical structure still exists to divvy up the meal. “An alpha male and an alpha female head up the packs and act like a mom and dad, while older siblings also look after the young,” said Spencer.
As such, Grace R could see herself in the alpha mom role. “I would be strict and nice because some puppies need love and some need discipline – just like kids,” said the 8 year old.
Victoria M wasn’t sure about all that, but she knew what she would do if she was a wolf. “I’d howl at the moon,” said the first grader.

No harm in that – a lesson the rest of us need to learn when it comes to wolves.

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