There are big differences between wolves and dogs and the Loki Clan Wolf Refuge will be at Maine Wildlife Park Saturday to explain what they are.

The Refuge, located on the Maine/New Hampshire border, provides a safe haven for wolf hybrid dogs so they can live out their lives like wild wolves rather than domesticated pets.

“There has been a trend to buy wolf hybrids but they are really hard to keep as pets,” said Lisa Kane, IFW natural sciences educator and supervisor of the Maine Wildlife Park. “They are often surrendered to a humane society or euthanized because people can’t handle them.”

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Loki Clan Wolf Refuge will host displays at the park that include wolf pelts, skulls, scat and lots of information about wolves and their unique personalities. No live animals will be present.

“Wolves are an expatriated species. They were eliminated in the state (primarily from hunting) but exist as populations elsewhere. They are considered an endangered species nationally,” said Kane, who hopes people will learn about wolves in case they do come back to Maine.

She explains that the wolf exhibits on Saturday will educate people about these animals and what their job is in the wild.

“We just want to educate people about wolves so others can learn what their jobs are in the wild,” Kane said. “Every animal has a job to do and wolves eat other animals. A lot of people don’t care for large animal predators that eat deer, moose and turkeys. But the wolves don’t do it to hurt other animals. They do it because it’s their job. We don’t hate robins because they eat worms.”

In addition to learning about wolves at the Wildlife Park on Saturday, visitors should check out the new small mammal exhibits that opened this season thanks to funding from Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park.

The raccoon, skunk, fisher, porcupine, opossum and woodchuck all have new homes in a more natural environment. These exhibits’ new invisible wire panels will allow visitors to view — and photograph — the animals more easily than through the old wire fencing. The new location will be called the Joe Jones Small Mammal Trail. A formal dedication ceremony in honor of Jones, a former Friends of the Maine Wildlife Park president, is planned for May 20.

Kane explained there are also some great new signs at the park. “We have a lot of new signage created by local artist Tom Merriam. He created really cool rustic carvings of a lot of the animals. The small mammal sign includes life-size carvings.”

Also new this year are self-guided audio tour stops. Visitors will find small blue signs around the park (locations are indicated on the park’s map) with a phone number to call to learn more about the exhibit. The audio tour includes a bit about the individual animal’s history, including where it came from and why it’s at the park, as well as the animal’s natural history and how IF&W is managing it’s population in the state.

 

Staff Writer Wendy Almeida can be contact at 822-4079 or at: [email protected]