Why Visiting the Endangered Wolf Center Should Be on Your St Louis Itinerary

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Why Visiting the Endangered Wolf Center Should Be on Your St Louis Itinerary

WHY VISITING THE ENDANGERED WOLF CENTER SHOULD BE ON YOUR ST LOUIS ITINERARY

My brother has always loved wolves.  Well, I’ve always loved wolves too.  But, while I grew up collecting hippo (yep, that’s my favorite animal!) stuffed animals and figurines, he grew up collecting wolves.  Wolves are such magnificent animals – so powerful, stealthy and just plain mesmerizing.  Who would not want to see these wonderful creatures up close?  I’m convinced you have no soul if the answer is no so I will just assume you would want to.  The concern with visiting any kind of animal related tour, activity and center is whether or not it is, indeed, good for conservation and how the animals are treated.  Looks can always be deceiving when it comes to animal attractions.  I learned a great deal about elephants, for instance, and how they are treated in order to perform circus acts on my trip to the Surin Project in Thailand.  The point is that it is always smart to do heavy research for visiting an animal attraction.  Knowledge is most definitely key when it comes to this!

WHY VISITING THE ENDANGERED WOLF CENTER SHOULD BE ON YOUR ST LOUIS ITINERARY

When my brother moved to St Louis last year to attend graduate school, my mom and I decided to take a little road trip last fall and visit him for about 4 days.  When I was coming up with ideas of what to do, he mentioned the Endangered Wolf Center he had heard about and asked if he wanted to go.  Anything to do with animals, I immediately want to do.  I just love them so much.  But, I love them enough that I now do research beforehand.  It’s not worth seeing any animal if its for an unworthy cause.

You must make reservations, in advance, online to attend one of the EWC’s tours.  When you pull up to the gate, someone opens it immediately and then we were asked our name – which was on a list.  Maybe the only time in my life that my name has been ‘on a list.’  Okay, maybe not, but it’s always cool regardless.

You wait in your car – which are in a single line – until everyone from that particular tour are present.  We were the last ones because of course, we were.  You then follow down the tour guide in their vehicle (or golf cart?  I can’t remember).  Your tour guide first takes you in the classroom and they spend a good 30-45 minutes educating you on the different types of wolves there are, their past history and present status in the wild and about the different ways they are striving to preserve and protect the wolves.

After this, they take you on a walking tour of the complex where the wolves are housed.  You get to stop at each species while the guide is giving you a run down on all sorts of information.  EWC is not the most glamorous place – you’re not visiting a zoo where every animal has a fancy space to live in.  All of EWC’s money goes purely to their efforts – not making the place shiny and new.  I can really appreciate this.  The tour not terribly long – maybe 2 hours total for the whole thing.

Why Visiting the Endangered Wolf Center Should Be on Your St Louis Itinerary

  • Despite being over 40 years old, the EWC is a well-kept secret even amongst locals.  You really wouldn’t even know it is there – there is no elaborate sign at the entrance.  I always enjoy visiting off the beaten path attractions.
  • The Endangered Wolf Center has been the birthplace of approximately 40 percent of the Mexican wolves born in captivity – that’s a pretty impressive statistic.
  • While animal sanctuaries can be amazing, they are mainly for animals that can not be safely returned to the wild.  EWC tries to keep the wolves as primal as possible for future release.  The large natural enclosures help these animals to be less stressed in captivity, and help them maintain wild behaviors.
  • Learn all about specific breeds, their history and how the EWC is working towards their future.  Learn more info here on their site as well.
  • While we did the basic Endangered PredaTour, there are lots of different options including but not limited to boy and girl scout programs, overnight campouts, photography tours, keeper for a day programs and more.  Lots of ways to interact and learn!
  • The EWC helped recover the Mexican gray wolf population from 9 wolves to 235 in managed care and over 75 in the wild.

WHY VISITING THE ENDANGERED WOLF CENTER SHOULD BE ON YOUR ST LOUIS ITINERARY

There are so many more amazing things that the Endangered Wolf Center has accomplished but I’d rather you learn about them in person!

I’d love to learn about more responsible animal programs – what are some you have visited?

WHY VISITING THE ENDANGERED WOLF CENTER SHOULD BE ON YOUR ST LOUIS ITINERARY


Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

14 Comments

  1. Amanda - EatWorkTravel

    April 14, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    What an awesome way to learn more about the species while helping with the cause. Pretty amazing that they have been able to have such a positive impact on the population!

  2. The Adventure Ahead

    April 15, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Our little ones would love this – what a great way to learn about these awesome animals.

  3. Phoebe

    April 16, 2016 at 2:36 AM

    Sounds like an awesome place. There’s a wolf centre near where I live in the south of France running a successful breeding programme to release wolves back into the wild. I’ve been a couple of times and love seeing the animals. They are magnificent and a little spooky I find.

  4. Tanja (the Red phone box travels)

    April 16, 2016 at 4:02 AM

    great place!#weekend wanderlust

  5. Lyndall @ SeizeThe Day Project

    April 16, 2016 at 5:54 PM

    Wolves are such amazing creatures, and an iconic part of American heritage. It’s wonderful to see they are being looked after here. #WeekendWanderlust

  6. Amanda

    April 17, 2016 at 7:03 AM

    What a great idea and program! I’ve been hearing so much about St Louis lately – maybe it’s a sign that I need to visit :p Thanks for sharing!

  7. Boss Penguin

    April 17, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    The wolf remained pretty elusive on our tour of North America and we sadly did not see them in Yellowstone or Algonquin National Parks. Anything that is working towards ensuring that these animals remain with us is great and worth supporting. I’m glad to see you are pleased with their efforts, so many places use the words conservation or animal welfare yet do nothing to conserve or promote the well-being of their animals

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 21, 2016 at 6:03 AM

      Yes, it’s definitely worth supporting. So sad you didn’t see one on your tour. And, you’re correct, it’s hard to know which conservation efforts are worthy – in my opinion, this one definitely is.

  8. Bell | Wanderlust Marriage

    April 17, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    This looks like a great place to visit and learn about different species of wolf, I had no idea that there were endangered groups, so thank you for sharing and is we’re ever in the St Louis area, we’d love to check it out 🙂

  9. Connie Reed

    April 18, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    You’re right that the Endangered Wolf Center is a well-kept secret. I’ve been to and through St. Louis dozens of times and never new this place existed. It’s going on my list of places to visit.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 21, 2016 at 6:02 AM

      I hope it does! What they’re doing there is wonderful!

  10. Nancie Lee

    April 20, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    I’m from the St.Louis area and I’ve never been there. It sounds like a great visit. I’ll have to see if I can make a reservation the next time I go home to visit family. Thanks for sharing this great find!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 21, 2016 at 5:59 AM

      Nancie, I’m amazed at how well kept the secret is considering they’ve done so much. Not that it matters, but I was blown away with how many Facebook followers they have yet it’s still not that well-known in the area.

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