Tribute to Diablo, a Mexican gray wolf

Diablo's final portrait, 2017

Diablo’s final portrait (Julie Lawrence for Wolf Haven International, 2017)

At 17, Diablo defied the odds- most wolves never live to see their 10th birthday let alone their 17th – so we knew that we were on borrowed time. We realized that eventually his age would catch up with him and the day would come when we would need to say goodbye. That day came on Sunday, June 25.

Until nearly the end, Diablo enjoyed good quality of life. He had some age-related challenges; he had become hard of hearing, his vision wasn’t as sharp and he had generalized stiffness and weakness. This was particularly pronounced in his back-end, especially if he laid in the same spot for a long time and then tried to get up. All things considered, though, he was as spry as a 17 year-old wolf could be.

Gypsy and Diablo

Gypsy and Diablo  photo taken by Julie Lawrence

Diablo was immediately identifiable because of the twin notches in his ears.  He was born at a zoo in Detroit, where it is believed that the notches were caused by sibling squabbles. Diablo came to live at Wolf Haven in 2004 when he was three years old.

A Mexican gray wolf, Diablo was a participant in a federally managed Species Survival Plan program designed to preserve the survival and health of this critically endangered subspecies of the gray wolf. His longstanding companion was Gypsy, a female Mexican wolf.  Because their enclosure was on the public visitor route, over the years hundreds of people were privileged to see the beauty and unique coloration of this rare breed. Beyond  this, though, visitors could bear witness to a bonded pair that carried themselves with dignity and grace.

Young Diablo (2004)

Young Diablo (2004) taken by Julie Lawrence

Diablo was a teacher to us in so many ways and he undoubtedly touched everyone who encountered him. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to care for him all these years but there is definitely a void in the sanctuary, not only for his longtime companion Gypsy, but for all of us.

Rest in peace sweet Diablo.

Lovingly written by Wendy Spencer and Kim Young
Wolf Haven

New! 2018 Wolf Photography Dates

Wolf Haven International invites you to participate in one of our popular wolf photography visits. Photo visits are held during colder months, when the wolves are wearing their winter coats and are more active. The program begins at 8:00 am with a continental breakfast and brief presentation. The group will take photographs in the wolf sanctuary from 9 am – noon.

ECOlógica Magazine Summer 2017

EcoLogica pg 9 – “Wolf Haven: a true sanctuary for wolves”

Driving south from Tacoma to Portland, just ten minutes out of exit 101 there is a very special place. A place different from anything you have heard of. A place full of peace and with some beautiful inhabitants: a wolf sanctuary surrounded by a blooming prairie.

Manejando hacia el sur, de Tacoma a Portland, a sólo diez minutos de la salida 101 hay un lugar muy especial. Un lugar
diferente a todo lo que hayas conocido. Un lugar lleno de paz y con unos habitantes hermosos: un santuario de lobos rodeado de una pradera floreciente.

Chemical Immobilization and Humane Handling Course

Are you a caretaker working with captive exotic or indigenous wildlife? Do you rescue and rehabilitate wildlife or work in a setting where veterinary care is performed? Are you interested in learning how to safely and humanely chemically immobilize the animals you care for? Do you want to provide wildlife care in a respectful and compassionate manner and learn best practices? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then Chemical Immobilization and Humane Handling is for you.

In the first of a series of courses focusing on compassionate wildlife care, Mark R. Johnson, DVM of Global Wildlife Resources (GWR), Wolf Haven International, The Wildcat Sanctuary, and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), are offering a unique 4-day course that will focus on compassionate chemical immobilization and humane handling of wildlife living in sanctuaries and other animal facilities. This course will focus on wild and exotic species from the canid and felid families; however, professionals working with all species are welcome and encouraged to register. You will gain practical skills and knowledge that you can immediately apply in your own facility.

This is one of the most extensive chemical immobilization courses in North America and includes a course notebook and daily labs, culminating in a hands-on lab with captive wolves. Participants will also receive a Certificate of Chemical Immobilization Training upon course completion.

Register / More Information:

FEES: $650 ($675 after October 1, 2017)

CONTACT:  Wendy Spencer, Sanctuary Director, 360.264.4695 x218.

READ MORE about GWR, The Wildcat Sanctuary, GFAS  and the Chemical Immobilization and Humane Handling course here.