August World of Wolves – Nine Mexican pups and how they grow!

Mexican wolf pup at second health check.

Mexican wolf pup at second health check.

Last week our animal care staff caught up all nine Mexican wolf pups, who were born to F1422 (Vida) and M1360 (Kochi) this spring, for their second health check.

July World of Wolves – Mexican pups get first health check

Six-week old Mexican wolf pup.

Six-week old Mexican wolf pup at first health check.

Mexican wolf parents M1360 (Kochi) and F1422 (Vida) had a litter of nine pups at Wolf Haven on April 30.

Surprise wolf pup at McCleery Ranch

Unexpected McCleery wolf pup

by Wendy Spencer,  Director of Operations, Wolf Haven International

We have some unexpected news to share from our McCleery Ranch in Montana.

One of the biggest challenges here at McCleery Ranch has been managing the aggression between the females in two large family groups As a reminder, we care for 34 wolves here and though several are in pairs,  there are two large family groups and both have multiple reproductively viable females,  who are far more prone to aggression during breeding season than males. Although at this time we have no plans to breed the McCleery wolves, they all still remain intact, which poses a definite challenge.

Wolves are seasonal breeders (winter), so prior to breeding season we made the decision to remove some of the females from the largest group which consisted of ten females and four males. In January, we were able to chemically immobilize via a remote drug delivery system (dart gun) four of the females from that group and move them to the one vacant enclosure that we had on site, reducing that group to six females and four males. And while there was still some aggression between them, it was much more reduced than what we saw our first year here.

Four members of a McCleery Ranch group.

Four members of a McCleery Ranch group.

During the breeding season, we were able to separate one of the family groups into same sex groups, but even though aggression levels were reduced, we were concerned about sealing all six females in a single enclosure (they currently have access to two enclosures with a corridor that connects them so they are able to move back and forth).  Based on their history and given the fact that when we did semen collection the year before the males had no viable sperm, we made the decision to leave the group together.

Surprise! Turns out one of the males was still reproductively viable – because we ended up with one little female pup. As a sanctuary, breeding does not align with our philosophy (with the exception of our participation in Mexican and red wolf Species Survival Plan programs {SSP}). Wolf Haven takes precautions to make sure that we are not intentionally breeding more wolves to spend their lives in captivity (where, of course, wolves do not belong). However, the pup is here, and we will do whatever we can to give her the best life possible, as we do with all our animals. She is about 8 weeks old now and the rest of the family dotes on her… she pretty much runs the show!

Meet Volunteer of the Quarter – Beth Barham

Beth Barham making loaf for the wolves

Beth Barham making loaf for the wolves.

by Cindy Irwin, Director of Education & Volunteer Services, Wolf Haven

What makes a team of volunteers successful? Some of the elements include:

·         Passion for the mission of Wolf Haven
·         A desire to work for people as well as animals
·         Versatility
·         A willingness to learn and share that knowledge respectfully

These qualities are exemplified by our volunteer of the quarter, Beth Barham. Beth is one our most busy volunteers, because she wears many hats. Not only does Beth help make loaves of meat for the wolves using yummy meats like tripe, heart, and kidneys, she also is a member of our cemetery clean up crew. Beth enjoys public interaction at educational events, and she assists me in the volunteer department. Whatever the task, Beth shows up with a smile and a gracious attitude.

Beth comes to us from California, where she and her husband raised 4 children. Now retired, Beth gets to fulfill her love of nature and animals by volunteering, hiking, and camping. Beth’s household includes three dogs, one cat, two birds, and a turtle! This busy gal also volunteers with foster children, giving back to our community in yet one more way.

I often think of our volunteer team as the engine and fuel that drive Wolf Haven.  Beth is an example of one of the vital parts of this engine, without which we could not continue as a sanctuary. We are all grateful for your work and energy Beth. We look forward to many years to come!  

Happy National Volunteer Week!

Cindy recognizes Wolf Haven volunteers at previous Volunteer Appreciation picnic.

Cindy recognizes Wolf Haven volunteers at previous Volunteer Appreciation picnic.

by Cindy Irwin, Director of Education and Volunteer Services

April 19-25, 2020 is National Volunteer Week. And Wolf Haven International would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU yet again to our wonderful volunteers.

Wolf Haven is so grateful for the talented and energetic volunteers who work with us for wolf conservation. So much progress has been made in recent years. Together, we have created a true sanctuary for both wolves and people. It is a joy to share a passion for animals and wildlife with all of you. Thanks for your work in the sanctuary, the classroom, with events, in the prairie, and the office. We could not imagine doing our important work without you!

Volunteer Rosina Newton & others getting food

Volunteer mtg

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead



Continuing Education during COVID-19

Zoom meeting with Girl Scout troop 44537 in Woodinville, WA

Zoom meeting with Girl Scout troop 44537 in Woodinville, WA.

Continuing Education during COVID-19

Faye Peebles, Education Coordinator, Wolf Haven International

While many of us are adjusting to what is becoming a new normal, some things remain the same -though they look a little different now. One of these is Girl Scout troop meetings. Here in Western Washington, Girl Scouts were given notice in early March to cancel all events including meetings.

Anyone who has been a part of any youth organization knows it is a big deal. The need for members of these groups to stay connected is extremely important, especially now, when everything looks vastly different than it did a month ago. I was able to witness this firsthand, through my computer camera.

Girl Scout troop 44537 in Woodinville, Washington is continuing to stay in contact with each other and using this time to work on their BRONZE award. They were scheduled to come to Wolf Haven this month, but as we are all aware, their plans were forced to change because of the health crisis. Instead of them coming to us, I went to them. Via modern technology from my own home office, I took them on a virtual tour of the sanctuary. After getting to see (virtually) the wolves on our public visitor route, the girls had questions and comments for me and each other. One 10-year-old was celebrating her birthday, which prompted a spontaneous, out-of-sync round of the Happy Birthday song. It was an unexpected and heartwarming virtual hug for all of us.

They also received packets and a video from me so they can work on their badges. I will see them again as the girls work through their project. While it doesn’t look the same, life as Girl Scouts, as humans, continues through the use of modern technology. Our virtual meeting brought a little bit of normalcy to my life and provided the girls a chance to learn about wolves while staying connected to their larger group.

If you are interested in a remote educational presentation, contact Faye Peebles at or leave a message at 360.264.4695 x220.

Faye Peebles with Girl Scout's Woman of Distinction award.

Faye Peebles being presented with Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction award.

Letter to the Community from Wolf Haven

These are difficult times. As we take all necessary precautions to be safe, our thoughts are with you, our friends and supporters. We hope each one of you is caring for yourself and your loved ones, and that all is well with you.  Read Letter.

A Midsummer’s Night 2020

Wolf Haven’s Summer Event – 2020 SOLD OUT

Our premiere summer event, A Midsummer’s Night, offers guests the opportunity to see wolves, hear them howl, learn their stories, eat delicious food, walk through native prairie, camp overnight – and repeat in the morning. Twenty guests have an incredible opportunity to engage in a deeper way with our organization and support our mission.

A Midsummer’s Night reflects the heart of what it means to be a sanctuary. As an accredited sanctuary, our philosophy is that the animals always come first. The resident animals of Wolf Haven are given every opportunity to behave as naturally as possible in a protective environment.  By keeping the group small, our guests can have a deeper, more intimate experience with our sanctuary, wolves, animal care staff and prairie – yet this will seem routine to our resident animals.

2020 Dates: All dates are now sold out.

All dates begin on Saturday night and conclude Sunday morning.

  • June 27 (adults only)
  • July 18
  • July 25
  • August 8
  • August 22 (adults only)


  • $100/person for adults
  • $90/person for youth ages 8-18  – Please note: this event is NOT intended for children

Included with admission:

  • dinner
  • an enrichment visit in the sanctuary with animal care staff
  • a prairie walk
  • overnight camping
  • a continental breakfast
  • morning sanctuary visit.

For more information, call 360.264.4695 x220 or email

Due to the limited number of admissions and the enormous popularity of the event, there will be NO refunds given for this event. ALL SALES ARE FINAL.



February 2020 World of Wolves – Gametes and Oocytes

A very important tool is the preservation of their gametes (reproductive cells) once the wolves have exceeded their prime reproductive years.

A Tale of Two Sanctuaries: Part One – Wolf Haven – Nisqually Valley News

The gray wolves are majestic and wary. They bask in the sunshine or sit among the trees, watching. They are kept in compatible pairs and have very little human interaction.