Why Wolves?

Alright since this is the last blog post I will try to give you a little back story on why I love wolves so much and what I do to protect them.

I am always asked where my love for wolves came from and to be honest I am not entirely sure.  However, I do remember the first time I saw a wild wolf was when I was 8 years old travelling through Denali National Park in Alaska.  I think this first encounter was when my true love for wolves began to develop.  It was this love that caused me to do a project in 6th grade on Wolves.  This project increased my overall  knowledge of wolves and caused me to visit my first wolf sanctuary, the California Wolf Center.  However, the most important thing this project did for me was open my eyes to the type of hardships that wolves face because of humans.  It was this experience that made me want to do something to help wolves for my Girl Scout Gold Award.  I realized that simply raising awareness was not going to be enough action for me and really wanted to do something that would have an impact, thus Google searched for wolf summer camps not expecting much.  However, to my surprise there was a summer program called The Road Less Traveled (yes inspired by Robert Frost’s poem) that had one trip named Call of the Wild.  It was a 17 day trip to Colorado where you would spend 9 days volunteering at Mission:Wolf, a wolf sanctuary.  I decided to go out of my comfort zone and try this once in a life time experience.  While on this trip I was able to greet wolves face to face, feed them daily, bury water pipes for the lower enclosures, move 200 tons of hay, fix fencing, and start the installation of fences for new enclosures.  However, this was not what had the greatest impact on me, rather it was hearing the stories of how some of the wolves and wolf-dog hybrids ended up at Mission:Wolf.  One of the hybrids, who actually lives with the founder of Mission:Wolf, was almost put down simply because he was part wolf and had bitten a human, only after being hit several times by a baseball bat shattering his back right hip.  Fortunately the nurses had formed a connection with him and were able to convince Mission:Wolf to adopt him.  Every wolf there has a back story and too many of them were about how someone had adopted a wolf thinking they could provide an adequate home for it only to find out that wolves are completely different animals from dogs.  It was these very stories that I wanted to share with more people and so decided to create signs for each of the wolves for my Gold Award.  I ended up going back the next summer on the same project and spent more than 80 hours in 9 days putting up signs for 48 wolves and wolf-dog hybrids.  Then when I came back I traveled to a couple of different schools and shared my experience.  Now I also donate to Mission:Wolf and Defenders of Wildlife every year because helping wolves is something that truly matters to me.

However, the action that I have taken is very small compared to what Mission:Wolf does every year to educate people about wolves.   They have a program called the Ambassador Program where they travel across the country visiting schools and other community centers with wolves to educate young kids and other people about some of the challenges that wolves face.  This is a prime example of activism because the founder of Mission:Wolf saw a problem and has spent the last 30 years trying to spread knowledge about it.  According to the book Spreadable Media those that work on “building stronger affiliations with a public that plays a much more active role in spreading their message” have an easier time spreading their message.  It is for this exact reason that Mission:Wolf travels the country.  Even Gloria Steinem believes that having face-to-face interaction allows for activists to form a deeper connection with their audience than through the page or screen.  Do you think this is an effective method of spreading your message?  How do you think Mission:Wolf can spread their message to more people?

Remember Education vs Extinction

CMor Signing Off!!!

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5 thoughts on “Why Wolves?

  1. I really liked reading about your history with helping wolves. I also liked the correlation that you made of Mission:Wolf’s traveling to the Spreadable Media chapter that we read about online media. I think that activism is very important and should be something that everyone is involved in in some manner.

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  2. I think it really depends on the type of people they are trying to reach. If they want to target people who will truly work or who will just spread the message. While spreading the message is important and a good start it doesn’t really help the wolves. So I think if awareness is their goal they should definitely try a social media campaign with the tour around the country.

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  3. This is a great post, especially because of your personal experiences with wolves! I definitely consider you an activist and an online activist. You are an activist because you volunteer with wolves and donate money. But you are also an online activist because you helped raise our awareness about wolves just because of your blog. I think that Mission: Wolf would spread their message more if they had more activists/online activists like you.

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  4. I do think Mission:Wolf is getting their name heard by traveling the country, but I do not think it reaches enough people. I think they should create videos or create an interest among people online. Wolves really do get a bad rep due to dumb people not knowing enough about wolves. It is a great cause that I would love to see take off someday.

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  5. Pingback: Final POW | writing in a digital age

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