Wolf Sanctuary in Texas Gives an Up-Close Look at Rescue Wolves

Today, we’re gonna go outside,
to the town of Montgomery to visit some animals that
were once very plentiful in Texas, but have since
become extinct in the wild. So we’re heading into the
woods to learn just who on the crew is afraid
of the big, bad wolf, and are wolves even big
and bad to begin with? Well, here’s Christie Guidry of the Saint Francis
Wolf Sanctuary to tell us more about this
often misunderstood animal. – So at Saint Francis Wolf
Sanctuary, we actually rescue wolves and wolf-dog mixes from
private ownership situations where people attempted
to make them house pets, and very rarely
does that work out. – Blame it on movies and TV that romanticize wolf
ownership, but in truth, what starts as a
cute, dog-like puppy, soon turns into a
100-plus-pound apex predator. They’re expecting dog
behavior out of these animals, and when that wolf
behavior kind of pops out, they don’t know what to do. – Ah, and that’s
when they call you and say, “Please, take my wolf.” – We get three to five
requests every week to rescue these animals. It’s a real problem. – According to tradition,
Saint Francis tamed a wild wolf that was
terrorizing a village, allowing the wolf and the
townsfolk to peacefully coexist, and in that same
tradition, this Sanctuary creates a safe place
for wolves and people to interact and learn
from one another. This is amazing. This guy’s like pure white. That reminds me of something
you would see in Alaska. – Yes, and he’s actually
part Arctic Wolf. He’s a wolf-dog mix,
he’s mostly wolf, but has a tiny splash of
dog in his recent heritage. – What’s a little bit of dog, like playing fetch or something? – He can actually bark,
which is something that most wolves can’t do. – Really, they just howl? I didn’t know that. Despite the cages, they
do operate as one pack. Now, each wolf is different
and has different feelings about us humans. This is Raja. – Hello, baby, he’s
a little timid. You’re okay. (howling) – Whoa, I don’t know
if he didn’t like me or he didn’t like you,
but that was intense. – Is it the hat? Can we put it down,
and that’s okay. – We’ll put it
down, that’s okay. – Good boy, it’s okay. – I think he didn’t
like the hat, seriously. – And you never know what it is. – There we go, yeah,
it was you, man, sorry. – What? – Yeah, wolves don’t
like you, Richie. (howling) – Yup. The wolf decides
if it trusts you long before you’re within
it’s immediate territory. It sees you and smells you. Can wolves smell
fear, is that true? – I don’t know if
that’s necessarily true. Wolves sort of mirror
whatever emotions that you put out, so if you’re
nice and calm and centered, they’re gonna be nice and
calm and centered back. – Remember, wolves
will be wolves, and
we must respect that. Just a little warning
sign before you step into the enclosures. Do not put fingers
though the fencing. Wolves are wild animals
and make express themselves by using their teeth. (chomping) But some do seem to like us. This is Meko. – And she’s just an
incredible animal. We can actually go in and
meet them if you’d like. – Wait, you’re talking about
go into the wolf enclosure. – Game? – Yeah! – She just asked
you if you’re game. (laughter) – Now, I don’t think I
wanna be game for a wolf, so I’d better follow the rules. Stepping into these habitats is part of the VIP
tour experience, and
man, it’s intense. – Oh my goodness, say hello! – Oh, Meko, look at this. Now, Tayla, ooh, she’s
coming to say hi to you, man. I mean, I know they’re
just so beautiful, and it’s so tempting to
fall in love with them. It’s much better to come
to a place like this and appreciate them. – Yes. – Then to try to make
them a part of your life, ’cause these are
just wild animals. – They can become tolerant
and habituated to people, but you should never
think they are tame or domesticated.
– Domesticated, yup. And so, wolves need
their own safe place, just like Saint Francis, where
they can be safely cared for and respected, and we can
safely learn about them. Such incredible work.

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