One of my colleges brought to my attention a newspaper clipping about guy who brought a live wolf to the library in the town next to us for a children’s program the other day. There was a photo and blurb in the local paper, and the photo showed a guy with a wolf on a leash sitting between his feet.
I will put aside the fact that the wolf in the photo looked more like a skinny husky than a wild wolf for the moment, to say this… after going to the website for his organization to find more info out about them (and I won't name the individual or his organizaion until I have spoken with them directly), I am quite upset about the message they are sending. I'm not out to bash his organization, because I'm sure that they have great information intheir programs and I'm all for wolf education - we need more of it, not less! And I do plan to either attend one of their programs, or talk with them by phone to pose my questions.
But what are you REALLY saying when you bring a ‘wild’ animal into a public setting that has been “raised by us at home”… ? Even if they say to their audiences that wolves shouldn’t be kept as pets, they are giving a double message (do as I say, not as I do). Right on their website is information about pups they are raising and socializing with opportunities for the public to (by paying) go camping and ‘play with the pups’. There’s a fine line when working with wildlife for educational purposes, and I think these folks have crossed it.