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My wife and I decided to surprise my brother for his birthday with a trip to the sanctuary as we both absolutely love wolves. We walked in with the expectation of just seeing them from afar but to our surprise we had tons of interactions...More
Today me;my wife, and my daughter went to the Wolf Sanctuary in Lucerne Valley California. At my full time job; I go through regular backgrounds, FBI Backgrounds, and DHS Backgrounds every 3 years.(I'm only Mentioning this because I'm giving you an Honest, Straight forward Review...More
Absolutely and extraordinarily one of a kind experience! This non-profit organization has dedicated everything to educating and allowing people to experience these beautiful, at-risk animals. I learned so much and our guide Ne-Ne was an absolute gem. The wolves are so beautiful and ethereal and...More
Beautiful wolves, so misunderstood by many but not here and making a difference to create understanding to those who will listen to save these amazing animals from leaving this earth and never replaced
Such amazing beautiful creatures. Wonderful friendly tour guides and offer an excellent photo opportunity. You may take your camera, but no bags and no hoodies. Recommended that you not wear perfume or scented lotion.
This place is taken care of by incredible people who love being there to take care of these amazing animals. It is such an awesome and spiritual experience, just learning and being able to love on these beautiful animals.
A must see and visit for any animal lover. Mama Little Wolf treats everyone like family and introduces you to her wolf family. I can not recommend this place enough!!! My husband takes me whenever he can and I spend the day in the company...More
Our son loves wolves and asked to visit the sanctuary. I had no expectations, and for 25 dollars a person we were willing to take the chance. I can honestly say it was an educational and fun learning experience. We had a tour scheduled on...More
Hi, I don't normally give reviews on trip advisor but I did for this place (it was actually the first time I ever gave a review). As a biologist who has studied animals and animal behavior all over the world, I was very very... More
Hi, I don't normally give reviews on trip advisor but I did for this place (it was actually the first time I ever gave a review). As a biologist who has studied animals and animal behavior all over the world, I was very very depressed and disheartened to see the conditions these animals live in at this place and I would never recommend a visit to anyone who actually cares about the species. The majority of people on my tour loved it because they got to cuddle with a wolf, but this place is absolutely detrimental to the human perception of these beautiful wild creatures and will 100% make more people want to go buy a wolf as a pet...which is not a good idea. I am just going to copy and paste my review here. I had high hopes for this place but cannot in good conscious ever tell someone they should visit. It is the complete wrong location (CA desert) to even have such a place with these animals (some of which were previously wild Alaskan wolves).
Zero care for wolf conservation-
Wolves are absolutely stunning and beautiful animals. I learned that when I was lucky enough to spend a month studying them in Yellowstone National Park as part of a college summer field course. As a biologist and someone who has studied animal behavior and conservation at various sites around the world, I was looking forward to seeing wolves and hearing the conservation and educational messages that Wolf Mountain Sanctuary imparts on their visitors. That is NOT what happened. Where to even start…
Tour and lack of educational message:
The one hour ‘tour’ consists of having visitors interact with the wolves and take selfies. At least half of the tour was spent with the surly and unenthusiastic ‘tour guide’ taking photos of people taking turns sitting and cuddling with a wolf that was brought out to sit on a table. There was no guidance about how you should behave around a wolf and give them some space, and when we went into the enclosures the visitors all mobbed the animals to get good photos. While I understand that many of these wolves (and wolf-dog hybrids) are former pets and used to human interaction, the concept that wolves are WILD animals and you should NEVER have a wolf as a pet was not a part of the tour. Kissing and cuddling a wolf was encouraged and I would guess the majority of the visitors went home thinking they might want to adopt a wolf. While I understand that humans LOVE this kind of thing and WANT to cuddle with a wolf and having a personal connection to a species and interactions with an animal can (if done correctly) lead to a long term desire to want to donate to conservation of a species… the message was never imparted that these wolves are unfortunately in this situation due to very misguided people thinking they make good pets. Wolves are NOT dogs. Dogs have been domesticated for around 15,000 years and are very different from wolves. Even if a wolf has grown up in captivity it is still a wild animal. Even if it is a third generation captive wolf, it is still a wild animal. When I asked if they had any relationship with conservation or research taking place on wild wolves my guide simply said No. They have an enthusiastic audience of people who clearly care and have driven a long way to learn about wolves. It is the perfect place to teach the public about the complex problems wolves face in the wild, human-wildlife conflict, legislation that can favor hunters and ranchers, and the reasons that wolves should never be pets. Educational lessons that were not mentioned. They claim “Our mission is to save the wolves.” What this place actually does is the opposite of that statement and completely detrimental to long term wolf conservation. I will say our guide mentioned one of the wild wolves was there because his entire pack was killed in Alaska as a result of Sarah Palin and her policies. That was the one thing I could get behind, though there was no further explanation.
The enclosures are too small and some (not all) have cement floors. The closest thing to a den is a plastic igloo or a crude wooden dog house. There is little to no enrichment for the animals. Some are singly housed, which I understand can be necessary due to the complex social structure of wolves. They are located in the desert where in the summer it gets to be over 100 degrees. Some of the wolves had been wild wolves from Alaska. I am still at a loss for why a sanctuary for wolves would ever be set up in the desert in the first place.
While I appreciate they are working on a very limited budget, it does not take extra money to use their platform to educate their visitors about wolves. Any animal sanctuary that encourages interaction with animals over observing and education, is not thinking about the well being of the animals. Most people were quite happy with the tour as they got to cuddle with a wolf, but as someone who cares about the long-term conservation of wolves, I was very upset with what I saw. I have never written a trip advisor review, but I felt like for this…I had to.
Response from MittaBear | Reviewed this property |
You get to spend about 20 minutes with two different wolves. It was very nice and pictures were taken. This location is very remote and smaller than what I expected. Kind of made me sad that they are in the desert without... More
You get to spend about 20 minutes with two different wolves. It was very nice and pictures were taken. This location is very remote and smaller than what I expected. Kind of made me sad that they are in the desert without any wooded area. I enjoyed it but would choose another place if possible.
Your guesstimate is accurate. The amount of time spent on the tour was about 2-3 hours including time in the gift shop.
Call in advance though to be sure they have a time slot open for the day you plan to visit.