International Wolf Center

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The International Wolf Center is a research and educational organization based in Ely, Minnesota, United States, that, in its own words, "advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future."[1] The Wolf Center operates an interpretive center in Ely open to the public, where visitors can view captive "ambassador wolves" in natural surroundings through large windows, and can learn about wolves through a variety of exhibits and programs.[2] It also sponsors research symposia[3] and offsite educational programs,[4] publishes International Wolf magazine, and provides information about wolves via its website at

In response to wolf controversies, the Wolf Center does not take a stand on how wolves should be managed (such as by hunting or trapping), as long as healthy wolf populations are maintained.[3] Its policy is to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information possible about wolves and let people make their own decisions.[1]

Exhibits and activities

Founded in 1985 by a group of biologists led by wolf biologist Dr. L. David Mech, the International Wolf Center opened in June 1993. The Wolf Center is housed in a 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) facility in Ely, Minnesota and features gray wolves viewable through large windows that allow visitors to watch the ambassador wolves communicate, play, hunt and eat.

Visitors have the opportunity to look into a 1.25-acre (5,100 m2) enclosure and den site that is home for the resident wolves which currently features four Northwestern wolves, Aidan, Denali, Boltz and Luna. The Center introduces new Ambassador wolf pups every four years - with Boltz and Luna joining the ambassador Pack in 2012.[5] In addition to the main enclosure, the Center also has a separate enclosure that contains "retired" wolves. The retired wolf enclosure currently houses Grizzer, a Great Plains wolf.

IWC Building

In addition to the onsite ambassador wolves, the Center offers a variety of educational programs at its Ely interpretive facility as well as wolf hot spots in northern Minnesota and across North America. Afternoon, weekend and week-long programs include howling trips, radio tracking, snowshoe treks, family activities, dog sledding, videos, presentations, demonstrations and hikes.

The Center also houses an award-winning museum-quality Wolves and Humans exhibit, the Little Wolf exhibit designed specifically for children ages three to nine, a theater for watching engaging presentations on the history and behavior of wolves, and the Wolf Den Store.

International Wolf magazine is published quarterly by the International Wolf Center. The publication is free to members of the International Wolf Center, and select articles from each issue are available online.

To help accomplish its mission, the International Wolf Center provides a comprehensive support program for educators, including Distance Learning opportunities as part of the "Wolf Link" initiative that brings the Center into hundreds of classrooms each year. The Center has sponsored a video game called WolfQuest, which has been developed by the Minnesota Zoo. WolfQuest is an educational computer game that is meant to teach children and teens about the life of a wild wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Two episodes have been released thus far; WolfQuest: Amethyst Mountain, and WolfQuest: Slough Creek.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "About Us: Mission, Vision, and Values". International Wolf Center. 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Manisero, Stef (2015-09-16). "International Wolf Center Seeks Financial Help From State". Duluth, Minnesota: Fox 21 KQDS-TV. Retrieved 2016-01-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Myers, John (2013-10-10). "International Wolf Center Draws Global Wolf Experts to Minnesota". Duluth, Minnesota: Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved 2016-01-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Ward, Whitney L. (2015-02-12). "Events For Kids in Southwest Florida". The News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. Retrieved 2016-01-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Meet the Ambassador Wolves!". International Wolf Center.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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