Wolves Visit the Olympic Peninsula

(04/15/1997) - Defenders of Wildlife invites the public to meet the Mission:Wolf ambassador wolves, Sila and Merlin, as they come to the Olympic Peninsula. The pair will impress the crowds on Monday, April 21 at 7:30 pm, in the Little Theater (Room J16) at the Peninsula College in Port Angeles and on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00 pm, in the Joseph F. Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. This is a fantastic opportunity to see majestic gray wolves up close and to hear about Defenders' campaign to restore these beautiful creatures to their natural habitat- the Olympic Mountain region. Admission is free.

The events follow the Olympic Wolf Conference scheduled for April 18 at the Olympic Park Institute in Port Angeles, Washington. The conference, co-sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife and Congressman Norm Dicks (WA 6th), will be a forum for discussion and for exploring the possibility of returning the wolf to its original home in the Olympics. Scientists, conservationists, and media from around the nation will gather to hear and learn about the possibility of restoring one of America's lost treasures to the Northwest.

Once common throughout the Olympics, the gray wolf was systematically eradicated from its original range by bounty hunters and government agencies. Missing from the Peninsula since the early 1930's, the wolf is now being protected under the Endangered Species Act. Based on preliminary examinations, the Olympic wilderness seems to meet all the requirements for wolf recovery, such as vast land area, low human population density, and adequate pray numbers in proposed reintroduction areas. Just as in the recent successful reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone made possible by Defenders of Wildlife, the Olympics' economic and ecological health can only benefit from the return of wolves, creating a win-win situation for all involved.

Sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, these Mission:Wolf events will provide viewers with the rare opportunity to see live gray wolves and to observe their dynamic interactions up close. The two wolves comprise the traveling pack: Sila, a silver/white colored six-year old gray wolf and Merlin, a playful black colored two-year old gray wolf. Together, they demonstrate the shy and reserved nature of wolves as well as the dignity and strength of the wilderness. This educational and enlightening program provides the chance to experience wonderment and respect for all things wild and free.



Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270