The Wolves Are Coming to Church

(11/08/1996) - Defenders of Wildlife invites the public to meet two special wolves, Sila and Merlin, who will visit New York City's famous Cathedral of St. John the Divine as ambassadors for their species next week. On Tuesday, November 12, 1996 at 6:30 pm, Sila and Merlin will be mingling with the public at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine located on Amsterdam Avenue at 113th Street. The cathedral is best known as the site for the blessing of animals, and the majestic gray wolves are serving as ambassadors for their species at a program exploring Defenders' campaign to restore these beautiful creatures to the habitat in the Adirondacks from which they were eliminated almost a century ago.

Once common from New England to Minnesota, the eastern timber wolf was systematically eradicated from its original range by bounty hunters in the 1800's. Missing from the Northeast since the turn of the century, the wolf is now being protected under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. Based on preliminary examinations, the Adirondack wilderness seems to meet all of the requirements for wolf recovery, such as heavy forestation and a low human population density. Just as in the recent successful reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone made possible by Defenders of Wildlife, the Adirondacks' ecological health can only benefit from the return of the wolves, creating a win-win situation for all involved.

Sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, the event will provide viewers with the rare opportunity to meet wolves and to observe their dynamic interactions up close. The two wolves comprise the traveling pack: Sila, a silver-colored six-year old gray wolf, and Merlin, a playful two-year old gray wolf.

This event at St. John the Divine is a predecessor to the Wolves of America conference scheduled for November 14-16 in Albany, NY. This conference, sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, is a forum for discussion and strategy on returning the wolf to its original home in the Adirondacks. Scientists, activists, 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 Northeast.



Ken Goldman, 202-682-9400

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