Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue in Brookville, Indiana is a rescue and educational center for wolves. They currently have 40 wolves on the premises and a couple of foxes as well.
In the wild, wolves typically live 4 to 6 years, but the wolves at Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue live 12 to 14 years. The adult male wolf tends to weigh between 75 and 120 pounds, while the females weigh between 60 and 95 pounds.
The Center opens its gates to the general public on Saturdays and Sundays at which time visitors can view the wolves from an observational deck that winds above the habitats of several wolf packs.
For those who desire a more intimate visit with the wolves, Kathy (the Center’s director) or one of her trained volunteers can take you into one of the habitats with a wolf pack. We had the privilege of spending time with a family of four gorgeous wolves that were cousins: Arrow, Athena, Tokori, and Zonta.
It is extremely important to remember that these are wild animals, not pets. A healthy amount of respect is essential when engaging with any wild animal. In the case of wolves, it is also helpful to understand their natural hierarchy based on dominance. This social hierarchy maintains order in a pack of wolves, dictating decision-making, order of eating, and even who mates with whom. The alpha male and alpha female will often engage in dominance behavior over the omega male and omega female to reinforce the social hierarchy.
In the pack we visited, Tokori was the Alpha female and Athena was the omega female. Athena enjoyed a bit of shade under a large metal drum or rested upon her throne disguised as a metal bench, unless Tokori decided to display dominance in which case Athena quickly assumed a submissive position.
Interestingly, the other two cousin wolves in this pack, Arrow and Zonta, would seemingly only accept these displays of dominance and submission up to a point. When Tokori became a bit too rough with Athena or the display of dominance continued for an extended period of time, Arrow and Zonta would move in nearer without directly challenging Tokori’s alpha position. This tended to bring the display of dominance to an end temporarily. It was as if they were saying, “Alright cousin, we get it. You are the Alpha.”
Two rustic cabins are available on the premises for those interested in being lulled to sleep by a symphony of howls. The hauntingly beautiful melody begins with one wolf’s voice raised to the stars, but is quickly joined in striking harmonies across various packs of wolves.
Contrary to popular myths that wolves only howl during the full moon, wolves actually howl quite often during both the day and evening. It is a common method of communication for wolves.