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Close Encounters of the Wild Kind

 by Sara Barford  

(NB please see below for details of where to walk with wolves in 2003!)


Walking with Wolves

I had a dream, that dream came true and it could for you to. Have you ever wanted to walk with a wolf? Be so close to it that you can touch it? Well you can. As a member of the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, that dream can come true.

The Trust owns 7 wolves, let me introduce them.

4 North American Timber Wolves:  

Kodiak - The Alpha Male, Kenai - The Alpha Female, Drum & Dakota - both 4 year old females.

3 European Wolves:  

Alba - the male, and his 2 sisters Latea & Lunca - they are 2 years old and were born at the Trust

The aim of the Trust is to dispel the myths surrounding wolves. Come and meet these most magnificent of creatures, spend up to 2 hours (rain or shine) walking in woods local to Beenham with up to 5 of the wolves.

Before you actually meet them, you are given a brief introduction by either Roger Palmer or one of the Senior Handlers and advice is given regarding safety. The wolves are all hand reared and used to being among people but like any mischievous creature, they are always on the lookout for loose laces and any dangly bit that catches their eye. They are also very alert and quick, as well as very strong. Both their safety and yours is important and each wolf has 2 handlers.

Watch through the trees and here they come. They will walk among you to note the scents of the new members of their pack. Let them sniff your hand, they may even rub up against you. There is no need to be afraid.

Now they are ready to walk and you need to try and keep pace with them. Donít worry, they havenít lost anyone yet and there are stops to allow you to catch up. These are also good opportunities to take photos but you have to be quick because they donít usually keep still for long. And youíre off again. 

Can you stroke them? Yes but not in the same way as a dog. They are not dogs, they are wild animals which have been hand reared and are used to humans. They wonít run from you, the way a wild wolf would but they consider a hand on their head or back as a sign of dominance. This is acceptable from the handlers, they know them but you are a stranger, therefore you can tickle/rub their tummy or the inside of their back leg. They love this, it is reassuring.

As well as walking through trees, they walk round a small lake and sometimes the wolves go for a swim (which is one of the reasons the handlers usually wear wellingtons). However when they come out of the water, Stand Back, the water isnít of the most pleasant aroma at times and they do enjoy a good shack.

Two hours of walking with wolves, fussing over them and hopefully getting some good photos as well. Then back to the Trust centre, where you can enjoy refreshments, view and hopefully buy some of the merchandise they have for sale and see the wolves in their enclosures. If you are really lucky you may hear them Howl. It is a magical sound.


(5) A Close Encounter with Wolves

A Close Encounter with Wolves

Event #: 5
Location: , South Shropshire
Cost: £25.00

Date Places Note
Sunday 6th April, 2003 15
Sunday 13th April, 2003 15
Sunday 20th April, 2003 15
Sunday 4th May, 2003 15
Sunday 11th May, 2003 15
Sunday 18th May, 2003 15
Sunday 1st June, 2003 15
Sunday 8th June, 2003 15
Sunday 15th June, 2003 15
Sunday 5th October, 2003 15
Sunday 12th October, 2003 15
Sunday 19th October, 2003 15
Sunday 2nd November, 2003 15
Sunday 2nd November, 2003 15
Sunday 9th November, 2003 15
Sunday 16th November, 2003 15

Wild encounter

Set up in 1993, Wolf Watch UK (WWUK) is a rescue project dedicated to the conservation of wolves. Relocating to its current address in 1997 enabled the project to fulfil one of its primary ambitions - to provide ever more wild and expansive areas for its resident wolves. They now enjoy enclosures that include forests, streams, hills and even a small lake. The latest area encompasses around 20 acres of land and is possibly the largest in the world to date.


Tony Haighway is the director of the Wolf Watch UK project and its rescue centre.


Beginning at 2.00pm with an introductory talk, you will be taken on a guided walk through the valley during which you will meet the resident wolves. The tour highlight is an opportunity to stroke those wolves that are habituated to humans. All contact is undertaken at your own risk. Tea, coffee and biscuits in the shop round off the visit, which should finish by 4.30pm.

Additional information

Strictly no dogs

To make a booking or to receive a brochure, call the PTES on 020 7498 4533 or email them.   Alternatively you can visit their website for further information. 

Don't forget, if you want to read about wolves in their natural habitat in one of the last great unspoilt areas for wildlife in Europe please click on the following link - and if you want to find books about them, you can visit the bookstore.