Destination Indiana: Wolf Park gives visitors a glimpse of state’s wild past

Destination Indiana

BATTLE GROUND, Ind. – Long past are the days of wolves roaming in Indiana, but Hoosiers don’t have to travel to Alaska or the Rocky Mountains to see them.

Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Ind., is home to nine grey wolves, and the public is invited to visit.

Founded in 1972, Wolf Park is for education, conservation and research.

“A lot of people are surprised to find out that there used to be wolves and bison roaming Indiana,” said Wolf Park Executive Director Karah Rawlings.

Rawlings says, at Wolf Park, visitors can see wolves in their habitat and much closer than in the wild. The park is also home to foxes and bison.

“Wolves are pack animals, typically a pack is five to seven wolves, but it can be anywhere from 2 to 30,” said Wolf Park Program Coordinator Christopher Lile.

The park may also clear up misconceptions many have about wolves.

“People often think that wolves are going to try to hunt humans, when in reality wolves are actually very fearful of people in a natural setting,” Lile said. “They’re going to be running away from you in the wild.”

Wolves here often eat roadkill and feed two to three times a week, like they would in the wild.

“If grey wolves still lived in Indiana, they would be eating white tailed deer, and so it’s the most natural diet we can provide for them,” Lile said.

And wolves prefer Indiana winters over Indiana summers.

“They flourish in cold weather,” Lile said. “In the summertime we actually give them ice treats, which are kind of like wolf popsicles, they are frozen blocks of ice with pepperoni or some other meat inside.”

Like the rest of the world, Wolf Park is affected by COVID-19.

‘’It has affected us in pretty much every area,” Rawlings said. “But we are still open for tours.”

One popular program at Wolf Park is “Howl Night,” where visitors observe wolves communicate and even attempt to “howl” themselves to communicate with the wolves.

Click here for Wolf Park’s updated events.

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