Dr. McCleery Lobo Wolves Digital Archive

Recognition by Gov. Lawrence, Tribute Paid to Man Who Kept Pack of Lobo Wolves At His Door For 40 Years [Article in Kane Republican: Special Edition]


This article reports on the great honor of Governor David Lawrence's message commending community efforts for industry and tourism involving Dr. E. H. McCleery's wolves. The McCleery wolf pack was not initially intended to become a tourist attraction, but Dr. McCleery began charging admission to help cover expenses. It has since been visited by citizens of every state, Canada, and many foreign countries. Dr. McCleery currently has 19 wolves which eat over a thousand pounds of meat every five days. Though the wolves are most impressive during the winter, most people visit in the summer when the wolves are shedding. Mayor Harry Schreiber, president of the Kane Chamber of Commerce Victor Westerberg, and president of the KAIDC Industrial Promotion Organization R. J. Hetznecker comment on the great value of the wolves to the town and its tourism industry.

An excerpt from the article is quoted below.


February 20, 1962

Page Numbers

Supplement: Special "Dr. McCleery-Wolves" Edition, Pages 1 and 4


This supplemental special edition is not available on microfilm. A copy is currently owned by the Kane Depot and is available for viewing there.

Partial Text

It was never intention of Dr. McCleery to present the lobos as a "big show," a money-making venture. He started his unique hobby with a pet wolf acquired back in 1920. There was keyed to that acquisition the effort to save the lobos from going the way of the passenger pigeons. When the government began efforts to exterminate the lobos back in the early 20s, Dr. McCleery started acquiring the famed pack which at times has ranged up to 100 wolves. He has kept the strain pure and gradually reduced the pack to the point where 19 fine lobos are maintained. The pack is known as the only one of its kind in the world.

The major problem has not been security - but feeding. The 19 devour over a thousand pounds of meat every five days. They are fed on a schedule developed through years of experience. The wolves gorge themselves every five days and are not prone to indulge in between meal snacks. When members of the pack showed evidence of a need for conditioning, Dr. McCleery fed them vitamins to supplement their diet. It was costs of feeding and maintenance that led to establishment of the "farm" several miles east of Kane on Route 6 where an admission charge was made to help with expenses.

Strangely, most persons view the wolves when they are far from their best in appearance. In winter months when the big lobos develop heavy fur there are few visitors. In mid-summer during peak of the tourist season, they have been shedding and are acquiring new coats for the next Winter.

Today as tourism extends to 12 months a year the wolves can well be a year-around attraction.

Mayor Harry Schreiber said "without question, Dr. McCleery and his wolves have been major attraction here through the years. For many persons, the lobos were principle reason they came into this Kane area. He has brought world-wide fame to the pack - and with it the name of our borough. We as a community honor this man for his effort with the wolves as well as for his services as a physician for a half-century. He has been active for improved highways and for the good of our area for many years."

Victor Westerberg, president of the Kane Chamber of Commerce in commenting on Dr. McCleery and the sale of his wolves and park to Mr. and Mrs. Jack Lynch, of Milwaukee, said "We have taken for granted that Dr. McCleery would keep on providing us with a major tourist attraction. We now have a new and fuller appreciation of what he means to us and what he has done for tourism in this area. In our accelerating emphasis on tourism in local, county and area-wide promotions geared to the state program, we are happy to be able to continue featuring the wolves."