Dr. McCleery Lobo Wolves Digital Archive

Lobo Wolves [Leaflet]


This leaflet was distributed to visitors at Dr. E. H. McCleery's wolf park. It describes lobo wolves in general and their history, physical characteristics, and behavior, and provides stories about the individual wolves in each of the pens. The leaflet was updated from time to time, so different versions are included in this archive - this page provides a full listing of each of the different versions of the leaflet I have seen.

This particular leaflet describes the inhabitants of 5 pens, and was published after 1933 (which is the latest date referenced in the leaflet). Old Idaho and the daughter of Three Toes are the only wolves mentioned by name. An advertisement for the New Thomson Cafe in Kane, PA is included.

The full text of the leaflet is quoted below.




Between 1933 and 1962

Full Text


These wolves are the Lobos (Spanish word for wolf) which formerly followed the Buffalo herds in their migrations along the Rocky Mountains and their accompanying plains from the Southern border of the Great Slave Lake, Northern Canada, to Central Texas and Arizona. They are not Timber wolves. They will kill them and drive them out of the country. The United States Biological Survey claims there never were any Timber wolves in the old Lobo territory until the Lobos were exterminated, then many have gone in. A large Canadian Timber wolf weighs sixty to seventy pounds, and a large Lobo weighs over a hundred pounds. It often required several years to trap one, at an expense perhaps of seven or eight thousand dollars, five thousand of which was usually put up by the Western Cattle Growers' Association on the head of a single lobo. In the meantime he killed several thousand dollars worth of cattle a year. The usual reward was five hundred to five thousand dollars for the worst killers, down to seventy-five dollars on a Lobo pup. The July number of the American Magazine, 1933, has an article on the Lobo which says the Butcher Wolf of Colorado often killed eighteen beef cattle in one night.

These Lobos were all captured by the U. S. Government Biological Survey, and a few by the Canadian Government, when they completed their extermination about 1920. They are the same wolves which previous to 1920 ranged the plains of the Rocky Mountains, killing cattle and occasionally horses, selecting the fattest and the best, and when they met they frequently killed each other; and were so intolerable that the United States and Canadian Governments united in a war of extermination, which is long since completed, there being none in zoos or in the wild. If they were Timber wolves we would have them all in one large yard which would be better, but being Lobos we are compelled to keep them separated in pairs or they would soon destroy each other.

They mate for life and hunted singly and in pairs, never in packs unless in family groups. They are different from any other wolves, the same as the Grizzly bear is a special bear, and they inhabited the same country. The Indians often called them Grizzly wolves.

Theodore Roosevelt, in his book about his ranch in South Dakota, said the Lobos killed many of his cattle, and he got what he considered the best fighting dogs for killing them. They were half Great Dane and half Bull dog. There were nine of them. "They killed many Lobos, but they were always big pups or a small female. They would follow an old Lobo as long as they were with the men on horseback, but if they got ahead of the horses they would come back. One night after following a Lobo all day the men slept, and the Lobo came back and killed all the dogs around the camp fire."

William Hornady, manager of the New York Zoo, in his book, "Minds and Manners of Wild Animals," said the lion is the most reliable, next the tiger and the Russian Timber wolf, and the worst the leopard. He always conceded that the Lobo was more savage than the Russian Timber wolf.

Stanley P. Young, Principal Biologist of the U. S. Biological Survey, in his book on the extermination of the Lobos called "The Last Stand of the Pack," describes them as the consummation of absolute savagery, and have seldom been tamed even though they are taken from their dens before their eyes are opened. We take them from the dens when they are three and a half weeks old. A man handles them eight hours a day for a month, and one hour a day for a year. He succeeds in taming one out of eleven. These pups on exhibition were handled eighty hours, and were wilder and more vicious than when taken from the den. They will be eliminated this Fall.

Pen Number 1: This wolf has had fights with four male Lobos. He killed them all. Three of them he drove his fangs through their skulls and the other he tore out its throat. He didn't get hurt. They were valuable and a serious loss.

Pen Number 2: In December, 1933, we obtained two unusually large and beautiful Timber wolves, a black and a grey. This large male got in with them, accidentally, and according to a CCC officer who saw it, he killed them both between one and two minutes. He tore out the throat of one and gave the other a deep gash over the heart.

Pen Number 3: These wolves are White Arctics from the Islands of the Arctic Ocean and the Tundra along the Arctic coast, and according to Nansen, the Arctic explorer, who was here the year before his death, are the only specimens brought into captivity alive.

Pen Number 4: This is Old Idaho. He was captured in 1923 about eight years after they were practically exterminated. The reason he lasted so long was he was protected by coyotes. He was their meal ticket and they warned him of danger. He killed many thousand dollars worth of cattle.

Pen Number 5: This female was taken from the den of Old Three Toes in 1921. Three Toes was conceded to be the most famous of all the Lobos and was never captured.

The Lobos are on exhibition on the Roosevelt Highway, U.S. 6, six miles east of Kane.

E. H. McCLEERY, Kane, Penna.

Eat at The New Thomson Cafe, Kane, Pa.