He Made Friends With A Wolf Pack [Article in True: The Man's Magazine]


This article describes how Dr. E. H. McCleery became interested in wolves, beginning with an account of Theodore Roosevelt's speech to the Princeton Gun Club (of which McCleery was president) which inspired him to travel to the Yukon where he encountered his first wild wolf. Since then, the United States declared war on wolves and Dr. McCleery obtained 22 of the animals, which became his pack's breeding stock. One of his original wolves was the daughter of the famous female outlaw wolf "Three Toes" whose blood runs in two thirds of his present pack.

Dr. McCleery is proud of his magnificent pack and their unpredictable "kill-crazy" nature, their intelligence, and their loyalty. He is the one who can control them. He describes his feeding practices, the difficulties in breeding them, the high death rate from fights, wolf psychology, and how he tames his wolves. A few of his wolves are tame enough for him to take on walks or for rides in his car. Dr. McCleery began charging admission to his wolf park to help pay for the wolves' expenses and they have been a successful tourist attraction, bringing in up to 3,000 visitors on holidays. However, the wolves have caused Dr. McCleery marriage troubles, eventually leading to divorce.

Hollywood has made offers to Dr. McCleery for the use of his wolves in movies, but he has turned them down since one of the movies wanted to use his wolves in a fight to the death. He would rather shoot his surplus wolves than have them mistreated or die slowly in a zoo. He once sold several wolves to Lord Frederick Aukland, one of which ended up attacking a robber. Fearing that the same could happen to a child or a servant, Aukland put the wolves in the London Zoo, where they died. After that, Dr. McCleery no longer sold his wolves.

Dr. McCleery does not believe his wolves can live in zoos because they require constant expert handling; the wolves currently in U.S. zoos are mostly imports from Canada. He expresses deep worry about what will happen to his wolves when he is gone. At the time of writing, Dr. McCleery had 18 wolves.


March 1958





Page Numbers

58-61, 89-92


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