Dreamers: Fighting to Save an Endangered Breed, Jack Lynch Keeps a Pack of Hungry Wolves at His Door [Article in People Weekly]


This article profiles Jack Lynch (65 years old) and his wife Mary (57 years old) and their work with wolves, of which they currently own 85. Most of them are buffalo wolves, of which Lynch has nurtured three generations over the past 27 years. The Lynches also have nine dogs, nine cats, eight goats, four horses, one coyote, and a Siberian tiger.

Lynch has gone so far as to sleep in the lairs with his wolves, and provides anecdotes about the animals, including Lupi, Lummox (who died of a heart attack two years previous), and Saber. An image caption states that three pups were born this past spring at the sanctuary.

The article describes Lynch's early family life and career, and how he came to care for the wolves. When he purchased the wolves from Dr. E. H. McCleery, the park was in disrepair and Dr. McCleery had $380 left to manage the farm for the year. Searching for meat to feed the wolves was a never-ending job.

In 1970 Lynch purchased the land for a new wolf park on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington with an inheritance left to him by his adoptive mother. There he moved his wolves, but he eventually found Washington to be more difficult than Pennsylvania. Then he met Mary Wheeler. The article describes her earlier life and how she came to be involved with the wolves. She and Lynch married soon after their 1980 move to Montana, where they currently live. Jack mends the fences, provides veterinary care for the wolves, and gathers the weekly 2,500 pounds of meet for the wolves. Mary oversees the E. H. McCleery Lobo Wolf Foundation's correspondences. Individual donors have made it so that Lynch no longer has to scavenge for road kill.

Lynch hopes that someday his wolves can be returned to the wild but is critical of reintroduction plans. He will only consider releasing his wolves in a fenced off wildlife sanctuary of at least two million acres which will be closed to humans for 20 years. For now, Jack and Mary wait for next keeper of the wolves to appear.

The article contains photographs by Carl Iwasaki: Lynch with a wolf named Friendly Freddie over his shoulders, Lynch bottle-feeding a wolf pup, Lynch and Mary Wheeler, and a wolf named Honey Love.



June 27, 1988





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This article is accessible via the People Weekly website.