The Last Of The Outlaw Wolves [Article in The Saturday Evening Post]


This article profiles Jack Lynch, a man in his early 40s, and his work to ensure that the last of the "lobo" or "buffalo" wolves - Canis lupus nubilus - does not become extinct. Zoologists claim that Lynch's wolves are not a separate species, and that "lobo" is simply a colloquial Spanish term for the gray wolf which is uncommon but not near extinction. Lynch disagrees.

Lynch's 20 wolves are housed in nine pens. 20,000 people paying 75 cents admission each visit Lynch's wolf park annually. From 8am to 8pm Lynch gives visitors a very dramatic speech about the wolves. Sundays draw the most people, and at 4:15 on Sunday afternoons, the wolves are fed. The feeding practices and diet of the wolves are described.

The article describes the history of the war on wolves and how Dr. McCleery - the previous owner of the wolves - became interested in them, how he obtained the original wolves for the pack, and his work with the wolves. It also describes Jack and Marjorie's lives before the wolves, how they came to own them, and the tough job of earning the wolves' trust. Jack and Marjorie live in a three-room trailer with their malamute "Kim" and their mountain lion "Amigo." Marjorie does not go into the wolf pens but sells the tickets and is collecting stories to write a book called "Love Me, Love My Lobos."

Jack describes problems with wolf reproduction. There have been four litters comprising 18 pups since the Lynches took over, but only three pup (all from the most recent litter) have survived, only because the Lynches took the pups from the mother and hand-raised them in their trailer. Jack attributes the high mortality rate to the mothers killing the pups due to stress from the visitors. He built two dirt dens inside the pens to give mother wolves privacy. Jack has become his own veterinarian because other veterinarians will not treat the adult wolves without anesthesia, which Jack considers dangerous.

Jack mentions some of the problems at the park - old rusty pens, talk of a new superhighway, citizens who dislike the wolves, tourists being told that the wolf park is no longer there, and Marjorie getting bored. Jack wants to move the wolves someplace like Arizona.


January 15, 1966





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