Wolf Man, Wolf Wish [Documentary]


This documentary profiles Jack Lynch and Mary Wheeler and their work to breed and preserve the last of the buffalo wolves - Canis lupus nubilus - which were exterminated in the wild by 1931. The ancestors of their wolves came from the eastern part of Montana to the Dakota territory.

The Lynches' priorities are food, fencing, and medical care for the wolves. Their Adopt-a-Wolf program keeps them funded - adopters all over the world (including China, Taiwan, England, Germany, and Arabia) send $35 per month for as long as they can afford to.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Service will not allow the Lynches to pick up roadkill to feed their wolves (as Pennsylvania and Washington had) so they purchase parts (kidneys, etc) instead of the full carcasses they would prefer. When feeding, parts are alternated so each wolf gets an equal diet. Vitamins are added. Pups are nursed with goat milk.

The wolf park pens are 65 x 100 or 120 feet constructed by Jack and Mary, and some pens contain mounds in which the wolves dig their dens. They are constructed apart from each other so the wolves won't bite each others' legs through the wire.

Mary raises the pups so they grow up with her imprinted as the mother image. This makes it easier for her to administer medical care.

Local ranchers dislike the wolf park and are worried that the Lynches want to turn the wolves loose. Jack denies this.

Jack hopes someday to be able to reintroduce an ecosystem (a million fenced-in acres to avoid bothering ranchers) of which his wolves could be a part, but maintains that the wolves' gene pool will always need to be perpetuated. He and Mary hope they will find a successor.





19.5 minutes


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