Kane is famous for the colony of lobo wolves Dr. E. H. McCleery once kept there, saving them from extinction. How is that pack today?
On Saturday, the community is invited to hear an update on the lobo wolf pack, which now lives in Bridger, Mont., under the care of Tenino, Wash.-based wolf sanctuary, Wolf Haven International.
The program will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at Kane Memorial Chapel, 30 Chestnut St. The public is invited to the program, and there is no admission charge.
Wolf Haven International is coming to Kane to meet people from the McCleery Discovery Center and do more research into the origins of lobo wolves, also known as buffalo wolves. The Kane Historic Preservation Society established the McCleery Discovery Center in 2017 to display artifacts about McCleery and his wolves.
On Saturday, Wolf Haven International’s director, Diane Gallegos, will offer an update on the pack. Also, Harriet Allen, board member and retired manager for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Threatened and Endangered Species Section, will take part in both the community program and the research.
“Exciting news about the pack will be discussed at the program including as it relates to the Oakland Zoo in California,” said Dick Bly, executive director of the McCleery Discovery Center.
“A short documentary created by an independent filmmaker on the ongoing challenges between ranchers and wolves will be shown as well,” organizers noted in a press release on the event.
Representatives of the McCleery Discovery Center recently had a chance to meet with the Wolf Haven International board and see some of the famous wolves.
Bly explained, “Denny Driscoll, Nancy Avolese, author of “The Wolf Man of Kane, Pennsylvania,” and myself of the McCleery Discovery Center were invited to participate in the Wolf Haven International board retreat in Red Lodge, Montana, this past summer.”
Red Lodge is about 27 southwest of Bridger, where the wolves have lived since 2008.
“The McCleery group provided an historical overview for the board including a video featuring Dr. McCleery, as well as discussing the significance of the McCleery wolves being the last of the Great Plains Buffalo wolves,” the press release stated.
Attendees at Saturday’s event will have a chance to see this video.
The focus of the 2 ½-day retreat for the McCleery representatives included learning about the wolf facility, discussing the short-term needs of the wolves and the facility and long-range educational opportunities, as well as forming a five-year vision.
The board visited the McCleery Ranch one morning of the retreat to see the wolves, which was a first visit for most of the board members.
Bly said, “They are beautiful animals and we were able to see one of the yearlings that was born in June 2018.”
Driscoll was happy to be part of the retreat, too.
He said, “We were very pleased to have been invited to the board retreat and be included in the strategic planning process and future longevity of the wolves. Good developments are happening.”
Back in Kane, the McCleery Discovery Center keeps alive the story of Dr. E. H. McCleery and his lobo wolves.
The center is one of 10 McKean County sites participating in the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau’s new collectible pin program. Pins were distributed to each site last week, and visitors to each site will be able to purchase a site-specific pin and a special lanyard on which to display the pins.