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Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:53 pm
by Sambhur
BARDU, Norway —

The northernmost park in the world allows visitors to sleep with wolves.

Polar Park is the home of seven gray wolves, raised by humans, which allows them to interact closely with guests.

The park, located in Bardu, Norway, opened in 1994 as part of a conservation effort for the region's Scandinavian wolves.

Hunting and loss of habitat has depleted the population of wolves in the region.

Fewer than 30 are in the wild.
Full article here: http://www.ajc.com/news/travel/park-all ... ves/nqkXG/

Aaaaah that picture makes me so uncomfortable - that's some way-too-close interaction. Being in a lodge where there's glass and walls separating you from the wolves sounds cool, but that level of hands-on interaction that also comes with it seems too dangerous.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:56 pm
by alethe
Eh, I'm fine with the hands on interaction if its regulated correctly and the guests all act mature and know limits with the animal. So like... above 15. But the lodge sounds awesome for all ages.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:05 pm
by Sambhur
Despite being captive raised, the wolves are still wild animals which have the potential to act unpredictably, so that's why I'm not that into this. If people were interacting like this with lions or another big cat people would be a bit more cautious, but for some reason they're not when it comes to wolves (I guess because they think they're like dogs?). Also, just because someone is over 15, that doesn't mean that they know how to be mature and understand the body language of a wild animal, but I guess that's where the suggestion of correct regulation comes in (but that won't really stop a big unpredictable animal from doing whatever it wants). But yeah, I guess they haven't had any accidents so far which is good, but that doesn't mean that it's always going to be smooth sailing, sadly. :/ So that's why I'm uncomfortable.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:17 pm
by alethe
Well yeah, generally with these sorts of things there are risks, but then again there are risks when I go whitewater rafting on class IV-V rapids. But yeah, I do see what you mean about people and their actions with wolves versus big cats; in my opinion they should be treated the same.

I give an age restriction because *generally* an older teen-adult will act accordingly around an animal versus a middle schooler/elementary school age kid.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:30 pm
by Sambhur
Yeah I get your point about the age thing. With the rapids thing though, more people tend to be aware of the risks to do with the rapids compared to when they're hanging around an animal in captivity, which isn't too great. :/ Glad you agree with the big cat comparison though.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:36 pm
by Kivia
At first glance I thought that the article was insinuating that park guests were physically sleeping with wolves. Glad to see this isn't the case.

On the website, the age to stay at the lodge is 15. This seems reasonable enough, because you would not be in direct contact with the wolves in the lodge. You can only view them from the glass windows in the lodge. If a visitor wants to partake in the "wolf visit" though, they must be at least 18.

All of this seems a lot more controlled than what I originally thought, but I still probably wouldn't want to interact that closely with wolves. Makes me uncomfortable that they are so certain that because they raised the wolves themselves, the wolves are safe and comfortable around visitors.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:29 am
by Koa
Kivia wrote:At first glance I thought that the article was insinuating that park guests were physically sleeping with wolves. Glad to see this isn't the case.
That's what I thought, too.

I appreciate there are some restrictions in place, but even then one cannot guarantee that the "wolf visit" will go as planned.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:32 am
by Celestial-Howl
*sigh* I don't understand why people host these kind of programs when they are unsafe and impractical. I have personally interacted with real wolves since I was 2 years old, mostly because my parents took me to a nearby wolf preserve and I got to know the owners well. Of course I loved the experience and I still like going to see wolves anywhere I go, but tame or not, wolves are wild animals. When I went there I never went in the enclosure, but the wolves would come up to the fence because the recognized me as a frequent visitor. But the owners of the preserve and my own parents respected the rule that wolves are wild and that me, or anyone for that matter should enter their fenced area. When I went to Yellowstone and saw wild wolves I didn't disturb them, I watched from a distance. Which I believe most people should do.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:06 pm
by Koa
@ Celestial-Howl- Try to avoid *action* as it can seem like roleplaying.

Aside from that, I agree with your point. Observation is better/safer than interaction.

Re: Park allows guests to sleep with wolves

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:44 pm
by Kamaal
Adding on to what you two said. I must agree with that completely. A wolf or any other wild animal remains wild even if it's captive. Those canines are not like dogs even if they are their ancestors, so I believe it's better to study them from afar and allow them some space.