A howling good time
By Tyler Weaber
On Tuesday, October 23, Londonderry Village residents bundled up and loaded our shuttle bus as they departed for the wolf sanctuary in Lititz, where they had a howling good time. “I thought it was such a great time! Extremely interesting. The guide was excellent.” Says Londonderry Village resident, Alice Tavinsky.
For over 30 years, the Darlington family has been providing food, shelter and medical services to wolves on their 80+ acres of wooded land that they own. The sanctuary, which was originally opened to be a rescue for wolves; has now turned into a shelter and education center. The Darlington’s started this 501 © (3) nonprofit business to help keep the wolves in PA safe and to educate residents in the community. The Darlington family along with their dedicated volunteer base now provides shelter and care for over 40 wolves, with no government assistance. Through tours, items sold in the gift shop, and donations they continue to thrive. The sanctuary has now become a popular tourist destination.
The tour, which can last up to two hours and costs $25 a person gives viewers a look into the history of wolves in PA, how their habitat has changed, and how they continue to thrive while living in the sanctuary.
“The trained guides need to have 500 hours of studying and experience before they can lead their own tour. We were able to see the wolves in their massive cages. No one is allowed to touch or interact with the wolves. Every now and again the guides might gently pet the wolves, but they know not to touch the wolves head or face, ” Says Alice.
Along with wolves, the sanctuary also has wolf dogs, and they are not allowed to be together. The sanctuary receives wolves from all over the country and upon entering the sanctuary, a DNA test is administered to determine their percentage of wolf DNA verses their percentage of dog DNA. That is how they determine where best to place the new animal. All animals are spayed and neutered when they arrive at the sanctuary. Their goal is not to repopulate but to provide a safe environment for these wolves and wolf dogs. After their exciting tour our residents, who were feeling cold, tired and hungry stopped at the Brickerville House where they had a nice lunch together before returning to campus. Special thanks to our resident services team, Mary Lee Harpel and Melissa Halvin who planned this fun trip for our residents.
For more information about the Wolf Sanctuary of PA, please visit https://wolfsanctuarypa.org/