Something Different for Date Night: Wine, Cheese & Howling with Wolves

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The last time I’d visited the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, N.Y., I’d been in the company of a pack of Cub Scouts. As fun as that was, having a bit of wine with people more my contemporaries on my latest visit was almost as soothing as our efforts to howl. The Wolf Conservation Center, located in a fairly residential neighborhood just off Route 35, is home to more than two dozen wolves, some of whom will be released into the wild.

Visitors are in an enclosure at the Wolf Conservation Center; the wolves run freely in their habitat. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Visitors are in an enclosure at the Wolf Conservation Center; the wolves run freely in their habitat. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Others serve as ambassadors—they’re more socialized and are used to teach people that Little Red Riding Hood had nothing to fear.  They’ll howl in respond to the crowd, and, surprisingly, my soft-coated wheaten terrier sounded more intimidating than the high-pitched singing of the wolves.

Wolves aren’t vegetarians, though, and they and ranchers do not often get along. Hence, the wolf population in North America has been greatly depleted. Organizations like the Wolf Conservation Center are helping to support wolf—and to grow—communities.

The wolves had more to fear of Little Red Riding Hood than she of them.

The wolves had more to fear of Little Red Riding Hood than she of them.

Go with your 10 year old, or take your life partner. Programs suitable for each, or for all, are available. The Brawny Sherpa and I went for wine, cheese, and howling with wolves, a sociable get-together for the 21-plus crowd. Programs geared for kids are, of course, available; and camping with wolves is an option, in summer, for the entire family. If you are too distant, check out the wolf cam.

© Lori Tripoli

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