Weeks after vandals cut a hole in the fence surrounding the Haliburton Wolf Centre, two of the released wolves are dead and staff struggles to reunite the remaining two with the rest of the pack.
Based on evidence found by staff members, Haida, the alpha male of the pack, was presumed shot and dead shortly after the criminal release, which took place on New Year’s Eve. However, it is now unclear whether it was Haida or his look-alike son, Logan, who was shot.
More than a week after the incident, Haida’s mate, Granite, was found at the side of the road by one of the Wolf Centre’s staff members. She was suffering from severe gunshot wounds.
After Granite was tended to by a local vet, forest owner Peter Schleifenbaum sent out another update through the Centre’s Facebook page: “Everything considered, [today] was one of the better days this year…sure enough, Granite made it, but looked horrible.” Schleifenbaum sounded hopeful, and it seemed as though the wolf might recover from her injuries. “Her heartbeat steadied and her breathing strengthened,” Schleifenbaum wrote on Thursday. Unfortunately, by Saturday he reported that Granite died the previous night, leaving the remaining members of the pack “even more troubled.”
Meanwhile, staff tactics to reunite the remaining outside wolves with the rest of the pack—using bait and creating a smaller enclosure within the centre—have been unsuccessful.
“These are truly frustrating and trying days,” Schleifenbaum wrote on Saturday. “We are left to hope for some cooperation on behalf of our wolves, who—rightly—don’t trust us like they did a couple of weeks ago.” The two wolves continue to circle the outside of the Wolf Centre, communicating with their fellow pack members inside.
Since the release, the Wolf Centre has received an outpour of support from the community. According to Schleifenbaum, these events and the public’s response prove just how divided our society is on its perception of wolves, which he says, “encourages us at the Wolf Centre to continue our quest to educate.”