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Wolves
Wolf History, Conservation, Ecology and Behavior
[www.wolfology.com]


JANUARY 2004
1.31.04 DILLSBORO, Ind. - Paul Strasser and about eight volunteers spent a long, cold day Friday trying to round up six remaining wolves that broke free from their 3-acre pen at Strasser's Red Wolf Sanctuary this week. As of late Friday, all but one of the animals was either safely returned to the pen or tranquilized awaiting return, Strasser said. "It's hard to find a white wolf in the snow," Ten wolves escaped Tuesday from the sanctuary near Dillsboro. The wolf that remained loose Friday has been seen on the sanctuary's property, but volunteers had not been able to tranquilize it as darkness loomed, Strasser said. Dearborn County sheriff's dispatchers on Friday said they have received no complaints about the wolves. The remaining free wolf poses little threat to humans because the animal is close to the sanctuary and likely would run if approached, Strasser said. The wolves were bottled-fed and raised at the sanctuary from 13 weeks of age for educational purposes. Students tour the center to learn about the animals and their environment. Strasser began the sanctuary in 1979, and animals have occasionally gotten loose. But this is the largest such incident. Strasser and volunteers at the nonprofit center have spent two years replacing its older, rusting wire. "The wire that we had purchased was not strong enough to hold these animals and they just pulled it apart," Strasser said.
1.24.04 POLARIS, MT (The Montana Standard) -- A pack of seven wolves was destroyed this week just east of Polaris in the Grasshopper Valley after it killed a calf on a nearby ranch. The same pack had killed cattle in the Big Hole Valley last month and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided then the pack would be removed. The pack disappeared and didn't show up again until recently in the adjoining Grasshopper Valley. Graeme McDougal, a specialist with U.S. Wildlife Services, spotted the pack just east of Polaris last Thursday, Jan. 15, from the air. He didn't have time to take a shot during the initial encounter. This week, while searching for coyotes in the same area from a helicopter, McDougal spotted a dead calf and a rancher nearby waving at them. After landing and talking with the rancher, McDougal was able to shoot one wolf on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Afterwards, Fish and Wildlife Service officials gave the OK to remove the rest of the pack. On Thursday, McDougal spotted the remaining six wolves about 300 yards from the timber. He was able to shoot all of them. McDougal said there had been wolf sightings in the area around Carroll Hill over the last two years. Until this year, there had only been a couple of wolves sighted. Joe Fontaine, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Montana wolf project leader, said the wolves that were killed included an adult pair and five yearlings. All were colored gray. The Big Hole and Grasshopper Valley areas aren't a good location for a pack of wolves, Fontaine said. Most of the elk move out of that area and there are lots of cattle, he said."It's a tough place for them to make a living without getting in trouble," he said. Fontaine said he's not sure where the wolves came from and it wasn't until last March that his agency was able to confirm that there were some in the area. "We're starting to see sightings in places where we haven't seen wolves before," he said. For instance, a black wolf was reported recently in the Lima Peaks area. Fontaine asked for people to report wolf sightings. "If we'd known earlier about these wolves, maybe we could have prevented some of the problems that occurred there," he said. "Being able to get a collar on one is a big help … Once we get a collar on one, then we have an idea of where they're at and it's a lot easier to manage them in the long run."
1.24.04 PUEBLO, CO. (The Pueblo Chieftain) -- More than the spirit of a wolf roamed the Colorado State University-Pueblo's park-like campus Friday. The school unveiled a life-size bronze statue of a wolf - a gift from the student body - and, as part of the public ceremony, hosted a visit from the real deal. Chinook, a 13-year-old wolf from the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Florissant, recently was named mascot of the year for the Pikes Peak region by the Colorado Springs' visitors bureau. Visitors to Friday's statue unveiling received a chance to meet and take pictures with the animal. Even though wolves disappeared from the wild in Colorado roughly 60 years ago, they remain a popular symbol of freedom and strength, Wolf and Wildlife Center spokesman Crystal Chamberlain observed. "May the wolf teach you well. The wolf is not only the embodiment of strength, wisdom and loyalty but it also represents beauty, grace and freedom," Chamberlain said in her address. The statue features a wolf, perched on a large boulder, howling into the sky. It is located on a small hill near the school's Fountain Plaza, a central courtyard of grass, evergreen trees and the main fountain.La Junta sculptor Brenda Daniher, who created the piece, said she sought to capture the spirit of the wolf and, she noted, the use of bronze gives the artwork a permanency at the CSU-Pueblo campus.
1.19.04 CHEYENNE, WY. (Associated Press) -- A bill is being drafted for the coming budget session to address concerns raised by the federal government over Wyoming's plan to manage wolves. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has delayed removal of federal protection for gray wolves in the Yellowstone area and turning management over to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming because the agency has deemed Wyoming's plan unacceptable. Among the concerns is classifying wolves in part of the state as predators which could be killed virtually at will. In the rest of the state - outside Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and Rockefeller Parkway where they would remain protected - wolves would be subject to regulated hunting as trophy game. While some lawmakers and Gov. Dave Freudenthal are mulling possible legal action, Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, is heading efforts to draft a bill that seeks to address the federal government's concerns. Sen. Keith Goodenough, D-Casper, supports the legislation. "If the goal is to be able to hunt problem wolves, the quickest path is to pass a plan acceptable to the Feds," he said Sunday in an e-mail. Fish and Wildlife Service officials told the Legislature's Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee last week that a hunting season could be of any duration and at any price for a license with no interference by the federal government, Goodenough said.
1.15.04 WASHINGTON (Capitol Reports)  -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the process to delist the western population of gray wolves can begin once Wyoming approves key changes to state law and its wolf management plan. The Service also announced that wolf management plans developed by Idaho and Montana are adequate to maintain the population of gray wolves above established recovery goals. Even with approval of the plans developed by Idaho and Montana, delisting cannot at this time be proposed because of significant concerns about Wyoming’s existing state law as well as its wolf management plan. Wolves in the three states are part of the same Distinct Population Segment and delisting occurs by population segment, not by state boundaries. Specifically, Wyoming must adequately address each of the following three concerns of the Service in order to provide greater assurance that management controls are in place to maintain population levels above recovery goals: (1) Wyoming’s predatory animal status for wolves must be changed. The designation of wolves as "trophy game" statewide would allow Wyoming to devise a management strategy that provides for self-sustaining populations above recovery goals, regulated harvest and adequate monitoring of that harvest. (2) The Wyoming state law must clearly commit to managing for at least 15 wolf packs in Wyoming. (3) The Wyoming definition of a pack must be consistent among the three states and should be biologically based. The three states are currently collaborating on the criteria that defines a wolf pack. If requested, the Service said it will provide guidance to the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish in developing these three changes.
1.15.03 YELLOWSTONE N.P. (Missoula Independent) -- Foes of the wolf’s return to the Northern Rockies have been given more ammunition—a new census shows Yellowstone National Park’s northern elk herd is shrinking at a surprising rate. Wildlife biologists in airplanes have counted 8,335 elk in and around the park in their annual census. That’s a decline of 880 elk from a year ago and more than 11,000 from a decade ago. The herd’s size, in fact, has fallen by an average of 6 percent each year since the mid-’90s when—not coincidentally—wolves were reintroduced into the park. Park officials are careful not to place all the blame on Canis lupus. To be sure, Yellowstone’s 200 gray wolves prey on elk (as do several thousand bears and mountain lions), but there are more causes for the herd’s decline—five years of drought, the harsh winters of 1996 and 1997, and the shooting of thousands of elk during annual late hunts outside the park around Gardiner. Official caution notwithstanding, the anti-wolf crowd is loudly renewing demands for wholesale slaughter. “We need to clear wolves completely out of the migratory drainages and elk calving grounds north of Yellowstone for four or five years to bring this elk herd back,” said Robert Fanning, a rancher and founder of the anti-wolf Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd. In the meantime, the state of Montana is restricting elk hunting permits to protect the herd. That has angered businesses in parkside communities where the late hunt has become a vital part of the winter economy. The wolf’s friends, meanwhile, find themselves in the familiar and unenviable position of trying to calm fears about the endangered predators.
1.14.04 COLORADO (US Fish and Wildlife Service) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said today the process to delist the western population of gray wolves can begin once Wyoming approves key changes to state law and its wolf management plan. At the same time, the Service announced that wolf management plans developed by Idaho and Montana are adequate to maintain the population of gray wolves above established recovery goals. The review of each state’s management plans included peer review by 11 national wolf experts and state responses to those peer review comments. The Service’s responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act include ensuring that adequate management controls are in place to maintain population levels above recovery goals. Even with approval of the plans developed by Idaho and Montana, delisting cannot at this time be proposed because of significant concerns about Wyoming’s existing state law as well as its wolf management plan. Wolves in the three states are part of the same Distinct Population Segment and delisting occurs by population segment, not by state boundaries. "We must follow the biology and we are making progress on this issue working together with our partners," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams. "Delisting can move forward as soon as Wyoming makes the changes we’ve identified to both its state law and its wolf management plan, but not until then because these wolves are part of one distinct population segment." Specifically, Wyoming must adequately address each of the following three concerns of the Service in order to provide greater assurance that management controls are in place to maintain population levels above recovery goals: (1) Wyoming’s predatory animal status for wolves must be changed. The designation of wolves as "trophy game" statewide would allow Wyoming to devise a management strategy that provides for self-sustaining populations above recovery goals, regulated harvest and adequate monitoring of that harvest. (2) The Wyoming state law must clearly commit to managing for at least 15 wolf packs in Wyoming. (3) The Wyoming definition of a pack must be consistent among the three states and should be biologically based. The three states are currently collaborating on the criteria that defines a wolf pack.
1.13.04 CANADA (Animal News Center) -- The UK Chapter of Canadian Voice For Animals and world-renowned author and animal advocate Jim Willis have joined Kerwood Wolf Education Centre's drive to rescue five displaced wolves from a U.S. facility that is about to shut down. Canis Lupus Wolf Foundation, located on leased land in Middletown, Delaware, must close due to development by the landowner which has made the continued housing of wolves there impossible.  For their well-being, the wolves must be relocated to Kerwood as soon as possible. Ranging in age from five to nine years, the wolves function as two packs and must be housed separately upon their arrival. Donations are urgently needed for their transportation and new housing. Author Jim Willis is best known for his animal related writings, including the best-selling book, Pieces of My Heart - Writings Inspired by Animals and Nature. He said, "It is one of the saddest animal situations. Wolves belong in the wild and deserve to be to restored to as much of their former habitat as can be safely accomplished. They should not be bred and sold as pets, or imprisoned in roadside zoos. There is nearly no suitable sanctuary available for the many hundreds who are dumped in shelters or on rescue efforts. Education and ambassador programs such as Kerwood's are valuable because they teach the public and encourage people to care about wolves. Wolves are a breathtaking symbol of wildness and should be respected and protected, not persecuted," Ambassador wolves have been an intrinsic part of Canis Lupus Wolf Foundation's education programs since the center was founded in 1996 by Angelo Piner, a wildlife conservationist and active volunteer wolf researcher. The only obstacle to the wolves' immediate transfer is funding, with Kerwood estimating the total cost of the rescue operation at $40,000. Donations will facilitate transportation to Kerwood, the construction of temporary holding pens for the remainder of the winter, and in the spring, the construction of two new permanent compounds. Donations may be mailed to Kerwood Wolf Education Centre, R.R. 3 Kerwood, Ontario, Canada, N0M 2B0, or, sent via electronic transfer from Kerwood's website: www.kerwoodwolf.com.
1.13.04 MINNESOTA (Pioneer Press) -- The huge needle with its hormonal payload hovered above an anesthetized Mexican gray wolf at the Wildlife Science Center on Monday morning. The Wildlife Science Center near Forest Lake is part of the federal captive-breeding program. Center staff is participating in a federal study that could be significant for some of the most imperiled wolves in the world: the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf. Monday's well-timed shots of three female wolves are intended to induce ovulation, eventually making it easier to produce captive litters of Mexican gray and red wolves. Red and Mexican gray wolves are highly endangered, said Cheryl Asa, research director at the St. Louis Zoo, who is conducting the study. Collaboration with the Wildlife Science Center is critical, she said. "There aren't many of these animals," said Asa, who is working closely with the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center in St. Louis on the same study. The reproductive affairs of captive wolves are tricky to manage, authorities say. Online matchmaking is successful in many other animals: Experts compare their genetics and contrive suitable pairs. Then the scientists simply transfer one prospective mate to the other's locale and wait for babies. Wolves, however, don't like being set up by scientists. Wolves form profound pair bonds, although not always with the most genetically appropriate mates. When they're split from their mates and transferred elsewhere, often they don't reproduce, said Peggy Callahan, executive director of the Wildlife Science Center. With animals as endangered as the Mexican gray and red wolves, biologists are hoping for a better way. They're studying how to make artificial insemination more feasible. "Instead of shipping animals around, we want to ship their genes around," Callahan said. Knowing when the wolf will ovulate reduces handling and may increase the effectiveness of artificial insemination. [see 1.4.04 news clipping, below -- ed.]
1.12.04 ALASKA (Whitehorse Star) -- Another Mary Lake dog has been taken by wolves. Dennis Senger, spokesman for the Department of the Environment, said this morning a resident of the country residential subdivision phoned the department to report the incident, which occurred either Friday night or Saturday morning. The dog was taken from the residence’s main yard, from a fenced enclosure, though Senger was not sure how high the fence is. Of the 13 incidents reported to the department of wolves killing and eating dogs, including the weekend incident, 12 have occurred in rural the residential subdivisions. “The very fact these wolves are going into people’s yards is a concern, it is a big concern,” Senger said. Department staff have set out quick-kill, neck snares in and around the country residential subdivisions south of the city centre as well as in the area of the Whitehorse landfill. A total of eight wolves were snared near the landfill last week. But Alan Baer, coordinator of the department’s wolf management program, said Thursday there is likely anywhere from one to five wolves remaining in the Whitehorse area. He suspects that part of the problem is what he has described as very low numbers of moose an caribou around Whitehorse. [see 1.7.04 news clipping -- ed.]
1.10.04 BATTLE CREEK, MI. (Wood TV) -- It's the most wanted animal state in the state right now. Search teams are on the ground and a state police helicopter is in the air looking for a missing wolf, on the run from the Binder Park Zoo. A 19-month-old, 60 pound Mexican Grey Wolf has been missing for a week now from his pack, a family of six. Last Saturday, the wolf and two of his brothers, chewed and crawled through a metal chain link fence at Binder Park Zoo. Two of the wolves were caught, one remains missing. Living next door to the zoo, the Ralston family seems to be more concerned about the wolf's safety rather than their own. "Someone might mistake it as a coyote and shoot it if they don't find it," said Rod Ralston. Ralston also raised a good point, "Why don't they have a tracking device or chip or something." 24 Hour News 8 asked that question to the zoo director Greg Geise. "It doesn't make sense to go through that. I don't think so," said Geise. To strengthen and broaden the search, the zoo brought in two of the best wolf trackers in the country. Zoo officials say they will continue searching from sun up to sun down. The community around the zoo has also offered their support. The zoo has received dozens and dozens of helpful leads and tips from people.
1.9.04 SKANDIA, Mich. (Michigan Outdoor News) — The Michigan DNR is investigating the deaths of as many as six wolves killed recently in the Upper Peninsula. Several appear to have died from gunshot wounds. On Nov. 26, conservation officer Durance Paul was investigating a report of a radio-tracking collar that was emitting a mortality signal. Preliminary examination suggests that the animal was killed by gunshot. Tracking collars are equipped with mercury trigger switches that set off a mortality signal when there is no longer any activity of the collared animal. Even movement as slight as breathing will prevent the collar from emitting this signal. The body of an uncollared wolf was reported on Dec. 8, again in Chippewa County. The animal was recovered by the DNR. The wolf, which may not have been found without a citizen’s report, also appears to have been shot. A third wolf, which also appears to have been shot, was found on Dec. 18 in Ontonagon County. This wolf also was discovered while checking a mortality signal from a collar. In addition to the three apparent wolf killings, CO Dave Rantanen is investigating a report that two wolves were shot in Schoolcraft County near Steuben. Although the information is unconfirmed, the allegation states that the wolves may have been seen in the back of a pickup truck. Those five cases currently remain under investigation. In the cases where the wolf was found, the carcass will undergo a forensic necropsy at Rose Lake Wildlife Disease Laboratory. After the necropsy, a positive cause of death will be assigned for each animal. [T]he killing of a wolf by a private citizen is a crime. “Shooting a wolf is illegal,” [Pat] Lederle [research section supervisor in the DNR’s Wildlife Division and a member of the federal Wolf Recovery Team] said. “It could mean up to a $50,000 fine, a year in jail, or both under federal statute.” The illegal shooting of wolves may delay or prohibit the delisting in Michigan, officials say. “If the state is ever going to gain control of the management of this species, the Fish and Wildlife Service has to prove that they are no longer threatened,” Lederle  said. To prove that, the USFWS looks at all the mortality figures including disease, vehicle kills, illegal kills, and other factors. It also looks at the current social acceptance of the animal. The U. P.’s current wolf population is a result of natural migration from Minnesota and Wisconsin. As of last winter’s track survey, it was determined that there’s a minimum of 321 wolves residing in the U. P. Some believe the number is higher.
1.8.04 ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's expansion of its lethal wolf control program began Wednesday with the call for pilot-and-hunter teams to kill wolves in the south-central part of the state. The Department of Fish and Game said it is taking applications for a predator control program about 100 miles northeast of Anchorage in the Nelchina basin, an area bordered by four mountain ranges. The state already has a wolf control program under way near the Interior town of McGrath where pilot-and-hunter teams are allowed to shoot wolves from planes. The Nelchina plan requires pilots to land the planes before killing the animals. The wolf-killing programs have prompted a Connecticut-based animal rights group to launch a boycott of Alaska's estimated $2 billion a year tourism industry. The Board of Game wants to remove about 140 wolves from an 8,000-square-mile area in the Nelchina basin. Applications are available at Fish and Game offices. About 30 permits are expected to be issued initially, with the first being approved as soon as Jan. 22, said Bruce Bartley, a spokesman with Fish and Game in Anchorage. The board had previously approved the killing of about 40 wolves in a 1,700-square-mile area near McGrath. Three one-month permits were issued in November and December, but unfavorable weather conditions have prevented any wolves from being killed so far, Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harmes said Wednesday. Pilot-and-hunter teams have said conditions will improve in February and March for tracking wolves. Bartley said the game board has heard complaints for years from McGrath and Nelchina area residents that bears and wolves are eating too many moose calves, leaving too few moose for people to eat. The Nelchina basin area had a similar land-and-shoot program that ended in 1995. After that, the wolf population in game management Unit 13 more than doubled, Bartley said. Now, between 70 percent and 90 percent of moose calves in Unit 13 are dead within five months, Bartley said, and the moose cows on average are getting older and producing fewer calves. The moose population has declined by more than half in recent years.
1.7.04 SILVER CITY, NM (AP) -- Two more endangered Mexican gray wolves have been found dead bringing the total to 11 deaths in New Mexico and Arizona since March. A female wolf from the Hondah Pack was found dead on the White Mountain Apache Reservation on Christmas Eve. An alpha male of the Cienega Pack was found on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona on Dec. 21. Both deaths are being investigated, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Elizabeth Slown said. It has already been determined that two of the wolves died from gunshot wounds and two were struck by cars, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Another four are listed by the agency as possible gunshot or auto collision victims. The agency is awaiting necropsy results on six other wolves found dead last year in Arizona and New Mexico. The necropsies were not immediately completed because the agency has only one person who does analyses of suspicious wildlife deaths in the United States, said Colleen Buchanan, assistant wolf recovery coordinator at the agency's wolf recovery program. The wolf recovery team is now trying to decide whether to release any more wolves into the wild this year. Center for Biological Diversity spokesman Michael Robinson said that worries him. "We're very concerned about trends in population and whether the population is going to go down precipitously," he said. A $45,000 reward is being offered by the federal agency, conservation groups and civic groups for information leading to an arrest and conviction of anyone who has killed a Mexican gray wolf.
1.7.04 BATTLE CREEK, MI (AP) -- An endangered Mexican gray wolf remained on the loose Tuesday after escaping from Binder Park Zoo. Three wolves escaped from an enclosure through a small hole they stretched in an exhibit fence early Saturday morning. Two wolves quickly were recaptured, but one climbed the zoo's 9-foot perimeter fence and got away. The missing 19-month-old male wolf was born at the zoo. It likely is trying to find its way home, said Greg Geise, Binder Park Zoo's president and chief executive officer.  The wolf is light gray with light brown on its nose, has fluffy fur on both its face and body and weighs about 60 pounds. Geise said if residents do come into contact with the wolf, they should not try to approach or capture it, but should immediately contact the zoo. Killing or injuring a Mexican gray wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service owns the wolf and two service biologists who specialize in wolves are aiding in the search, Geise said. "I know of no other instance when wolves have stretched the chain link mesh and have been able to escape," he said.
1.7.04 ALASKA (Whitehorse Star) -- Eight wolves have been killed in neck snares set by the Department of the Environment over the last two days near the Whitehorse dump. Environment spokesman Dennis Senger said this afternoon seven wolves were caught in the quick-kill snares Monday and the eighth was snared Tuesday. It’s not certain whether the wolf pack is the same that wreaked havoc among pet dog owners in Mary Lake, Cowley Creek and Wolf Creek before Christmas, Senger said. On the other hand, he pointed out, wolf research involving radio-collared packs in the Whitehorse area 20 years ago showed that packs would move significant distances in one or two days. While wildlife staff have their suspicions, they can’t say for sure if this pack was responsible for killing and eating nine family pets – just the ones reported – in late November and early December, he said. Staff targeted the area around the Whitehorse landfill after receiving numerous reports of wolf sightings from Crestview residents. They also had a report of a wolf in Rabbit’s Foot Canyon along the Alaska Highway near the dump, and another of a wolf crossing Hamilton Boulevard. Senger said the snares that staff have set in and around the country residential subdivisions south of the city centre remain in place.
1.4.04 MINNESOTA (Star Tribune) -- Rosalyn is the alpha female wolf in her pack, a position she has won through many bloody battles with her sisters and daughters in the pens at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake. She is one of seven wolves at the center that will be test subjects for an experimental drug that could help control captive populations and bring genetic diversity to nearly extinct subspecies of the gray wolf that are being reintroduced to the wild elsewhere in the country. "Species reproduce quite well in captivity, and we keep them alive much longer than in the old days," said Cheryl Asa, director of research at the St. Louis Zoo, who is heading the wolf study. "It's getting to be a problem." The nonprofit wildlife center is home to 49 wolves and doesn't have room for any more. There aren't many birth-control options for wolves in captivity. Fertile females must either be temporarily separated from their lifelong mates, which is difficult for both the wolves and their handlers, or given a hormonal implant that fools their bodies into thinking they are pregnant. But inserting it requires a surgical incision, and false pregnancies can lead to long-term health problems, said Peggy Callahan, a wolf expert and executive director of the wildlife center. So Callahan jumped at the chance to help Asa with her research on the new drug, another type of coated implant. If it works, the new birth-control implant would be a huge advance, Callahan said, because it's inserted with a needle instead of through an incision, and it suppresses ovulation, resulting in fewer health risks for the animal. Later this month, Callahan and her staff will help with the second part of Asa's study, using a quicker-acting dose of the drug to trigger ovulation instead of suppressing it. [see 1.13.04 news clipping, above] If it works, Asa said, researchers will be able to artificially impregnate wolves with sperm from males other than mates. That is especially important for the nearly extinct Mexican and red wolves, subspecies of the gray wolf that have only a few breeding lines and should be more genetically diverse before being reintroduced to the wild. "The only other way is to break up pairs and move them somewhere else, and we hate doing that," Asa said. "So we have to move genes around without moving animals."
1.3.04 CALIFORNIA (San Diego Union-Tribune) -- County Supervisor Pam Slater has awarded $50,000 to the California Wolf Center here. The gift, which will be announced formally Jan. 13, marks Slater's second to a nonprofit animal rights group in recent weeks. In early December, she awarded $10,000 to the Fund for Animals Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, an organization based in Ramona. The money for the wolf facility will come out of a fund of discretionary money each supervisor controls. The money for the Ramona center came out of the same fund. Slater contacted the wolf facility after reading about how it cared for wolves after the Pines fire in 2002. While neither Julian nor Ramona is in Slater's District 3, which stretches as far east as Escondido, she said she wanted to aid organizations dealing with fallout from the Pines fire and the recent county wildfires. Slater's office directed Patrick Valentino, head of the wolf center, to make a formal grant proposal. The result was the Animal Care Capital Improvements Program. With the money, Valentino said, the wolf center could buy needed medical equipment, increase the size of enclosures and improve the habitat. There are 28 wolves at the center. Some, part of a species survival program, eventually will be reintroduced to the wild. Others, called ambassador wolves, will remain in the center for education purposes. Valentino called the donation an "amazing present."