International Wolf Center

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IWC Entrance

The International Wolf Center is a research and educational organization based in Ely, Minnesota, United States, that, in its own words, "advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future."[1] The Wolf Center operates an interpretive center in Ely open to the public, where visitors can view captive "ambassador wolves" in natural surroundings through large windows, and can learn about wolves through a variety of exhibits and programs.[2] This organization lies within Superior National Forest. It also sponsors research symposia[3] and offsite educational programs,[4] publishes International Wolf magazine, and provides information about wolves via its website.

In response to wolf controversies, the Wolf Center does not take a stand on how wolves should be managed (such as by hunting or trapping), as long as healthy wolf populations are maintained.[3] Its policy is to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information possible about wolves and let people make their own decisions.[1]

Exhibits and activities[edit]

Founded in 1985 by a group of biologists led by wolf biologist Dr. L. David Mech, the International Wolf Center opened in June 1993. The Wolf Center is housed in a 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) facility in Ely, Minnesota and features gray wolves viewable through large windows that allow visitors to watch the wolves communicate, hunt, eat and play.

Visitors have the opportunity to view a 1.25-acre (5,100 m2) enclosure and den site that is home for the Exhibit Pack which includes two Northwestern wolves: Aidan and Denali, Boltz, a Great Plains wolf and two arctic wolves, Axel and Grayson. The Center introduces new wolf pups every four years.[5] In addition to the main enclosure, the Center also has a separate enclosure that contains "retired" wolves. The retired wolf enclosure currently houses Grizzer and Luna, Great Plains wolves.

IWC Building

In addition to the onsite wolves, the Center offers various educational programs at its Ely interpretive facility as well as wolf hot spots in northern Minnesota. Afternoon, weekend and week-long programs include howling trips, snowshoe treks, radio tracking, family activities, dog sledding, videos, presentations, demonstrations and hikes.

The Center also houses a Wolves and Humans exhibit, the Little Wolf exhibit designed specifically for children ages three to nine, a theater for watching presentations on the history and behavior of wolves, and a store. [6]

International Wolf magazine is published quarterly by the International Wolf Center. The publication is free to members of the International Wolf Center, and selected articles from each issue are available online.

To help accomplish its mission, the International Wolf Center provides a support program for educators, including distance learning opportunities as part of the "Wolf Link" initiative that brings the center into hundreds of classrooms each year. The center sponsored a video game called WolfQuest, which has been developed by the Minnesota Zoo. WolfQuest is an educational computer game that is intended to teach children and teens about the life of a wild wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Two episodes have been released thus far; WolfQuest: Amethyst Mountain, and WolfQuest: Slough Creek.


  1. ^ a b "About Us: Mission, Vision, and Values". International Wolf Center. 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  2. ^ Manisero, Stef (2015-09-16). "International Wolf Center Seeks Financial Help From State". Duluth, Minnesota: Fox 21 KQDS-TV. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  3. ^ a b Myers, John (2013-10-10). "International Wolf Center Draws Global Wolf Experts to Minnesota". Duluth, Minnesota: Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  4. ^ Ward, Whitney L. (2015-02-12). "Events For Kids in Southwest Florida". The News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Meet the Ambassador Wolves!". International Wolf Center. 
  6. ^ Conservation Minnesota listing and description by Nancy Gibson Retrieved February 15th, 2017

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°54′20.73″N 91°49′40.13″W / 47.9057583°N 91.8278139°W / 47.9057583; -91.8278139