OUR MISSION

It is the Mission
of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center to:
  • Educate the public through tours and programs about the importance of Wolves, Coyotes, and Foxes to our eco-system.

  • Educate the public about the importance of Preservation and Conservation of the forests, land, and water that supports wildlife, flora, and fauna for future generations to enjoy.

  • Provide natural habitats and exceptional lives for the animals entrusted to our care since they cannot live in the wild.

Our Mission in Action:

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is one of very few sanctuaries in the United States which has been certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

With this title we are able to go beyond education and into application. CWWC actively participates in the Species Survival Program by providing a home to Mexican Grey Wolves and Swift Foxes.

We also practice conservation in the sanctuary’s daily life by using environmentally friendly ink, biodegradable trash bags, participating in recycling programs, and “adopting” Twin Rocks Road to keep it trash free.

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center isn’t just about SAYING, it’s about DOING!

EDUCATION · CONSERVATION · PRESERVATION

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IT BEGAN WHEN...

Darlene and Chinook

There is not a day
that goes by that I don’t feel not only lucky,
but blessed to have found
and now live at this
beautiful, peaceful location
to provide sanctuary for
the animals and provide
a fun and educational environment to visitors.

Darlene Kobobel, in Lake George, Colorado, rescued a wolf-dog by the name of Chinook in 1993. Chinook was two years of age and was going to be euthanized at the local animal shelter because of her “wolf-hybrid” label. Once Darlene learned of the fate of this beautiful animal, in spite of her childhood fears of wolves, she took Chinook home and learned of the issues and controversies regarding wolf-dogs and wolf-dog breeders throughout the county. 

Determined to provide a safe haven for unwanted wolf-dogs, Darlene created the Wolf Hybrid Rescue Center. During the first year of operation, the Center was inundated with 15 – 20 phone calls every day from around the country from people who wanted to surrender their beloved wolves. This is when it was realized that the role of providing education was necessary. It has been learned that out of approximately 250,000 wolf-dogs that are born in our country every year, 80% will likely die before they reach their third birthday. Part of the reason is due to people that cannot care for their wolf-dog anymore for one or more reasons, and surrender it to a shelter. Most animal shelters and humane societies usually will euthanize wolf-dogs within 24-72 hours after they are surrendered.

 

After nearly 10 years of rescuing unwanted animals, it was time to consider relocation due to residential housing developments springing up within a quarter mile of the Center. It was also time to evolve into providing more widespread education and get away from “rescue.” WRC staff and volunteers learned that it was physically and financially impossible to save every animal that needed to be rescued. If the emphasis was placed on education, even more animals’ lives could be saved. It was Kobobel’s dream for WRC to evolve into the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. 

In the search for new property to relocate to, the Center met a woman who was willing to allow the WRC to move onto her private ranch just six miles east of the Center’s location. An agreement was made for WRC to relocate to a 35-acre parcel of this ranch on a long-term lease. A week after the lease signing, WRC endured the Hayman fire. 

With only three hours to evacuate, volunteers were called upon to help move all of the wolves along with domestic cats, dogs, horses and a chicken. The evacuation destination was a horse barn on the Wandering Star Ranch. This horse barn became home to the WRC’s 12 wolves for the next five weeks. All of the domestic animals were taken to friends’ and volunteers’ homes where they would be cared for. The Hayman fire burned for over four weeks and destroyed over 135,000 acres of land and structures. 

 

The sudden evacuation prompted the accelerated construction and development of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center (CWWC). The total cost for fencing materials alone for the new sanctuary cost the Center a lump sum of $25,000 from its “Project Wolf” account. This was a special account intended specifically for spaying/neutering, miscellaneous veterinary bills and the future (and gradual) expansion of the Center. Thanks to the energetic, hard work of countless volunteers and supporters, six one-acre wolf enclosures were completed within 5 weekend’s time. With much emotion shown by the volunteers, the wolves were finally released into their new homes. 

Over the next 6 months an education/visitors center was constructed and the Center was ready to officially open for business again. On June 28, 2003 Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center introduced itself by hosting a Grand Opening Celebration to officially inaugurate the new sanctuary. Local support was great, with over 250 people in attendance to celebrate the Center’s recovery from the Hayman fire.

 

After only 3.5 years and some monumental events, including the death of our beloved Chinook, the owner of the property suddenly decided to terminate our lease. We began a frantic search to find property that could be ours. Amazingly, Darlene found a wonderful 35 acre property even better than any previous location. 

Darlene, with several volunteers, began the arduous task of clearing, trenching, fencing and building another set of enclosures, a visitor center and a real home with conference/education facilities. This work was completed by countless hours of back-breaking labor by dedicated volunteers and staff. Thank you doesn’t begin to express our appreciation and awe at the outpouring of love for our animals. We have really stretched (and then some) our resources to make this a possibility - again because of the generosity of donors and sponsors. Every little bit has helped. 

As of 2017, we have expanded. Some new buildings have been added: a 2000 square foot barn for storage, a hay barn, a meat room that can hold five thousand pounds of food for the wolves, a vet room, an amphitheater for education purposes, expanded enclosures, walking trails, and a new entrance sign. CWWC bought the adjoining property to make twenty acres of sanctuary and wildlife buffer zones. 

The wolf angels are in the stars shining on us and we will ALWAYS fight for what we believe in. Never let the howl go silent!

 

Darlene Kobobel - CEO of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center