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Visit The World Famous Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide Colorado

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

Wolf Eyes

Determined to provide a safe haven for unwanted wolf-dogs, Darlene created the Wolf Rescue Center (WRC). During the first year of operation, the WRC 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, almost 80% will likely die before they reach their third birthday.

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 was fortunate enough to meet 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 property, known as the Wandering Star 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 assured safety. The Hayman fire burned for over four weeks and destroyed over 135,000 acres of land.

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 hundreds of 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.

Darlene Kobobel & Chinook Today, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization is directed by Darlene Kobobel and Allison Trainer. CWWC conducts guided educational tours and programs that focus on dispelling myths about wolves and wild canids and helping people to appreciate the roles wolves play in their ecosystems. Tours cover topics such as pack hierarchy, territory, communication, prey impact, and conservation. What is unique about the tour is that people also learn where each of our rescued wolves, wolf dogs, foxes and coyotes were rescued from; ranging from backyards, to Hollywood, to college dorms, to fur farms. The history of the animals compels visitors to walk away with a compassionate respect to honor the fact that wild means wild. Just as importantly, CWWC serves as a voice for ALL animals. The Center focuses on responsible domestic pet ownership and stresses the importance of spaying and neutering.

CWWC is now gaining more world wide recognition and is reaching nearly 20,000 people annually; due not only to the education provided but also because of the unique and natural setting CWWC provides for its rescued animals. All of the enclosures are above and beyond the requirements of USDA and DOW. CWWC currently provides some of the largest enclosures in the U.S. per two animal ratios, complete with lush aspen groves, large rock formations, shady pine trees, ponds and dens. CWWC has become known for not only providing sanctuary for animals, but for people as well. Thanks to the inspiration of a wolf named Chinook, we are promoting stewardship, dedicated to educating the world about wolves if only one person at a time.

Learn more about the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife organization by visiting their website at

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