Friday, 20 June 2014

The Wolf Park in Antequera

Just after moving to Andalusia Paul came across an article that listed ’10 secrets of Andalusia’. Amongst these was one that sound slightly crazy but nevertheless interesting, a Howl Night in a Wolf Park. We searched for more information about the place, picked a day when there was full moon and went to see what the fuss is all about.

The private park is owned by a German couple who also speak perfect Spanish and English. They have 26 wolfs running around a huge, 40 hectar protected area. Their aim is to observe their social behaviour which is very hard in the wild. They do have to compromise but they try to keep them as free and wild as it’s possible under these semi-natural circumstances. Incidentally, their neighbour has 2500 goats so the feeding of the ‘lobos’ is not a problem.

In the first hour you have the chance to walk around and have a look at the domestic animals (peacocks, goats and such) which the kids all seemed to love, then they serve you some food. After the quick tapas session we finally started the tour just after 20.30.

During the 2.5-3h guided tour in the park you get a chance to see four types of wolves up close. The first ones were timber wolfs from Canada.

Then this white tundra wolf from Alaska.

Iberian Wolves.

During the summer they don’t eat much because of the heat and they lose a lot of hair. Because of this they weren’t in the best shape.

When the guides were throwing food to them they kind of behaved like oversized dogs. However when they growled or snapped at each other the hair stood up on my arm. Even though they seemed timid to others, to me they just looked like pure danger. You look into those amber eyes and you know you wouldn’t have the smallest chance to survive. It is a strange experience.

The tour itself was VERY informative and educational. It was given in English and Spanish. My level of Spanish is around low B2 but I was able to understand everything. Both guides are very passionate about what they are doing and this shined through their words. I found it very interesting to hear about the pack structure and their individual habits. And hearing them howl was just the icing on the cake.

Overall it was a great night, definitely something different to do. If you want to know more about them, check out their website. They speak perfect English and are happy to help with anything you need.

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