Saturday, January 31, 2004

Wolf eludes capture after sanctuary escape

David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

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.



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