Hello. You may remember seeing one of my wolf friends, Yuki, in March. I posted a picture of him and I on /r/aww http://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/re2s7/my_wolf_friend_yuki/ and then I posted an album of pictures of him http://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/rftli/more_pictures_of_my_wolf_friend_yuki/

IMPORTANT NOTE: The sanctuary where I volunteer, Shy Wolf Sanctuary, Education & Experience Center in Naples, FL has recently been closed to the public by Collier County Code Enforcement. Shy Wolf has about 40 wolves and wolfdogs, 4 coyotes, 4 foxes, 2 panthers, a bob cat, 6 prairie dogs, tortoises, and sugar gliders. All of the animals are rescued, many were abused and neglected, and most of them had no other place to go. Shy Wolf is run entirely by volunteers so all donations (which have mainly come from visitors to the sanctuary) go directly to animal care. We still have regular operating costs (food, vet care, etc.) and are in the process of trying to obtain conditional use permits and raise funds to build on a new 20 acre property in an agricultural zone, but it will be really costly. I'm posting an AMA to raise awareness for the sanctuary and possibly get some donations. Shy Wolf is a non-profit sanctuary licensed and inspected by the USDA, Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, and Collier County Domestic Animal Services that heals animals physically and mentally and provides them with what they need to be happy and healthy for the rest of their lives (which are usually very long at Shy Wolf). We used to have over 100 visitors each week. It's much different from visiting a zoo. Visitors learn about the animals, where they came from, their behaviors, the care they require, what they teach us, how to help and protect animals, etc., and they got to interact with some of them, including a few wolves, so it's truly been an Education & Experience Center that has benefited the SW Florida community as well as tourists from around the world. Now we need to move to a new property to be able to have visitors again.

Here's the link to donate to Shy Wolf. Please share it! Every dollar helps us get to the new property where the animals will have larger enclosures and people will be able to visit, learn about, and interact with the animals again. www.shywolfsanctuary.com/help.html. You can also like us on Facebook.

Here's a new album of Yuki, and here's a video of him.

I have been volunteering at Shy Wolf for about three years and have made friends with almost all of the animals there. AMA =)

EDIT: I forgot to press enter twice to make new paragraphs haha. Sorry.

Comments: 1128 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

thecasino214 karma

What are the differences in behavior between these wolves and the average pet dog?

christaf459 karma

Wolves don't want to please you and don't really care about what you want them to do at all, so you can't really train them or have them in your house. They will eat it. A lot of people think wolfdogs will make good guard dogs, but then can't even have anyone over to their house because their wolfdogs are horrified of everything. Wolves are mostly concerned with their families and their space. They don't want to be separated from their canine/human families and they don't want to leave their space. Anything unfamiliar is REALLY SCARY and you can't force them to do something they don't want to. They're a lot smarter than dogs and are extremely good at reading your emotions and deceiving you to get what they want. Also, wolves avoid eye contact with you (it's threatening to them), while dogs try to make it.

DrGrinch100 karma

I can't help but feel that a wolf would act very similar to how my Shiba Inu acts. Almost everything you described there sounds like how they behave.

christaf34 karma

Haha aww. Well good luck with them. =)

neotiger62 karma

Can you give some examples of a wolf reading your emotion and deceiving you to get what it wants?

christaf119 karma

They can tell if someone is scared and won't approach them unless they're calm and relaxed. If we are sad or worried about something they're very sweet and extra cuddly. I have to leave to go to school in upstate NY twice a year and they always know when it's my last day and are super enthusiastic and friendly. They jump all over me and give me tons of kisses and try to keep the others away.

We carry bug repellant with us to put on their ears and they can always tell if we intend to put it on them so won't come up to us then.

They will distract us to steal things from us or to get to an area we don't want them to go.

wendallpinset98 karma

TIL that wolves make the greatest friends in the entire world.

christaf50 karma


Sw1tch036 karma

I'd still be scared that the intended lick might turn into half my face gone.

christaf38 karma

Their body language would be entirely different.

Bloody_Vagina_Farts14 karma

A Wolf's tongue is long and quite soft. It is covered in hundreds of projections called papillae which aid in grooming and with tugging meat from bones. A Wolf also uses the tongue for licking up blood, drinking water, and during certain social rituals where tongue contact indicates respect and/or submissive behavior. The tongue is quite thick, but tapers to a thin tip that can be curved into a ladle-like form, making it especially useful for lapping up water.

It's difficult to know exactly what another animal is able to taste, but it is known that canines have taste receptors that permit them to know the sensations of sweet, salty, bitter, and acidic.

christaf6 karma

Haha. Thank you for providing this description. =)

moralnihilist23 karma

What about aggression? Are they more aggressive than dogs generally? Are they generally aggressive in the wild and friendliness towards humans has to be trained?

christaf48 karma

No. They are much shyer. Most of them only bite if they're cornered/being messed with. Yuki would bite in other situations but he's been abused, so it's probably because of that.

In the wild they avoid people. The ones at the sanctuary are socialized by being around people. Some of them had never had human or animal friends before they came to Shy Wolf but we find animal friends for all of the animals and eventually all of them make some human friends too. =)

tennmyc2153 karma

My aunt kind of accidentally obtained a wolf dog. Basically, she found a litter of abandoned dogs and decided to keep one and find homes for the others. A couple years down the road the dog got some sort of disease that only wolves get, so the vet told her it was most likely a wolf/husky mix. Anyway, in hindsight it was petty obvious. Renna (the dog's name) was really skittish, and scared of people. Occasionally, when she oddly would decide to get protective, she would perch on top of the chair of the person she was guarding and stare everyone down. She would also break into a dead sprint on top of loosely packed snow, while the other dogs lumbered through it constantly falling through. Lastly, she wouldn't really chew bones she would just snap them in half in one bite and eat them.

Anyway, she was an amazing dog once you got to know her, and had endless energy. Literally everyone in the house (when I lived there it was 6 of us) would run her and she would still want to play around at night. Great dog, but definitely only for the experienced dog owner. Also, probably not a great idea in general. My aunt has only had regular dogs since then.

christaf29 karma

Wow Renna sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you and your aunt gave her a great home. =)

mauimagic32 karma

I remember your posting about Yuki, and I actually sent it to my mom because I thought it was so cute. It's so nice to hear someone talk about wolf dogs and discuss what they're actually like; there's a wolf dog two houses down from mine and one day the owner was walking him, and I asked him if it was a wolf hybrid, and he says "Yep, but I wouldn't recommend owning one. I can't take him around other people, it's not like owning a normal dog." In my head I was like "No shit." I love wolf dogs and think they're beautiful and it makes me sad how many people buy them as regular pets and then get rid of them.

christaf23 karma

Aww thank you. I'm glad you understand them. <3

PaintedRaven30 karma

My german shepherd doesnt make eye contact with me, and when she does, she barks and tries to "slap" me with her paw. Is this the reason?

christaf37 karma

Probably not. She probably is just trying to get your attention.

hookers12 karma

off topic: I appreciate your proper use of their and they're.

christaf18 karma

Haha. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm making mistakes. I apologize for any. I'm trying to answer quickly and am not proofreading.

Robotlolz9 karma

My dogs tend to avoid eye contact

christaf10 karma

That's interesting. What breed are they?

Robotlolz24 karma

The one in particular is a big time mutt. Part border collie, part collie, part shihtzu, part German shepherd, and who knows what else. Sometimes I amuse myself by playing the eye contact game: she'll lay on the ground near me looking at my face, and I can see her out of my peripheral vision. So I'll turn my head sharply to look at her and she'll instantly look away. Then I'll look away and she'll look back, rinse lather repeat.

christaf16 karma

Haha awwwwwww =)

thecasino104 karma

How many volunteers wear badass wolf shirts to work?

christaf135 karma

We mostly wear our Shy Wolf Sanctuary t-shirts or old shirts we got for free/don't want anymore. They get stained with mud and guts and poop and get holes in them from being stepped/jumped on.

that_physics_guy82 karma


christaf119 karma

From preparing their food and feeding them.

slif_83116 karma

how can i get one of these shirts?

christaf44 karma

What size do you wear? We ran out of most sizes but I think we have some children's ones and xl and xxl ones. We have to order more. I'm sorry. If you like us on facebook we'll post if we start selling them online. It was brought up as a possibility recently.

overlycurious83 karma

Nice to see you back!

What type of diet are they fed? Is Bella a full wolf? I was curious because in one of the videos she is barking.

christaf140 karma

The wolves eat chicken that's meant to be shipped to Europe (less hormones/steroids than what Americans eat) but in damaged boxes, so it's cheaper. They eat four times a week. We give them chicken quarters with vitamins sprinkled on top. They also get beef and sometimes we have other animal meats or organ meats and they get that. A few of them have special needs and we cut their food up for them or cook it for them so it's soft. For example we have a seventeen year old wolf with throat cancer. He gets cooked chicken and beef in the broth and is doing really well. Some of them will eat fruits and vegetables and cottage cheese. As treats we give them bloodsicles or frozen hamburger meat. Some also like peanut butter, yogurt, frozen juice, watermelon, eggs, etc.

Bella is a wolfdog. Someone tried to keep her as a pet but she kept escaping. She's entirely in charge of Yuki and we have to feed them separately because otherwise she would take his food right out of his mouth.

bananamunchies163 karma


christaf134 karma

We bring tubs of meat through the sanctuary in a wagon to feed them, and there's always blood left at the bottom, so sometimes we freeze it and most of them love it.

overlycurious49 karma

Wow, they eat better quality meat than me! I had no idea that they didn't eat at least daily, interesting. I'm happy to hear that they're so well taken care of.

christaf68 karma

Haha. If we fed the wolves every day they would bury their food, it would attract bugs, and they might fight over it. In the wild they would eat even less often.

spaceographer9 karma

17 years old? Do wolves generally live that long or is he a special exception?

christaf6 karma

In captivity with what we feed them they can live that long. We get them whatever vet care is best for them but won't keep them alive when they don't want to be. Some of them greatly benefit from a chiropractor and from natural cellular defense.

christaf72 karma

I'm very very happy with the amount of effort that goes into their diets. Every day we also spend a lot of time preparing fruits, vegetables, and other foods for the smaller animals. Even the mice (the only thing the bob cat will eat) eat very yummy, well balanced foods. =)

njpace62 karma

I saw your last album and loved it! Yuki looks huge, hence my question, how much does he weigh? Also, do things ever get "harry"? How do you deal with an agitated wolf when your in the pen with them?

christaf109 karma

Maybe like 130 pounds. I'm not sure.

We don't look straight at them, but we don't turn our back to them and we yawn and slowly back out of the enclosure. I've only ever had to do that once. If they're attacking us we would cover our face. We also carry blow horns to startle them and radios to talk to other volunteers. We usually avoid situations where they would get really mad at us by paying attention to their body language, by not doing anything that upsets them (some of them have specific triggers), and by staying calm and relaxed, which they pick up on.

unsweatened61 karma

What sort of things trigger a wolf to get angry?

christaf102 karma

Yuki was abused. He doesn't like to be told "no" or to be restrained or controlled in any way (like if he thinks someone is trying to move him or hold his collar). He doesn't mind if his girlfriends tell him no, but with anyone else he gets really angry. Once someone carried a canvas bag past his enclosure and he freaked out and gets very mad every time he sees that person, so we think he had a bad experience with one.

njpace33 karma

Just watched your video, so so jealous. It looks like Bella keeps an eye on you when your playing with her man. Good luck and best wishes with your renovation. Hope all goes well for you and all your fuzzy wet nosed friends!

christaf46 karma

Actually she really wants attention too, but he doesn't like when we give her any.

Aww thank you! <3

groceryking53 karma

Is there an Alpha Wolf? Do the wolves at the center form a pack?

christaf74 karma

They live in groups of 2-4 and each group has an alpha. Their pack hierarchal structure seems more rigid with more animals. With two it doesn't matter as much.

SeaLeggs51 karma

Do you have any dogs? Can they smell wolf on you?

christaf86 karma

I have dogs and they love to smell me when I get home from volunteering. I'm really disgusting then and covered in lots of species of smells.

Also, sometimes at the sanctuary all of the wolves will be really interested in sniffing a very specific spot on my shirt or something where something apparently interesting was.

[deleted]32 karma

i'm guessing this makes you not wear any artificial smells like deodorant spray, use smelling soap or perfume..? as this would confuse them? or have you done/witnessed such experiments?

christaf124 karma

They like the smell of my shampoo and love rubbing their faces/necks in my hair and licking it (scenting). I don't wear perfume there because that would just be silly since I get all dirty and gross. We sometimes spray perfume in their enclosures and they rub on it/roll in it. =) I also give them random smelly things. One of them will roll in anything stinky. Here's Chocowa rolling in a little piece of clementine peel. http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/3663_10151915340420123_358110904_n.jpg http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/532283_10151915340740123_1961121074_n.jpg

christaf104 karma

Note he's entirely white but likes to roll in the mud. His nick name is Pig Pen.

animevamp72714 karma

ive heard that wolfs have extremely low personal hygiene standards is this true?

christaf28 karma

Probably. They don't seem to mind sitting in their poop or something. In my opinion though, most are cleaner than an outdoor German Shepherd or Malamute would be.

FudgingHell36 karma

I've always been fascinated by wolves and I am overcome with happiness just looking at the photos they are magnificent! I want one but I know I can't have one. I have German shepherd..... Close enough

christaf47 karma

Aww thank you for understanding. A lot of the wolves at Shy Wolf were owned by people who expected them to behave as dogs.

I have more pictures here. http://www.facebook.com/ChristaF11/photos

[deleted]7 karma

Do the wolf hybrid dogs (if bred) produce a more dog like creature every generation.

For example: you have a male 50:50 and a female 50:50

You breed them together and you continually breed the puppies (I know this isn't recommended but for the purpose of making them more dog like creatures) together to keep a constant generation (or degeneration).

How many generations would you say it'd take before you had a dog that looked like a wolf but acted as a dog?

christaf17 karma

Thats a good question. I'm copying this from another answer:

They are actually just called wolfdogs since wolves and dogs are the same species. Some wolfdogs actually make great pets to the right person who is willing to spend a lot of time working with them. However, they all have their own personalities independent of their content. Low content (mostly dog) wolf dogs can still behave a lot like wolves and may not do well in a home, and you can never really tell what they will be like from how they behave as a puppy. It's better to adopt them as adults because then you will know what their personality is like. We have some adoptables. About seven years ago (before I was there) Shy Wolf got three baby wolves that were confiscated from a horrible place with dead and sick wolves. They were near death and were raised together by a volunteer. Tien is friendly and will even come up to and kiss new people, Chocowa will come up to some new people but is a little grouchy, and Indy takes a long time to get used to new people before she will approach them. Two years ago we got four wolf puppies and raised them together. All four have very different personalities. Misun and Namid won't come up to new people at all, Chatima will, and Maraya will too but is more wary. You really can never know what they will be like until they're at least two years old.

I don't think this will be accomplished by the irresponsible people breeding wolfdogs today. Are you familiar with the experiment in Russia where researchers selected for tameness (note tame isn't the same as domesticated)? I definitely can't predict how long it would take for them to act like dogs. I'm sorry. I would guess that it would take a long time.

People have been more successful breeding different breeds of dog together to make dogs that look more like wolves. I think some Tamaskans could pass as wolfdogs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamaskan_Dog

stanfan11448 karma

Wow Yuki is a player. He's got his young human girlfriend right there with his wife, and he so chill about it. Doesn't he know you two are going to talk about all his bad habits? ;)

Why was Shy Wolf shut down?

christaf87 karma


It's on residential property where the founder and president lives. The county has been fine with people visiting for the past 20 years but there was an anonymous complaint because we advertise that people can visit online. We just wanted to reach out to as many people as possible to come and see the animals to better understand them and never knew we weren't supposed to.

[deleted]37 karma

Not a question, just a thank you. Thanks for the work you do. I have friends with family who work at the sanctuary that burned to the ground in colorado. It's good to know that there are people dedicated to preserving our wild life.

christaf14 karma

Aww thank you. <3 And I'm very sorry about that. =( Do you know if they can reopen at some point?

WFYGoat31 karma

How calm (or violent) can wolves be? I've always thought they are a little misunderstood..

christaf64 karma

Most of them are very shy around/wary of new people and have to spend a lot of time around them before they approach them and let them pet/scratch them. A few don't really let anyone touch them but they all enjoy interacting with some people in some ways. They're easily startled but most will run away instead of biting someone (which they'll only do if they're cornered). Once they get to know you them they are usually super happy to see you and very relaxed while spending time with you. =)

jerik2230 karma

Have you ever bien nipped or actually bitten?

christaf34 karma

Sorry. Once or twice some of the younger ones got my finger while I was handing them chicken but it was always my fault for not holding it the way we usually do. If we hang on to one end they will just grab it by the other end.

christaf28 karma

Never by a wolf or wolfdog.

Trishypoo29 karma

This is awesome Christa! :)

I am also a volunteer at the sanctuary (the other girl in the end of the Yuki video) Thank you to anyone who has up-voted this or has gone and donated to the sanctuary! Every little bit helps!!


christaf9 karma


kidli26 karma


christaf9 karma

Wow that's awesome! I'm glad you had the opportunity to vist there. Thank you for sharing. =)

microwavable124 karma

How did you get that volunteering position? I love volunteering at my local animal humane society, and would love to volunteer at a place with bigger animals someday :)

christaf27 karma

You just fill out paperwork and start volunteering. At first you're trained by other volunteers. There are four levels and each animal is a certain level 1-4, so you have to be their level to interact with them. The small animals are level 1 for example and Yuki and other wolves known to bite in ordinary situations are level 4. We have to have a lot more training to be a level 4 volunteer to avoid getting hurt (including reading about wolf behavior and being observed with each animal before we can work with them alone).

That's great. I hope you're able to. =)

I volunteered at my local humane society for eight years. The dogs in shelters are absolutely amazing and often overlooked. =( It's wonderful of you to volunteer there. =)

countlatch18 karma

I imagine the wolves are pretty quiet compared to domesticated animals, but do they make any sounds or try to communicate in any way? Also, is tail wagging just a dog thing?

christaf43 karma

They are very vocal. They make so many different sounds but I don't have words for them all. Look at some of my youtube videos of them. At Shy Wolf at least, they howl to make sure everyone is there and in the right place. If one of them has passed away they will howl for a very long time and then all of them will act differently for a while (they won't be as friendly and some won't even want us in with them). They greet each other and us with a happy howl-ish noise. They growl at each other and whimper submissively. They make all possible combinations of the noises I just mentioned and others I don't have words for.

Tail wagging is a wolf thing too, but it's not always a happy thing for dogs or wolves. If their tails are up they are at least wary and may be aggressive, which you'd be able to tell if their ears are forward, if they're looking straight at you, etc. If their tails are wagging below their backs it's more submissive and friendly.

probably-maybe17 karma

I just want to say how awesome and badass your job is. Keep it up!

christaf9 karma

Haha. Aww thank you. =)

Drowzy_Shooter15 karma

Do wolves feel threatened by bigger people? Say an r/Tall member shows up, will the wolf be more afraid of him than say a 5'8 male?

christaf27 karma

Maybe. Some are nervous about children. One LOVES my nine year old nephew but will never approach unfamiliar adults.

They seem to trust people with softer voices more.

BootStiefel15 karma

Is he called Yuki, because of Fruits Basket the anime?

christaf57 karma

No. I <3 Fruits Basket. His name is pronounced You-kai and is the name of a Native American tribe.

BootStiefel3 karma

Just curious, thanks!

christaf8 karma

No problem. =)

legacy_of_fail4 karma

I'll admit, I immediately thought of this upcoming movie.

christaf5 karma

Aww thanks for posting that. =)

poopwiener13 karma

What is the bobcat like? You've given us a really good picture of wolf behavior, can you do the same for the kitty?

christaf48 karma

Unfortunately I have only known one bobcat and I think he's pretty unique, so this may not answer your question. This is BobLeo. http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/394694_2943759835700_894213593_n.jpg http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/284592_2276333070448_6052912_n.jpg http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/294203_2287525270246_1157650_n.jpg He was kept in a crate in a bedroom alone for eight years. His owners decided they didn't want him anymore. When he came to Shy Wolf he couldn't stand up and walk and was so scared and didn't want to be looked at so we covered his fence with bamboo. He wouldn't eat anything and was confused about what he was and what he was supposed to do. He also had a thiamine deficiency. We started feeding him live mice and it helped remind him that he's a kitty, and they contain all the vitamins and nutrients he needs. We adopted a domestic cat named Boomer for him and they are bestest buddies. Both of them are happy together and even sleep together and play together. BobLeo doesn't really like people. He will try to intimidate them by lunging at us or hitting us with his paw. His old owners had him declawed and he won't bite us though. I haven't seen him do that in a very long time. He seems really happy. He likes to sleep on palm fronds. He does like one volunteer and loves when she sits with him and pets him. He also really likes cat nip. BobLeo doesn't mind people coming to see him and watch him anymore, so we cut the bamboo. He still has privacy but people can see over it to observe him. This is Boomer. http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/292140_2287524670231_772857_n.jpg

descartesbedamned13 karma

What are your thoughts of the movie The Grey? Also, more pictures. They're adorable.

christaf21 karma

Aww thanks. =) You might be able to see my albums of aminal pictures of facebook. http://www.facebook.com/ChristaF11/photos

I think the Grey sounds really stupid and inaccurate. I guess it's supposed to be? but not everyone realizes that, and it just reinforces the idea that wolves will attack and eat people. I haven't actually seen it though.

PrincessKeona13 karma

What's the story behind the fox, and why is he Mr. Growly Pants? LOL!!! All the wolves looks so adorable, you have the best job! I wish there was a sanctuary nearby where I live where I could volunteer or work. :(

christaf21 karma

She's a coyote. She was found on the side of the road in TN with her umbilical cord attached, with her mom and siblings, but she was the only one alive. Someone kept her for a few months but were afraid they'd get caught and have to get rid of her. We changed her name to Girly Friend and she lives with three baby male coyotes. Two were found at a construction site in central FL after their mom was trapped and the other one was found without his mom in SWFL. They're illegal to release because they're considered pests.

PrincessKeona8 karma

Holy crapcakes! Wow, what a little survivor! O.o I love coyotes, even though one ate a cat of mine last year. :( I know it's a hungry animal trying its best to survive, I can't be angry at it. I don't understand how people can harm them, they're so cute! I keep joking that one of these days I'm gonna rescue one that's hurt and end up keeping it. LOL! We live in LA, near the mountains, so there are coyotes here all over the place.

christaf9 karma

Aww I'm sorry about your kitty. =( They are opportunists and will kill anything. =/ Yeah. People hate them. They're only in FL because people complained about all the rodents so someone (FL FWC? I'm not sure) brought some here and now people don't like them either.

joeingo11 karma

I don't have a question, but I love your job for you.

I could only donate $5 since I'm poor and in school, but I think that should get all the land you need.

christaf6 karma

Awwwwwww thank you!!! I am poor and in school to so I understand. =)

We actually bought it in 2010 with money someone left to the sanctuary when she passed away. Since then, donations have been going to operational costs, but with the sanctuary being closed, we're trying to get there as soon as possible. Every dollar helps. <3

Guinness310211 karma

You have a large lap dog.

christaf17 karma

Yeah haha. He doesn't seem to care that he can't fit in our laps. I think he sometimes does it to be protective of us. There's a wolfdog named Koda that also does that.

unsweatened9 karma

How do the panthers get along with people? Do they take more work to care after than a wolf would?

christaf20 karma

We have two Florida panthers. Glory was bought by a nice lady at an auction so that some other people couldn't buy her to use her for hunting practice and then to sell her. She was really well cared for but the woman is older and couldn't take care of her anymore. She's one of the few animals that actually had a loving owner and people can interact with her but she will sometimes grab them with her mouth or paws because she doesn't want them to leave. I think she's about 14 years old.

Cimarron was kept as a pet when he was younger. His owner taught him to wrestle but would beat him in the head with a metal pipe to control him. Now that he's bigger (he's about 4 years old), he's way too strong for us to enter his enclosure. He would probably scratch us trying to play with us. We can pet him through the fence and give him things. He especially enjoys Avon Skin So Soft, cat nip, and chewing tobacco. He generally likes women most and likes to be petted and scratched on his face, neck, and back.

FL panthers are a subspecies of puma concolor (the same as mountain lions/cougars). They live in enclosures with ceilings and have more vertical space (things to climb on). They probably require the same amount of daily care. Cimarron eats more though. He can eat a dozen chicken quarters and lots of beef at once.

I have a few videos of him on youtube.

unsweatened3 karma

Thanks for the answer, that's really interesting :D

christaf5 karma

No problem =)


This is something I really want to do in the future. I would love to volunteer at a facility like this. Props to you!

christaf6 karma

Aww thanks. I hope you get to. =)

smilesoup8 karma

How often do you encounter people who want to have wolf-dog hybrids as pets, and what do you say to them?

christaf12 karma

They are just called wolfdogs, since wolves and dogs are the same species. Some wolfdogs actually make great pets to the right person who is willing to spend a lot of time working with them. However, they all have their own personalities independent of their content. Low content (mostly dog) wolf dogs can still behave a lot like wolves and may not do well in a home, and you can never really tell what they will be like from how they behave as a puppy. It's better to adopt them as adults because then you will know what their personality is like. We have some adoptables.

About seven years ago (before I was there) Shy Wolf got three baby wolves that were confiscated from a horrible place with dead and sick wolves. They were near death and were raised together by a volunteer. Tien is friendly and will even come up to and kiss new people, Chocowa will come up to some new people but is a little grouchy, and Indy takes a long time to get used to new people before she will approach them. Two years ago we got four wolf puppies and raised them together. All four have very different personalities. Misun and Namid won't come up to new people at all, Chatima will, and Maraya will too but is more wary. You really can never know what they will be like until they're at least two years old.

TheSnooter12 karma

I always thought dogs and wolves were two completely different species, canis familiaris and canus lupus. My knee jerk reaction was going to be "that guy" and correct you but, I actually looked it up first. Turns out I was wrong and dogs are actually a subspecies of wolves, canus lupus familiaris. TIL

Thanks for inadvertently teaching me something today!

christaf10 karma

Haha yep. =) No problem.

People used to be able to learn so many new things at the sanctuary, until we were closed to visitors. =(

zepplinnd997 karma

How often do you have people protesting saying the animals should be released?

christaf15 karma

Not very often. We just explain that the animals don't know to avoid humans and don't know how to hunt.

Lots427 karma

How do wolves react when humans get nicks and scratches? Do they want to lick the wound clean?

christaf7 karma

If they notice they usually sniff and lick it.

wolfhunter26 karma

ever wanted one as a pet?

christaf10 karma

Definitely not. I have two Pit Bull mixes and a cat that were strays, and two rats from the lab at my school. Those are probably my favorite animals to have as pets. <3