Imagine the perfect night under the Northern lights, the crisp air chilling your face, and the warmth of a friendly wolf cuddling next to you.
There is hardly any beast in the animal kingdom who can compare to the sheer majestic force of a wolf’s powerful frame, sleek coat and eternal stoic gaze. While wolves have never traditionally been the kind of animals one would like to cuddle with, but you might see things differently after reading this.
You’ve probably at least imagined once or twice about roaming the wilderness, just you alongside your trusty wolf companion, without a care in the world, and enjoying nature in all its glory.
All of this is possible, and it’s not a dream- you can have this adventure at a wolf sanctuary in Norway.
Polar Park is an animal wildlife sanctuary with social wolves raised to thrive in the company of humans. Unlike wild wolves, these ones don’t fear humans and visitors can get close enough to touch and even cuddle with them! So basically, they will not harm you and you can finally do what you’ve always wanted to – without getting mauled.
Listed as “critically endangered” on the Norwegian Red List of species 2010, the animal needs protecting from careless hunting practices and encroaching industry.
Two of the packs at the sanctuary are social and comfortable with humans, and one is wild and wary of humans. Nonetheless, individuals from all over are drawn to Polar Park for its admirable work and the ability to meet and cuddle the attentive creatures.
As you can read about on the sanctuary’s website, the purpose of allowing humans to interact with the docile wolves is to push forward an important message of wildlife preservation. Wolves are commonly seen as a nuisance and are driven out of their territories – forcing them to hunt livestock and other domesticated animals – by industrial development. In 2014, it was estimated that only 24-35 wolves remain and live in Norway.
Wolves teach us to trust our minds and hearts, and to have control over our lives. Wolves are the ultimate team players, they know that working together benefits the whole pack. Similarly, we must be prepared to work together for the greater good.
“The gaze of the wolf reaches into our soul.” – Barry Lopez