Darlene Kobobel admits when she was a little girl her biggest fear in the world was a wolf.
“You know, the big, bad wolf thing, the Little Red Riding Hood,” says Kobobel. “That’s not true at all.
And now Kobobel works with the animals every day. She created the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. It’s a permanent home to animals rarely seen in the wild.
“We have wolves, coyotes, fox,” explains Kobobel. “You still have people who believe that wolves will come out of the forest and eat you or attack you for no reason.”
Some of the animals were rescued from bad situations, like Sabin the wolf dog.
“Some college guys thought it was cool to have a wolf as a pet,” Kobobel said. “They locked him up in the bathroom all day long and fed him things like pizza, cheetoes and beer. At 16 he’s still doing pretty good.”
Kobobel believes the more humans learn, the better the chances for preservation.
“Learn how they work as a family together and learn how they work in the ecosystem,” says Kobobel. “You have to have predator and prey to make a balance.”
Tours are offered four times a day at Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Guides talk about hunting, howling and hierarchy.
“We’ll see the difference between the arctic wolves, timber wolves, Arkansas Interior, Mexican Grey wolves,” Kobobel says. “By the time you walk out of here you have a better knowledge of all these animals out here.”
You can also find the red fox at the center. They’re native to Colorado, but they are highly endangered and a lot of it is because of habitat loss.
Colorado hasn’t seen wild wolves since the 1940s.
Call the center for information about tours at (719) 987-9742.