Stranded Colorado Conservationist Seeks Donors For Bus Motor

Written by Paul Day
SALT LAKE CITY (CBS4) – A Colorado man who provides safe haven for unwanted wolves found himself stranded in unfamiliar territory while traveling on an educational tour in Wyoming.

“Our bus died, our motor had a catastrophic failure,” said Kent Weber, founder of Mission Wolf in a phone call with CBS4.

Weber, his wife Tracy Brooks, and three wolves were headed to the West Coast when disaster struck.

“We had to put our bus on a tow truck with the wolves in it and get towed 3 or 4 hours into Salt Lake City where we’re sitting right now,” Weber added.

Since Easter the Mission Wolf delegation has been camped out at Smith Power Products, a diesel engine repair center. They eat and sleep on the bus.

The three wolves — Magpie, Abraham and Zeab have pretty much made themselves home.

“These are unusual wolves,” Weber said. “They were born in captivity and enjoy meeting people.”

Photo Gallery: Stranded: Mission Wolf

Meanwhile, Weber and Brooks are waiting to get their motor fixed and trying to figure out how to pay for it.

“We’re selling t-shirts out here, we’ve got to sell a lot of t-shirts to buy this bus motor,” Weber explained.

The original bid from Smith Power was $40,000. But after negotiation, they agreed to do it at cost — $30,000.

“That’s still way over our head for what we’re used to working with,” Weber said.

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The Mission Wolf bus (credit: Mission Wolf)

Fortunately, a deep pocket supporter of Mission Wolf agreed to match all donations up to $10,000.

Added to that, more financial help is coming in after Weber began telling Facebook friends about their plight.

On Friday afternoon he still figured to be around $12,000 short. He hopes to raise the necessary money in time to be back on the road by Wednesday.

Smith Power has been “ridiculously generous” but they’re not extending credit to the stranded travelers from out of state.

“They’ve made it very clear, we pay cash and we drive the bus,” Weber said..

The original travel plans called for a trip all the way to a museum in Bend, Ore.  Mission Wolf is scheduled to be part of a special program there celebrating the recovery of wild wolves.

“(Of) course when we canceled, it was a disappointment for everyone,” he said.

But the museum has since rescheduled 3 days that had been sold out on the hope that Mission Wolf gets back on the road.

To make a donation, got to the Mission Wolf website.

  • Barry Soetoro

    Put some solar panels and windmills on it . Call it a “hybrid”, “Conservationists”
    travelling in a big ol` bus? A dirty diesel at that! Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr would be wagging their fingers. Start walking Hippies!

    • Tracy Ane Brooks

      We don’t call ourselves “conservationists” cbs did. We are a professional ambassador wolf education program, which houses “wolves”, (0ff the grid by the way) A solar powered nature center. We provide on site education and outreach to countless interested people about the real nature of wolves. You reference two people who have themselves used countless vehicles of transportation. Its no difference.

    • Darlene Panebianco

      Apparently you have no clue what Kent and his programare are all about. They are very environmentally friendly. Maybe you should do some reasearch before you start slamming people.

    • Melissa-Missy Sessions-Jepperson

      Seriously Barry…these guys are AMAZING and what they are doing is incredibly important. They give 100% of themselves and their place to help wolves. The wolves are an important part of this world and these guys are teaching this. They are also INCREDIBLY environmental, but when you are taking animals across country, sometimes you have to use vehicles that normally you wouldn’t want to use.

      I’m a single mom getting ready to send my only child off to college in the fall, but I am trying to get some money together to help you guys! Good luck. My prayers are with you and the wolves.

  • Mario Gandolfo

    Best of luck to you guys,I am proud to post your dilemma on my wall,I have been a staunch supporter of the wolf for over 25 years and will continue to be for life..I hope you make your deadline it’s ignorant people like Barry that fuel my fire to fight the good fight ..BE WELL all of you..

  • Mario Gandolfo

    I am getting feedback from people trying to donate that when they try it is showing “Server error”….

  • Diana


    Check out the website for Mission:Wolf and really learn about the amazing accomplishments of M:W before castigating them.

    The bus is an amazing mode of transportation designed specifically for the welfare of the wolves and their handlers.

    I have had the personal pleasure and honor of meeting these amazing ambassadors – not just the wolves – but Kent and Tracy, who are utterly dedicated to the animals and their futures!

    Learn a little please before jumping to conclusions and making uncalled for comments. Thank you.

  • Taz Alago

    Easy to make a donation y clicking “Donate” on their home page. Make sure you donate enough to fix the motor and buy the wolves some treats, like venison jerky..

  • Taz Alago

    Easy enough to donate from their home page. Give enough so the wolves can have some venison jerky too.

  • Heart Ofthe Wolf

    Thanks for letting us know about this issue Kent and Tracy. We have done our best to bring awareness to this issue. This is very important folks. Mission: Wolf educates across the country about wolves and their role in ecosystems. They don’t do conservation work. Please people, donate to this great organization. Especially since our wild places are increasingly being lost and their educational programs are some of the last ways to understand what we have lost.

    Mike Wagner
    Founder and Executive Director of Heart of the Wolf Organization

  • Barry Soetoro

    I like to go to Cancun and Jamaica.. Can I ask for donations to finance my lifestyle? I sure would like to travel in a private jet next time.

    • Jena

      Barry, I think I could be persuaded to donate some money to stop you from making asinine comments here in a desperate plea for attention.

      Kent and Tracy, I applaud you for what you’re doing and I hope that you get everything that you need to be up and running again.

    • Bonnie Rose`

      Cancun AND Jamaica? Sounds like you could make up for your uneducated comments with a donation. Please take the time to look at their website before you spew that kind of stuff where these fine people can hear it.

  • tom

    I’m sure your mechanics are donating some time, but $30k is higher than any bus owner should have paid. Newly rebuilt engine and tranny $10k. labor putting it in $5-8k tops. Replacing is cheaper than rebuilding, so they aren’t doing you any real favors, just taking advantage of travelers. Join the MAK bus board for better advice next time.
    Great mission, sorry we didn’t know your problem sooner.

    • Kent

      Hey Tom
      Thanks for watching out for us and yes, you are right on most unit costs. There are no re-man’ engines of the type we need available (and they are about 20K at Detroit if they had one) I found re-worked used motors in the 5-10 k range with minimal warranties. We are getting one put together with solid parts that will last. We have for ten years patched our old one together and with over 500,000 miles on it it is time to be replaced and stop wasting time and money on frequent repairs. The trans is a re-man’ being shipped in from Michigan. The shop is actually dong the install for free. What is the MAK bus board – I’ll check it out – thanks – Kent

  • Joe

    you should pop onto twitter and see if the #p2 community would help. just post the link to the story and use the hash tag #p2. they are the group that claim to support causes like your.

  • Robert Schmidt

    I’ve hosted Mission Wolf a couple of times in Logan, and they are a class act

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