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AZ: Howling good family fun at Wolf Discovery Day

PINETOP-LAKESIDE — The White Mountain Wildlife and Nature Center will hold its annual Wolf Discovery Day Saturday, Aug. 16, including an ever-popular visit from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.

This free program begins 10 a.m. at the Nature Center, 425 S. Woodland Road in Pinetop-Lakeside.

Jean Ossorio of Las Cruces, N.M., an expert and advocate on the Mexican grey wolf recovery program, will make an informative and enjoyable presentation on wolf recovery efforts. Ossorio has been actively involved with this program for many years and is knowledgeable about the challenges the program has faced, as well as its successes. Her balanced program will address all sides of this controversial issue.

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary staff will visit with a live wolf ambassadors, and this will be the public’s opportunity to meet and photograph a live wolf up close (and learn why they do not make suitable pets). They will discuss wolf behavior and ecology and how attendees can help the sanctuary meet its mission of educating the public and providing lifetime sanctuary to the more than 60 wolves and wolf-dogs in residence.

One key aspect of the wolf recovery effort is the tracking of wolves and other animals in the field. White Mountain Conservation League tracking expert Janice Przybyl of Quemado, N.M., along with Jean Ossorio will conduct a hands-on wildlife tracking workshop along the Nature Center’s trails. Participants will learn how and where to look for tracks, what clues and track characteristics help identify the species that made it and gain experience in track identification techniques including making plaster castings of Mexican wolf and other species’ tracks.

For more information on the Nature Center and its 2014 Discovery Program series, visit or call (928) 358-3069.