Whether it’s the Big Bad Wolf or the mascot of your favorite sports team, we all know about the ravenous pack hunters that howl at the moon. But have you ever seen one eat a pumpkin treat or eat a whole Thanksgiving turkey?

Wolf Park Halloween

Founded in 1972, Wolf Park located 20 minutes outside of Lafayette in Battleground, Indiana, aims to change the fearful narrative surrounding wolves by educating the public about wolf behavior and promoting conservation. The 75-acre piece of land is one of the largest wolf habitats in the United States and is home to eight gray wolves that play an important role in research and keeping the species alive.

“We want to teach people so that they’re not afraid of wolves,” Education and Advocacy Coordinator Rain Gerteis said. “Being able to see these animals up close and learn about their behaviors and learn that they’re not usually threatening to people is essential to wolf conservation.”

Wolf Park

Purdue University Student, Emma Finer, shares this blog. This blog is part of a series of articles submitted to Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette through a cooperation with a 400-level travel writing class at Purdue University.

While it was a rainy day when I went on a 1-hour “Save Wolves Save Wilderness Tour” of Wolf Park, I got to experience seeing these majestic creatures firsthand, and it took my breath away.

Our tour group traveled on a winding gravel path along the fences of the wolf enclosures while being taught the history of Wolf Park and its founder, former Purdue University Professor Dr. Erich Klinghammer. On this general tour, you will get the chance to see the wolves up close in their enclosure as well as other animal ambassadors at the park, including foxes and a bison herd. However, it is not guaranteed that you can see all of animals as some may be hiding.

Wolf Park

As we made our way around the park, it was especially amazing to see the newest additions to the park, two 5-month-old pups named Clay and Cricket. The two brothers arrived from a facility in Montana in May and are the first pups to be raised at Wolf Park in six years.

I remember the tour guide explaining how shy the pups were as they had recently entered their new enclosure. However, to everyone’s surprise, Clay came right up to the fence and looked at us curiously.

Being an animal lover myself, I enjoyed this experience and thought that learning more about wolves and current research on their behavior and conservation was extremely interesting. I would recommend doing a morning tour as the wolves are more active during the early morning hours.

From general tours to park history tours to photography tours, Wolf Park caters to families, students and anyone generally interested in learning and debunking myths about wolves with tours at an affordable price.

Most Saturday nights, Wolf Park also has “howl nights” for guests to see the wolves at their most active hours and observe their “trademark” behavior – howling.

Wolf at Wolf Park

Wolf Park is located at 4004 East 800 North in Battle Ground. For more information and to book a tour experience, visit wolfpark.org. Also, for more information about other unique and interactive attractions in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeofPurdue.com.