In July of 1996 the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre opened its doors to the general public. The Wolf Centre at Haliburton Forest had humble beginnings as far back as 1977 in the backwoods of Upper Michigan ... however that is a story in itself, but it is here that the blood lines of the Haliburton Forest pack began. The history and early beginnings is presented in a separate article.
Today the pack - Haida and Granite, the Alpha pair, and their siblings and offspring, - roams freely in a 15 acre enclosure, one of the largest of its kind in the world. The Wolf Centre contains numerous exhibits, a small cinema/classroom, a retail area featuring a wide selection of wolf related books, tapes and graphics as well as a large indoor observatory overlooking the feeding area within the wolf compound.
An annual themed exhibit is open to the public during the summer: In 1998 it was Wolves in Art, and in subsequent years the themes were: Wolves in the Movies, Wolves in Advertising, Wolf Toys and Stories, A Wolf in the Mail, Little Red Riding Hood, Wolf Masks, Wolves in Fashion and in 2007 it was a tribute to R.D. Lawrence, author and naturalist, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre. In 2008 Wolf Centre staff assembled an exhibit on "Wolves in Politics and Propaganda" with the 2009 display featuring a "Wolf Pub" and a "Wolf Library" in 2010. The Wolf Centre featured an interactive exhibit in 2011, which will allow visitors to perceive the world " through the eyes of a wolf". For 2012 the focus of the exhibit will be the work of David Alexander Risk, the artist in residence at Haliburton Forest.
At the end of April 2012 six further pups were born, of which two were donated to the Wolf Science Centre of the University of Vienna, Austria.
While it is most probable that visitors will have an opportunity to observe the wolf pack or individual members of it, an actual viewing cannot be guaranteed within a short period of time due to the size of the compound and the unsocialised nature of the animals.
The mandate of the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre is research and education. Both are important components within the overall framework of Haliburton Forest with its philosophy of integrated, sustainable resource management and land use. The Wolf Centre is no exception.
Unlike most other facilities of its kind, the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre is a private facility, supported entirely through user fees.
Hours of Operation
The Wolf Centre is open from Victoria Day (May 24th) until the end of the Thanksgiving weekend seven days a week from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. During the remainder of the year the doors are open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Please note that year 'round the last admission for the public is at 4:30 PM.
Wolf Centre Rates
The fees to visit the Haliburton Wolf Centre, subject to all applicable taxes, are*:
- Adult: $ 10.00
- Children and Youths under 18: $7.00
- Family: $22.00
*All Rates are subject to HST
"Through Nature, through the evolutionary continuum and ecological relatedness and interdependence of all living things, we are as much a part of the wolf as the wolf is a part of us. And as we destroy or demean nature, wolves, or any creature, great or small, we do no less to ourselves."
-Michael W. Fox, The Soul of the Wolf
The following 6 minute video provides a nice overview of the Haliburton Forest wolf centre: