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Blogger Marilynn Nash attends presentation on wolves

Aug. 13, 2013
 
Stan Tekiela speaks to a group about wolves at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary in August 2013.
Stan Tekiela speaks to a group about wolves at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary in August 2013. / Marilynn Nash/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com
Visitors learn about wolves at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary in August 2013. / Marilynn Nash/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com
Stan Tekiela speaks to a group about wolves at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary in August 2013. / Marilynn Nash/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com
Stan Tekiela speaks to a group about wolves at Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary in August 2013. / Marilynn Nash/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com

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An announcement for “The Lives of Fox, Coyote, and Wolves” presented by Stan Tekiela earlier this month captured our interest.

So we drove to Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary near Sarona for the event -- through the country, down a winding, tree-lined lane, arriving at the nature center where volunteers directed us to park in the already crowded grassy lot.

We had arrived early enough to stand in line, soaking in the buzz of the converted-barn dining hall at Hunt Hill, breakfasting on cinnamon swirl pancakes, sausage, fruit, juice, coffee, and pure maple syrup.

More on wolves in Wisconsin: Wolf hunting news from around the state | Trail cameras capture wolf activity

The breakfast was part of Hunt Hill’s ‘Cakes at the Lakes’ series, which precedes a 10 a.m. presentation ... this time by Tekiela. A few weeks earlier we had attended a presentation by the National Eagle Center.

Outside the dining hall a friend walked by holding a well-used copy of “Wild Flowers of Wisconsin Field Guide” – one of our favorites because it’s user-friendly.
“Did you know that Stan Tekiela wrote this?” she asked.

No, we hadn’t realized that. She said she planned to have him sign it. We later discovered that Tekiela has written over 100 field guides and nature books.

After breakfast and free time we entered a large ‘program learning center garage’ where more than 200 people were gathering on metal folding chairs. Families explored hands-on nature displays along the walls during the minutes before the presentation. Some children had secured spots on the floor front-and-center.

The slide show presentation began with Tekiela directing our focus.

“I’m a biologist. I’m here to talk about wolves, not politics,” Tekiela said. He promised to answer any questions at the end.

Tekiela presented detailed information about canids – wolves, foxes, and coyotes. For example: there are up to 40 species of wolves; canids’ sense of smell is 100 times superior to humans; the further north members of the canid species lives the more body mass they need for survival – key deer weigh an average of only 40 pounds …
Tekiela described close encounters with wildlife during observation and photography projects. He said he does not worry about danger from canids at such times, because attacks on humans are rare.

Tekiela encouraged us to think about the lives of wolves from their perspective. They kill because it’s life-and-death for them, the only way they can survive, unlike for humans.

Tekiela added that wolves face hazards such as rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, mange (sarcoptic mites), heartworms, car collisions, poisoning, trapping, and shooting.

The presentation closed with a flurry of questions.

Tekiela said that studies are being conducted to help those with livestock deal with wolf predation. He said that one way farmers can protect their livestock is to use llamas as guard animals.

Marilynn Nash writes about her exploration of the outdoors in Wisconsin -- a variety of outdoor experiences -- hiking, biking, snowshoeing, trailbuilding volunteer work, boating, ski hill tubing and more. She'll probably try a few things she hasn't done before.

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