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Saving the wolves

By Eric Singer, Anchor/Reporter ,
Published On: Jul 18 2013 06:47:03 PM CDT

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center has extensive plans to keep the animals safe in case of a flood or fire.

DIVIDE, Colo -

Wolves pace and howl at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide.  It's not because they're nervous about what happens if a fire hits their home.  Darlene Kobobel is with the Center.  She showed me the extensive planning that has gone in to keep the 17 wolves, four foxes, four coyotes and other domestic animals safe before fire could gobble up the property.  Darlene showed me the plans which include checklists and seven teams that are ready at a moment's notice to do their work to keep the animals out of harm's way.  Darlene said, "We are ready 24-7.  If everything goes as planned, it would be two hours that we can everyone here evacuated."

The evacuation is just the tip of the iceberg to keep the animals safe.  Darlene showed me the one thousand trees that have already been cut down as part of mitigation. That translates to 25 acres of work around the property.  The Wildlife Center still has 50 acres of tree cutting to go.  There is also a huge sprinkler system that is being installed around the property to saturate it with water in each direction and slow down the growth of any fire that could be moving towards the wolves and the property.

In addition to the tree cutting and sprinkler system, there is an old fashion approach to sanctuary safety.  Goats are going to be hungrily working on the property eating grass down to the nub to reduce the fire danger near the highway.  

Darlene is proud of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide.  She talked to me about her love for the wolves, "They are incredible animals.  People have a fascination and a little bit of fear for them.  They are a little misunderstood in a lot of ways.  People come out here to not only see them but learn about them as well."   Darlene Kobobel hopes with the extensive planning that has been done to prevent fires on and near her property, visitors will continue to come to the Center for decades to come.