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Howl night to be educational fun
by Cortney Maddock
Jun 08, 2010 | 4749 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Animal Ark resident Rayna may howl with visitors during the wildlife sanctuary's "Wolf Howl Night" on Saturday, June 12, 2010. Photo by Tim Torell.
Animal Ark resident Rayna may howl with visitors during the wildlife sanctuary's "Wolf Howl Night" on Saturday, June 12, 2010. Photo by Tim Torell.
RED ROCK — The sing-song howls of three wolves that call Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary & Nature Center in Red Rock home will awaken the surrounding area and enchant audience members at Wolf Howl Night.

The event, which will include a presentation prior to listening to the wolves’ chorus, started in 1996 and is a popular event, according to Animal Ark co-founder Diana Hiibel. The howl night starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“The wolves respond to certain sounds and trainers,” Hiibel explained. “They love to sing. One loves to howl but the older two have voices that aren’t quite as loud and sometimes the coyotes chime in.”

Before the cooler evening weather sparks the songs of the wolves, Hiibel said there will be a presentation beginning at 7 p.m. about a study being conducted at the Animal Ark.

“There is a study going on right now, it is an archeology study,” Hiibel said. “Christina Burke is studying dentation in bones, like when animals chew on bones and the marks they leave.”

Hiibel said the study is being used to gauge if animals can be identified by the teeth marks they leave behind. The study has included research on wolf, bear, mountain lion and coyote dentation patterns.

The presentation will include a poster and information collected so far from the study, Hiibel said.

“We hope people have a recreational, educational experience,” Hiibel said. “We want them to have a fun time learning.”

A fun fact about the wolf howl, Hiibel explained, is it takes place at night because the animals tend to be more active.

“The animals are most active in the evening,” Hiibel said. “It is cooler at the end of the day. The cooler weather and feeding schedules and typically we close at 4:30 p.m., so the activity tends to kick in at the end of the day.”

The three wolves at the Animal Ark — Rayna, Raven and Nischa — have been at the wildlife sanctuary for a long time, Hiibel said. Rayna, an Arctic-type wolf, is stunning white and almost 10 years old, Hiibel said, whereas Raven and Nischa are both 15 years old and are grey wolves from the lower United States.

Hiibel said people should remember that wolves have been long hunted out of the northern Nevada area, making the opportunity to hear them howl that much more special.

Since the Wolf Howl Night is a popular event, Hiibel suggests people get there early, right at 6 p.m., to get their seats because the bleachers only seat 80 people. The presentation begins promptly at 7 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children. Animal Ark is located at 1265 Deerlodge Road in Red Rock.

For more information, including driving directions, visit
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