Over a dozen wolves have made their way to Southern California, after being rescued from a questionable "fur farm" in the midwest, now call Sylmar home.
Details about the legitimacy of the fur farm from which the wolves were rescued are scarce, and Martine Colette, founder of the Wildlife Waystation that rescued the wolves, told NBC4 she cannot release details on the name or exact location as it is still awaiting judidcial judgement. According to the sancturary's press release, the fur farm was forced to cease operation by state and federal autorities.
"Killing wolves for their pelts is illegal," says Colette, "most wolves are protected by the Federeal Endangered Species Act. Lawsuits have been filed accusing the operation of transrectally electrocuting the animals. But they were just in it for the profit." NBC4 reached out to the US Fish & Widlife Service, but they could not confirm these claims as of time this article was published.
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Raised in captivity, under conditions that Colette describes as "horrendous," the 15 wolves will never be released into the wild. They will, instead, live permanently at the Wildlife Waystation where they will be grouped into packs to mimic the lives they would have had in their natural wild environment. The males have been castrated to avoid creating a cycle that would result in more wolf pups being born into captivity.
The wildlife waystation is home to more than 400 rescued animals including lions, tigers, and chimpanzees. Unlike a zoo, the sanctuary is not open to the public. Howevery they do offer fundraising options including a membership, which supports the sanctuary's rescue efforts and also offers private tours for members.