The Jeff Ward Show
Florida preserve is raising wolves to be accustomed to humans... and visitors can mingle with a wolf pack for $25
Owners of Seacrest Wolf Preserve in northern Florida have been raising their wolves to become accustomed to humans - and for a $25 fee, visitors can mingle with a pack.
Cynthia and Wayne Watkins' preserve is billed as the largest such facility in the Southeast.
It lets wolves become ambassadors for their species, they say, and helps people become advocates for wolves.
'We offer one of the rarest opportunities in the world for humans to see wolves up close and personal,' Cynthia Watkins says.
The Watkinses estimate that Seacrest, near the small town of Chipley, gets 10,000 visitors a year.
But some wolf experts worry that Seacrest may be allowing wolves and humans to get too close.
Dave Mech, a senior research assistant with the U.S. Geological Survey who has spent decades studying wolves, says allowing visitors to enter a wolf pack enclosure isn't safe.
'They are still unpredictable because they are wild animals,' he said. 'Wolves are not like dogs. Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years and that unpredictability and wildness is taken out of them because of the breeding.'
A worker was attacked and killed by a pack of wolves in 2012 at a wildlife park in Sweden. A Canadian biologist was killed by wolves at the Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Preserve in 1996.