Seacrest Wolf Preserve
3449 Bonnett Pond Road, Chipley, FL, USA
www.seacrestwolfpreserve.org - (850) 773-2897
Seacrest Wolf Preserve Chipley Reviews
Call Of The Wild Dec 05, 2015
There is a wolf sanctuary in Northern Florida called the Seacrest Wolf Preserve, and we thought the idea of seeing wolves in their natural habitat would be really cool. The only drawback was the distance. It is a 6 hour drive from Orlando, and with rest stops along the way, it would be more like 7 hours.
So we started at 3 in the morning to give us plenty of time to get there when the gates open at 11 am. The tour actually begins at 1 pm. Indeed, we were well ahead of schedule so we took the opportunity to have breakfast at a town called Marianna and to have our packed lunch at pretty Blue Lake in Washington County. Blue Lake is an ideal picnic spot (see photos posted earlier) and we had the chance to stretch our legs a bit.
The Preserve is located on a remote country road near the town of Chipley, but we didn't have much difficulty finding it as we had been given precise directions when we had phoned the day before to make our reservations.
Upon arrival, we signed in at the office and met Ms Cynthia the owner of the Preserve who gave us a briefing before we started our walking tour, on how to behave and connect with the wolves. There were about 30 of us, all eager and excited to interact with our new canidae friends in their natural surroundings.
The tour took nearly 3 hours and Cynthia gave us a running commentary at each encounter with the wolves. There were also about half a dozen handlers who accompanied us to make sure all the rules were followed, and believe me, there were a lot of them: no digital cameras, only disposable ones (we had to buy them at Walmart beforehand), no cell phones, no sandals/flip flops, no wearing of shorts, and only long sleeved shirts to be worn by all visitors. This is a precaution against the wolves accidentally scratching your arms and legs.
We saw the British Columbia, Gray and Arctic breed of wolves. We could see that they were all used to being with humans as they weren't afraid to come near us, especially when the staff tempted them with small pieces of meat. A lot of photo ops! All the while Ms Cynthia kept us informed with the history of each wolf.
I think all the visitors were quite satisfied with this encounter tour as it was a rare occasion to experience first hand and literally come face to face with these animals of the wild.
After the tour we were taken to the small animal adventure enclosure where we could feed the raccoons, hug a skunk (thankfully, they were all de-scented), play with foxes and meet Pacos the Coyote. This time we were allowed to take our digital cameras.
Seacrest Wolf Preserve is open year round with the Saturday tour (the one which we took) for the general public, and private VIP bookings during the week. The fees are $25 per adult and $15 per child (ages 6 through 11). They accept bookings and appointments only by phone. There is a gift shop and small cafeteria on the premises. We were told that Seacrest Wolf Preserve is a non-profit organization. Their slogan is "Keeping The Wild Alive." I'm glad that by going to this place, we became a small part of their preservation efforts to keeping the wild alive.
Part of the Another road trip in Florida travel blog
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