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International Wolf Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.

Programs: EDUCATION AND MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS

Community Stories

90 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I moved to Hibbing Minnesota in late December for two primary reasons, my big brother and his wife live here, and for the wolves at Ely! I got to make my first visit two weeks ago! The drive there was so beautiful, and so interesting! Arriving at the center, you see this beautiful building, backed and surrounded by trees. It is misleading in a way because it hides the center's true size! We walked in and just as my brother was paying, they told us go to the observation deck, the wolves have just come out and are active! As a poet and author, one of my dream projects is to one day spend time among the wolves with my Nikon and photograph them and then write poetry for each photo, and combine them into a coffee table book that can be sold, with proceeds going to the Wolf Center to help with their research and projects! I grew up in the Southern California desert, we had no wolves there! Lots of coyotes! Wolves have always been a part of me, deep somewhere inside. As I sat in the observation deck and watched Boltz, I had, what I can only describe as a deeply spiritual and moving experience. I felt like Adam, in the presence of God, these were His creations. My brother watched movies and presentations on Wolves and left me to my zen peace! And it was one of the most peaceful moments I have ever experienced! It is so worth the trip! It is a MUST SEE for anyone in or travelling to Minnesota! The staff is AMAZING, knowledgeable, friendly, and answered my questions not only willingly but happily!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of my favorite places to visit. I'm very lucky to be local so I can and do visit often. Staff is amazing, very knowledgeable and friendly. The site is also very nice. Come visit the wolves in beautiful Ely!!

Christina148

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The International Wolf Center is absolutely incredible. Just walking through the front doors for the first time I knew it was a very special place. The IWC has a way of captivating you through their world class educational displays. The staff are so well versed and able to answer and explain any question presented. They are so knowledgeable it feels like a challenge to ask them something they don't know! I could sit and watch the ambassador wolves for hours on end at the center. And when at home, I can watch them on Webcams! It is heartwarming to see how well they are managed and cared for. A truly beautiful pack. The IWC is the leader in providing science based evidence and information on the wolf, and anything to do with this organization I 100% support!

Maggie63

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am incredibly impressed with the work done by International Wolf Center. Their organization provides critical sanctuary and opportunities for public awareness for a fascinating and endangered predator species. I was so taken by the quality of display, level of professionalism, and overall commitment to conservation when visiting the center.
Thank you for the work you do!

Heather301

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited in the late 1990s when I was living in Texas and came to northern Minnesota for a fall vacation. I spent my summers on a nearby lake as a kid, so was familiar with the area, but had just heard about the Center. Loved it from the first moment there. Became a member and tried to keep up with it as much as I could (the internet back then not being what it is now.)

After moving back to Minnesota I started making frequent trips to Ely and would just spend hours sitting and observing the wolves. I was selected as a Pup Nanny/Pup Care Participant with the 2008 litter of Aidan & Denali - the best week of my life!! I've since been invited back to do Pup Care in 2012 and 2016. I also volunteer through the Corporate Office in the Twin Cities at the MN State Fair. I have learned so much from the staff and other volunteers - they are the best! Lori Schmidt, Curator, has the utmost respect for all the wolves and I have never doubted that no matter what, she will always do whatever is right for the wolf.

The Center always finds the very best for their intern staff also - what I respect about them is that even though they are "staff" and I am not - they are still very interested in my stories/experience with the wolves (pups) and my observations throughout the years.

This place is a MUST SEE for anyone with even an inkling of interest about wolves - the Center is a neutral party in discussions - they are not pro-this or against-that - they are all about education and letting people make up their own minds - a fresh purpose these days.

For my role - it will only allow me to select one - but I am more than one - I am a customer, member, volunteer, donor, and exuberant supporter!! :-)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One summer day in the north woods of MN, I discovered the International Wolf Center with my husband. I love wolves and was so impressed with the facilities, the crew and of course, how well educated I became about wolves during my visit that inspires me to this day. It is an especially committed and worthwhile non-profit helping to raise awareness and protect the wolf.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is a must stop everytime we are in Ely!!! Best way to spend a Saturday night watching wolves eat.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Distance is a problem for me, but I have followed the IWC since 2008, my first visit was in 2010. As we walked in the door I knew we had came into a wonderful place, full of great things. The people are so caring and helpful, answering all question that you could put to them.
I love the fact the school's and classrooms can be involved also..
Since my first visit I have been able to be a nanny for the 2012 pups and the 2016 pups, best experience a person could ever have. Again without the caring & knowledgeable people that are in charge, this great place would never exist.
Since I live in an area that get's winter visitors I'm always running into folks from Minnesota I always ask have been to Ely & the International Wolf Center. If the answer is no. You can guess you my reply is.. Oh you must go...

slt617

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been journeying to the wolf center since 2014 for volunteering on the working for wolves crew, pupcare in 2016, and many of the educational adventure programs. Every time it is a wonderful experience watching the wolves and speaking with staff. Everyone is dedicated to the mission of the center but foremost to the best care of the wolves. The dedication to the wellbeing of the pack is outstanding. This is a must visit for learning about the importance of wolves to the ecosystem. Ely and surrounding area have many opportunities to be in nature. Their are also interesting shops and small museums to visit. If you can't get to the center, watch the pack on their webcams!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

The IWC has the best programs for learning about Wolves and their importance in the natural world. An amazing facility affording viewing of captive born pack to learn about these beautiful animals. Volunteer programs and learning adventure trips provide various opportunities to learn about and engage with nature

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Kim_265

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Kim W. I have been volunteering at the International Wolf Center for 13 years. From the first day I visited, till today, I knew this was the type of organization I wanted to be involved with any way possible. The staff is dedicated to scienced based wolf education and lets visitors make their own decisions regarding tough wolf opinions. The care of the captive wolves on site is first rate and their care is a top priority.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We drove about 4 hours to get to the International Wolf Center. It was a very calming drive up north through the trees and smaller towns. Once you get to the center the staff is very well mannered and friendly. They have wonderful lectures, videos, and displays about wolves in case you want to learn more about them while you are visiting. The staff knows a ton and is more than willing to answer all of your questions. It's a great place for all ages and is easy access. The wolves themselves definitely have their own personality and are entertaining to watch and learn more about.

Kelcie S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to serve as an educator/intern in 2014 and in prior months. I have always felt apart of a team, a family if you will, of strong staff who are dedicated towards serving the missing statement and educating the public about wolves. Working for the wolf center has not only been a dream of mine but also something which I have and will always cherish as one of my favorite memories and internships. I love the mission of the wolf center and educational tools they not only provide their staff but the public as well. Come join us for a unique experience, where you may learn about wolves and (hopefully, if you are patient) see them up close through the glass.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I was a little girl in grade school, I had always wanted to visit the center. I tried to persuade my parents to take a trip up to visit but the cost of travel was always too much. We spent our summers doing other things instead. However, the desire to visit the center never died. As the years progressed, I actually almost forgot about the wolf center because I turned my attention away from wolves and began to focus on birds. I was always told "forget about working with wolves, it's practically impossible in the wildlife field" and the bird passion later sprouted. Now, as a college student, I am on my way to becoming a wildlife professional. Every summer I attempt internships despite them being out of state. Last summer I was located in Wisconsin and remembered the Wolf Center. I became a member and planned on visiting because I was finally within driving distance. However, my vehicle then decided to have a gas leak and my journey was halted. I still received updates about the center through their membership magazine, wolf logs, and wolf cams. The later two located on their website. I began to secretly desire to pursue wolf related internships again and as the 2014 summer approached, I found an internship application and applied. I was in absolute disbelief when I was interviewed and the fact that I was hired as a Summer Educator was practically surreal. I could not believe it. Everyone told me it was impossible and yet I still managed to prove people wrong again.

In short, thank you IWC for the opportunities you provide. Not only do you provide college students the chance to work with you through internships but you also have volunteer experience for anyone interested in helping the center out. Membership opportunities include a quarterly magazine filled with factual based articles and various other fun things as you climb the membership ranks; such as limited edition Ambassador Wolf coins. The website, wolf.org, offers people the chance to view the wolves via wolf cams, wolf logs, and weekly youtube videos that update folks about the center's activity. Now that I have experience working with the staff members at IWC (board members, wolf care, educators, store management, etc) - I can honestly say that each and every one of them is truly wonderful! I love that the center's goal to be as factual and scientific as possible rather than constantly telling you to "Save the wolves! Just because!". The wolf center makes sure that each of the wolves are properly cared for and it truly shows based on their physical appearance, behaviors, and interactions with one another. Sometimes you see animals pacing back and forth in the enclosure but the center's wolves are rather relaxed and do not have to worry about constantly being bothered. The wolves are medicated, vaccinated, and more. On top of all this, there are various programs and events that the public can get involved in so that they may learn factual based information about wolves. I truly have nothing bad to say about the wolf center.

Thank you IWC for all the wonderful opportunities you offer!

Dana20

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a visitor to the IWC in Ely at least twice a year for the last 13 years. The facility is beautiful and their programs are all really well run and interesting. I admire their stand on education without undo persuasion. I highly recommend that anyone interested in learning more about wolves visit the website to learn more. Go to Ely if you can, it is a great place!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the great honor of being a "pup nanny" to two wolf pups at the IWC this past June. This incredible experience was both humbling and inspiring. I am so proud to watch Luna and Boltz on the live webcam now and see what beautiful adult animals they have become. I know the thousands of visitors to the IWC in the coming years will see these wonderful animals and be moved by the plight of wolves in the wild. I am a life-long supporter of Wolf awareness and have found no organization more worthy than the IWC in regards to teaching people about the important role the Wolf plays in the eco-system. The IWC teaches with us about Wolves with facts not with emotion or preaching. I am an active supporter of the IWC and highly recommend anyone who is passionate about Wolves also support their efforts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The International Wolf Center is an amazing and educational place to visit, with dioramas to give good, scientific information while not overwhelming you. Being able to see their ambassador wolves is an unforgettable experience, and well worth getting one of their Adoption Kits. Love visiting this outstanding place!

Jennifer R N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

International Wolf Center is one of the bestttttttt examples of specialist in wolves caring for their every needs without over involving the wolves in their care to be humanly socialized. Over the years I have followed their dynamic care and educational background that they provide, making the public awareness strong. They introduced many wolves as pups that needed to survive and allow them entry with adult wolves, adaptation and prosperity they give. I enjoy being a member, support their efforts, and in this climate where delisting of wolve off the endangered species act, horrible things are happening to wild wolves in their few ecosystems. We need wolves to thrive not be hunted. Please spread the significance of their center we need more like this.

bagel4

Former staff

Rating: 5

The International Wolf Center offers many great opportunities to learn about wolves -- both at their facility in Ely, MN where you can see the ambassador wolves and take part in wonderful programs, and online at www.wolf.org where you can watch the wolf web cams or get information about wolves around the world. The staff is knowledgeable and conveys a real passion for these beautiful animals. The Wolf Center does a great job with environmental education for people of all ages.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family and I visited the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN and it was an amazing experience. Seeing the "ambassador" wolves was a life-changing experience for my children and for me.

The staff was knowledgeable and helpful and the facility was amazing. I can't wait to go back and take part in the many programs they offer for adults and children.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The International Wolf Center is a vital key to my work as a children's educator. Real time facts and no fooling around with myths and legends. They take their work seriously and as a result they are foundational in the work of preserving one of earth's most amazing creatures.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This center is world class! The center alone is a wealth of information, but the staff add so much to the experience! I always leave leaning something new. I will continue to keep visiting and supporting the International Wolf Center.

Gailyn B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one of the best non-profits. Their mission is education. They teach science and let people form their own opinions based on facts. They are not political.

Melinda30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've visited this center back in March and have planned another trip next month and I live in South Carolina. It is amazing to see these gorgeous wolves up close. The staff is very knowledgeable and the facility is beautiful. Must see.