Unique Stop In Franklin County Is A Real Howl

April 25, 2014
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Owner Kathy Baudendistel has opened up Wolf Creek Habitat since 1998.

Kathy Baudendistel has owned Wolf Creek Habitat & Rescue since 1998.

Wolf Creek Road in Franklin County connects St. Mary’s and Blue Creek Road. It is also home to a unique location connecting the human race with an animal rarely seen in these parts.

Wolf Creek Habitat & Rescue provides an opportunity to interact with 31 wolves that have been brought in from throughout North America.

It is a free, up-close and personal look at the animal living in a comfortable and secluded environment. A chance to hear them howl and view they’re natural behavior as they play and communicate with other members of the pack.

Brave sightseers also get a chance to essentially join a wolf pack, walking or sitting amongst the wolves and petting them.

For many, however, the unique place in rural Franklin County is much more. It is a stop along a spiritual journey.

If you travel to Wolf Creek Habitat, you may meet someone like Neal and Dee, a couple from Syracuse, New York. In need of a second medical opinion, the visit for Dee was a chance to get in touch with her and her husband’s favorite animal.

“I am an interpreter for the deaf and work with a lot of students. Some people are afraid of the wild, especially wolves, from all the nursery rhymes you hear growing up, and this place is very educational.”

Visitors from near and far come to the location owned by Kathy and Terry Baudendistel. She opens the habitat for anyone that would like to visit each Saturday and Sunday.

Wolf Creek Habitat is an attraction for some well-known individuals that are also wolf admirers. Last summer, Reds pitcher J.J. Hoover stopped in, and Baudendistel recently met her favorite actor and animal activist Ian Somerhalder.

Baudendistel recounted a story of a woman who had been viciously attacked by a German Shepard. A physically and equally emotionally scarring experience, the woman visited Wolf Creek Habitat.

“She was afraid of big dogs. I said you trust me, let me take you out there with the wolves. She sat down there on the ground, the first wolf that came up she flinched a bit,” Baudendistel recalled. “But after that it was fine. I said ‘Now look, you might have gotten mauled in the face by a German Shepard but you have sat in a pack of wild wolves!’”

“That changed her whole mind, it was therapy.”

You may hear the owner call out to Hokaloni, Mohawk or Kodiak. Each wolf has a name and easily recognized by Baudendistel and the volunteers that provide support at the habitat.

“We do the best we can to give them the best life we can. They stay here, they do not go anywhere. Once they get here they stay here for the rest of their life,” Baudendistel said.

Hours of operation October through April are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. From May 1 through September, extended hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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